The One About My Mom

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

(I wrote the first version of this in 1996; a decade later this specific piece appeared as part of my production blog for at  At some point, that site will be gone.  So, I'm moving this piece here.)

My mom is probably better than your mom. 

My mom's a good egg; nice to me when other people aren't nice to me, which sometimes can cover a significant stretch of time. Not that everyone should be as nice to me as the mom; I realized long ago that the constant in all of my relationships was me, and people who wonder why the world doesn't turn and rock their way are fools. The thing that most interested me about that cyclist, Floyd Landis, getting busted was this quote from his Mennonite (if you don't know the Mennonites, they're like the Amish without the glitz—dude's a Mennonite turned world class cyclist; they're lucky it's only steroids he was taking, and not drinking bald eagle's blood or something; it's like the Randy Quaid character in Kingpin winning the Tour de France, give the dude the fucking trophy) mother, "I know that this is a temptation to every rider, but I'm not going to jump to conclusions," she said. "It disappoints me."

Yeah, that's the sound of Mrs. Landis throwing her embattled baby boy right under the bus.

And my mom wouldn't do that. So, when the day comes (and it will) when I am accused of something sufficiently dark that reporters call her for comment, I'm expecting she'll completely cover up for whatever horrible thing I', that's it, wrongfully, yeah, wrongfully accused of doing.

"I'm 100% innocent; and I'm confident that I will be completely vindicated! I would never smoke that rock/touch that girl/drink that bald eagle's blood 'till it's dry! Sweet, sweet nectar of the gods! I will be immortal! I am the Lizard King! Wait...where are those stem cells! I need embryos! Human baby embryos, calling out to Sam Brownback—'Please, please, don't kill me—I know I am as small as the head of a pin right now—but one day I will be a snowflake baby and I might become a nun or a nurse or a hotass college cheerleader!' Who among you dares call it murder? Who among you thinks you got the testicular fortitude to stop me! I will grab me ten thousand blastocysts and spread them all over my goddamn nachos so I can form an Unholy Nacho Army of the Night! Who are you to doubt El Dandy? I will ask you again, Who are you to doubt El Dandy?"

Yeah, the mom would help me out there. The mom's good that way, and I appreciate that. A boy generally only gets the one mom, and I wouldn't trade mine in. Sometimes, admittedly, I think of that BB King lyric, "Nobody loves me but my momma, and she could be jivin' too," but generally, the mom and I are cool. Which is why I told her about

"Whoa. Have you read us? The language, the themes, the overt attacks on all things decent and good? Why would you want to disappoint your mother like that? Why? Why? Why?"

I like the repetition of the "why," Voice in My Head. It's a rhetorical device. Antistrophe. Like Antony's repeating of "Brutus is an honorable man." Good craftsmanship. Yeah, see, I'm 35, no wife, no children, I'm not practicing law anymore—I figure the mom's pretty much comfortable with being disappointed in her eldest son. This blog's a drop in the bucket.

And truthfully, she deserves it. Why? 'Cause the mom's a goddamn liar.

"Okay, that's just...I could..."

Hey, that's aposiopesis. The deliberate failure to complete a sentence.

Excellent. You're doing a thing here, voice in my head! Tremendous.

"Just trying to class up the joint."

I appreciate it. I'll take all the help I can get.

Okay, here's the story. When I was in the first grade, I overheard a couple of the older kids, probably battle-scarred, wizened 8-year-olds, debating the existence of the Easter Bunny. It wasn't exactly Lincoln vs. Douglas; I believe the extent of the intellectual nuance to the dialectic was, "There is too an Easter Bunny!" "No sir." "Yeah huh."

To be fair, however, Honest Abe often considered "yeah huh" to be a rhetorically sound comeback.

Jefferson Davis: Mr. President, given the explicit reservation of the 10th Amendment, you simply haven't the power to compel the Southern states to abandon our...peculiar institution.

Lincoln: Yeah huh.

Which explains why the Gettysburg Address was only 24 seconds long. Either that or Lincoln had to beat the shot clock. Dude was a giant, crow-like; he had to be a baller. Actually, Lincoln was kinda built like Howard Stern; perhaps if he could have gotten Mary to ride the sybian, he wouldn't have written this letter to his law partner in '41:

 I am now the most miserable man living. If what I feel were equally distributed to the whole human family, there would not be one cheerful face on the earth. Whether I shall ever be better I can not tell; I awfully forebode I shall not. To remain as I am is impossible; I must die or be better, it appears to me.

