Monday, April 20, 2009

Red Lights

"I won't be here two weeks from now," my mother said at the outset of her last weekly visit.

"I wish I could say the same," I said.

"Are you talking about dying again?" she asked.

"It's more a wish than a discussion," I said.

"Remember, I get your iPod when you die," said my youngest.

I swatted at him but he ducked.

"Lucy, kill!" I instructed our dog. She tried to crawl into my lap. I swatted at her but she ducked too.

"Where are you going?" I asked my mother, feigning interest.

She began reeling off the names of the countries she planned to visit on her latest expedition. I reached for the last piece of bacon but the middle child beat me to it. "You can walk to soccer tonight," I muttered at him.

"I'll be finishing up in Brussels," she said.

"Like the sprout?" I asked.

"Like the country," she replied.

"It's not so much a country as a collection of feudal estates ruled by warlords," I said. "Why would you go there?"

"It's supposed to be a lovely country."

"I guess. If you like raw sewage."

"What are you talking about?" she asked.

"Don't you ever look at a guide book before booking a trip?"

"Where would you like to go?" she asked my oldest, rebuffing my efforts to help. My mother recently offered to send each of her grandsons on a lengthy trip between their junior and senior years of high school

"Australia. New Zealand. The South Pacific," he said.

"Excellent choices," said my mother.

"At least they have plumbing," I said.

"We have plumbing," said my youngest.

"It's more a straight pipe to our backyard," I said.

"That's disgusting," said my mother.

"You're going to Belgium," I said. "Get used to it."

"Should I bring you back any magnets?" she asked, trying to change the subject.

"A war crimes tribunal magnet from the Hague. And one from a coffee shop in Amsterdam that has a picture of hash on it."

"Hash?" she asked.

"Marijuana," I said.

"As in 'I'm just holding on to this for a friend?'" she asked.

"What's that supposed to mean?" I asked, glancing nervously at my kids.

"Oh, nothing," said my mother, smiling sweetly.

"Have a nice trip," I said.

"I will," she answered.


Jennifer said...

Ha! Your mother got you!

I'd like your mother to adopt me and send me on a trip. Or... I'll travel with her. I'll be her assistant and will carry her stuff for her.

Maybe your exciting magnet will say, "If it's Tuesday, this must be Belgium"...

I'm old.

Adorable Girlfriend said...


Best post, evah. I love Bubie Snag.

Jennifer said...

"The Theme to Snag"

Who lives out in the sticks.
That's a sex machine to all the chicks?
You're damn right

Who is the man
That would risk his neck for his kosher ham?
Can ya dig it?

Who's the cat that won't cop out
When there's meat all about
Right on

You see this cat Snag has a rad mother--
(Shut your mouth)
But I'm talkin' about Snag
(Then we can dig it)

He's a complicated man
But no one understands him but his mothuh!

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Jennifer wins.

Snag said...

Sing it.

Kathleen said...

wish someone would sing that on American Idol's Disco Week.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

hey, can I make a play for your iPod when you die?