Tuesday, July 29, 2008

To Serve Man

My mother took me to lunch today. Not because she wanted to, I suspect, but because I complained so much the last time she took the Lovely Bride to lunch.

"You love your daughter-in-law more than you love me," I said.

"That shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who knows both of you," she said.

I was understandably hurt and only partly soothed by the lovely pork rillette in front of me.

"We need to talk," she said after my first bite.

It's rarely good when one's mother says that. At this age it usually means: 1) One's mother has a horrible disease; or 2) One's mother and one's wife have made a doctor's appointment for an innocent son and father. Today was an exception.

"Why did you tell your children I am being hunted by cannibals?" she asked.

"You probably are," I replied.

"Of course I'm not. Where do you get such ridiculous ideas?"

"You were the person talking about the Huli tribespeople you met on your trip," I said.

"The Huli are not cannibals. They are warriors," she said.

"Six of one," I said. "I bet you made eye contact with them."

"So?" she asked.

"It's a patriarchal society," I told her patiently. "That would be a grave offense. Some night you'll get home and there will be a Huli waiting for you in the lobby. If he's hungry enough he'll make a meal out of you."

She glared at me.

"You should starve yourself to reduce the temptation," I added, stabbing at the chicken on her plate.

She batted my fork away. "I have never done anything to deserve this sort of treatment," she said.

"How about the family portrait?" I demanded.

"What about it?" she asked.

"You insisted on it."

"So?"

"It was hellish," I said. "Do you know what's it like getting my kids up and nicely dressed on a Sunday morning? And my sister's family is even worse."

"They were certainly more pleasant than you were," she said.

"You know I'm right," I said. "There are better looking families on the internet. It would have been much easier to download a photo of one of them."

My mother ignored me, much as she had at the time. "Why your niece likes you is beyond me," she said.

"Because I'm funny," I said.

"Not as funny as you think you are," she said.

"It's all about knowing your audience," I said.

8 comments:

Jennifer said...

Your mother seems so worldly... I can't believe she, of all people, looked at them! What was she thinking??

rotten mcdonald said...

why isn't this another recipe post?

Adorable Girlfriend said...

If I were you, I'd avoid any homemade food made by Mom given to you.

Kathleen said...

I am not sure what I would do with that much affection from my own mother-in-law.

Brando said...

"Not as funny as you think you are," she said.

"It's all about knowing your audience," I said.


And when you make yourself laugh, it's a perfect circle. You are the performer and audience rolled in one.

fish said...

And when you make yourself laugh, it's a perfect circle. You are the performer and audience rolled in one.


A kind of circle of being a jerk. Now where have I seen that before?

Mr. Middlebrow said...

Just thought you'd like to know that this member of the audience appreciates the Twilight Zone reference.

"Mmm, earthlings...taste like chicken."

Chuckles said...

If she doesn't like that joke, she definitely shouldn't read this bloggio.