There's probably a message there about redemption, about hope, about Fitzgerald's being wrong when he said there were no second acts in American life, as the future 16th President couldn't have imagined that his leadership would aid in bringing about the end of slavery a quarter-century later. Were this a different blog, it might resonate as a message of hope. Life's long; things improve; people will like your play; people other than your mother will enjoy spending time with you; you'll meet your future bride; you don't keep your left foot in a jar on the porch.

"Hey, you didn't use any conjunctions there. That's asyndeton. And you said they didn't teach you anything in those communications classes at Ohio Northern."

But this is this blog. And in this blog, I think about Booth yelling out sic simper tyrannis and putting a bullet into the back of Lincoln's head.

And I think...dude got off easy. If my trip to the theater only goes twice that badly, I'll think I caught a break.

"You were talking about the Easter Bunny, tangent boy."

Yeah, see, I had never really given its existence any critical examination. Of course there was an Easter Bunny. Mom said so. There was an Easter Bunny the same way there was an orange Nerf football stuck in the tree outside. I had never heard any speculation to the contrary, and while, no, I hadn't actually seen the Easter Bunny—I had never seen China, either, but I figured it was real. And China never brought me candy. Anyone who brings me candy oughta get the benefit of the doubt. 'Cause, not for nothing, but I am really, really hungry. Between you and me, I've lost a little weight since I was on TV a few years ago; some people congratulate me, I say it's less a diet and more a cry for help. Give me a goddamn sammich you sick sons of bitches—can't you see I'm dying here?

"Easter. Bunny. Please."

Okay...there are some bells that are tough to unring. And the introduction of this alternate belief into my consciousness was enough to get my first grade neurons firing:

On the night before Easter, a giant candy lovin' rabbit comes to my house to hide eggs in the living room.


I slavishly composed my anti-Bunny argument, which was comprised primarily of obvious violations of Godel's incompleteness theorem and the middle plank of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, and took it to a bench conference with the primary font of my prior understanding of the Easter Bunny—my mommy.

Me: Given the evolutionary issues alone, wouldn't it be fair to say that your so-called "Easter Bunny" is actually a fabrication of Nixonian proportion?

Mommy: Nuh huh.

My memory is perhaps a little fuzzy on the exact language of the conversation, but the bottom line was that, eventually, she broke and copped to being the Easter Bunny herself. Incidentally, my mother also confessed her identities as Aquaman, D.B. Cooper, and the lyricist to "I'm a Little Bit Country; I'm a Little Bit Rock-n-Roll."

Once I sorted out that the mom hid the eggs...well, there was a next step that, although painful, was unavoidable:

On the night before Christmas, a fat dude in a red suit comes down a chimney that we don't have to leave me presents in the living room.

Ah, hell. As a wise man once said, "There is a saying in Texas and probably here in Tennessee: 'Fool me once...shame...on me. Fool me twice...can't fool me twice...won't get fooled again!' "

Me: I'm beginning to see a disconcerting pattern of duplicity, mommy—if in fact that is your real name. Perhaps you'd like to take a moment to consider your role as one of the twin demons of deception? What about Rudolph? What about Rudolph? The craven use of a lonely animal shunned by his peers to manipulate the minds of impressionable children. What about the elves? Working all year round in freezeshop conditions to make my pitiful orange football which no one ever bothers to get out of that tree. Can't you see how wrong that is? Exploiting the least among us who are most in need of our protection?

"Least...most...that's antithesis. Sweet."

Me: Does Santa run a union workshop? Is the North a right-to-work Pole? What about the mining of the Cambodian harbors? What about CREEP and the enemies' lists? What about the 18-1/2 minute gap? What about Donny's purple socks? For the love of god, (note to imaginary editor, lower case, please—I never use upper case, both because in scholarly works under the Chicago style, one uses lower case—and because uppercase means there's one true god, and I don't go that way—always lower case) how can you possibly respond to the purple socks??

Mommy: Nuh huh.

I guess at that point I developed somewhat of a skeptical soul. Skeptical enough to not believe the soul exists, frankly. I mean, "soul" exists. As in "I got soul, and I'm Superbad." But "the soul"? Nah. Psychics? Nah. Astrology? Nah. Angels? Nah. Ghosts? Nah. Noah's Flood? Nah. UFOs? Nah. Life after death? Nah. Creationism? Nah. The guy in the sky who knows when you're sleeping, knows when you're awake, knows if you've been bad or good so be good for goodness sake?

Sorry. Nah.

"Hypophora. Nice."

Pascal wrote that humans are "thinking reeds" and I'm not going to turn that off for convention. I am; therefore, I think.

I don't believe in Beatles; I just believe in me.

No comments

Blogger Template created by Just Blog It