If you Google Little Green Man, you will see many references to aliens with green skin and antennae on their heads. But these are not the Little Green Men of my youth.
My dad was born in Lexington, South Carolina many years ago. Growing up we would spend a week or so visiting and staying with relatives we only saw once a year. During those long trips from Florida, my sister and I would fight to lay across the back seat up in the back dash. If you are old enough you will remember that. Long before seat belts were mandatory.
Well these trips were hard on us. We had to be still, and being still is not a feature easily expressed by youngsters. So my dad devised a plan.
We would see deer on the side of the road and sometimes hogs depending on the time of day but he would see the Little Green Man. Don’t forget, dad’s word was gold. If dad said he saw a Little Green Man, then by golly, he saw a Little Green Man.
Dad’s Little Green Man had nothing to do with aliens. These men were made up of grass. The same grass on the roadside. That is why they were everywhere. The sightings would spark an array of questions. Where do they live? What are they doing on the side of the road? Do they have kids? Are they kids? If so, do they have parents too? What was he wearing? Are there any Little Green Women? And the list goes on.
I never asked dad if he did that to keep himself awake or just to be the funny guy he can be. But it worked. We would look diligently for hours until we fell asleep. Then he and mom could cuddle and enjoy the drive together.
I was thrilled when my son told me he introduced his son to the Little Green Man concept. It sparked the same reaction. He would look feverishly until he just fell asleep. I always knew my dad was a smart man even though he will tell you he isn’t, but this was brilliant and funny.
I don’t remember when we stopped doing the Little Green Man thing. Now our trips are to North Carolina because most of his family is gone. Now we visit my children and their families. Plus my sister and I take turns driving so we have the wheel and the front seats. Maybe that’s why our trips are quieter now. Everyone sleeps or tries to keep the driver awake when the coffee runs out.
We leave for NC next weekend. I wonder if we’ll see any Little Green Men.