Friday, May 24, 2013

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


We were sitting at my kitchen table. "You're going where?" I asked my mother.

"Chautauqua, New York," she said.

"Isn't that where Sacco and Vanzetti lived?"

"Stop being ridiculous," she said.

"They had to live somewhere," I said. "Why not a hippie commune?"

"I am not going to a hippie commune," she said.

"How would you know?" I asked. "You'll be stoned the whole time."

"I'm not sure this is an appropriate time for a discussion about who experimented with what and when," she said with a forced smile, much to the delight of my middle son.

"Yeah, well," I pointed out.

"I am going to Chautauqua for the lectures."

"And I get Hustler for the articles," I said.

"Is that so?" asked the Lovely Bride.

Oops. "Anyway, I'll lecture you for free," I said.

"He will, too," said the kid. "Too bad his lectures are stupid and boring."

"Does your brain have a hard shell on it?" I asked him.

"Your brain has the shell on it," he replied.

"Shut up, Richard," I said.

We both giggled.

"What are they talking about?" my mother asked the Lovely Bride.

"God knows," she said. "Ignore them."

"I usually do. In any event, I'm looking forward to the trip."

"Tell me about it," said the Lovely Bride. "It sounds interesting."

"You don't have to suck up to her," I said. "She signed over her property to us last week."

"I did no such thing," said my mother.

"I've got a court order that says otherwise," I said.

"Shut up," suggested the Lovely Bride.

"Anyway, there are a number of interesting speakers. There's one on the Marshall Plan, another on the assassination of Huey Long, and one on the counterculture of the 1960s."

"Break on through to the other side," I said.

 Another glare from the Lovely Bride.

"Why aren't you as cool as Grandma?" asked the middle boy.

I frowned. "What?"

"Grandma's the most interesting person in the world. Why aren't you like her?"

"I'm way cooler," I said.

"You're just weird," he said. "Chubby, too."

My youngest looked up from his homework. "Can giraffes get fat?"

Silence. He surveyed our raised eyebrows and cocked heads. Apparently satisfied, he returned to his book report.

"Thank you," my mother told the middle child. "I get a great deal of pleasure out of my visits here."

"So do we," I said, giving her a kiss on the top of her head.

"I wasn't talking to you," she said.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013