I live next door to my 82-year-old mother. She has never driven a car, loves to read New Age books, and lives for the moment her mail is delivered. Five other notable things about her:
- She eats her hamburger in between two toasted (burnt to a crisp) rice cakes because she’s “probably allergic to gluten”.
- She once thought my late dad was communicating to her through her smoke detector.
- She firmly believes in the afterlife and brings up her own imminent death at least once a day. (Then why bother with the rice cakes?)
- There is nothing she hates more than when I try to assist her in any way, especially when I try to help bring her groceries inside. If I pick up her bag, I’d better be prepared for an onslaught of dirty looks and her yelling, “Jeezum crow, Darla! I’m not THAT old for Chrissakes! GOOD LORD! GIVE ME THAT BAG! GIVE IT TO ME!” Her normal speaking voice has the ability to cut through steel. So when she starts screaming at me, and wrestling the bag out of my hands, every neighbor within a five mile radius must assume I’m accosting a poor old lady in an attempt to steal her rice cakes. And she is always fixated on the location and condition of the eggs. Apparently, all hell would break loose if one were cracked in transit. “Did you get my eggs, Darla? Did you bring them in the house? Which one is the eggs? Be careful with that bag! That might be my eggs!” I often reply with, “Oh, the eggs? I slammed that bag against the house a couple of times on my way in. Then swung it around like a windmill while pounding it onto the floor before I gave it a good stomping. I think they’ll be fine.” She never laughs at that bit of sarcasm.
- She thinks most female celebrities are cursed with “chests that are too big”. To her, this is something to hide not flaunt.
Celebrity chests and death were (once again) the main topics of conversation when she called me on the phone yesterday to chat about the typical stuff: politics, TV shows, whether we’re a ball of light after we die.
My mom is a huge talker, so all conversations are one-sided. She’s been known to interrupt herself. She could break the world record for speaking the longest nonstop without pausing for even a single breath.
The great thing about my mom is she honestly has no clue that what she says is funny. I’m barely able to enjoy a good guffaw in response because she’s already onto the next zinger. She’s also gifted at dropping a funny observation, then following it up with a heavy topic about the nature of our universe and the afterlife some philosophers spend their entire lives contemplating.
Mom: And you know what show I can’t stand? That Karbuncles crap.
Me: The what?
Mom (exasperated): Keeping Up with the Karbuncles!
Everyone just LOVES that show! And you know why? It’s all about their big chests! Yes! And because it’s illegal to show the nipple area, they have to show the crack instead. I’d rather see the nipple. And there’s a whole bunch of chest crack on that show. The bigger the crack, the better. On some of those girls, that’s all you see! This long crack hanging down to their stomachs! It’s because they don’t wear bras, Darla. Remember: always wear your bra or you’ll turn into a Karbuncle.
Me (laughing): I’ll keep that in mind–
Mom (without pausing): I just finished another book on what happens after we die. What do you think?
Me: Well, I–
Mom: Do you think we’re just a ball of light? What do you think I’ll look like on the other side? Will I be myself or someone else? I’d better not be a Karbuncle! I think I must have lived lots of lives before. And once I’m dead, do you think I can I split up my energy? Be in more than one place at a time? I was thinking, I might stay on the other side, but I might come down here to haunt you. I’ll talk to you all the time from the other side!
Me: Uh…I don’t know if that’s a good idea-
Mom: The mail’s here! (hangs up)
I know I should come up with a clever closing line to this post that neatly ties up the Karbuncles chest crack phenomenon with the afterlife, but my mom has me stumped yet again.
And I have no clue where I get my sense of humor from.