My Mother Was Tasered at a Cockfight

May 11, 2013 § 26 Comments

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My mother and I are on a tree-stump dotted lake in a johnboat powered by a hamster on a wheel. We are fishing, if that’s what you call it.  She casts right into a bush.

She’s mad at me today.

“Why did you put on your blog that I was tasered at a cock fight? I have never been tasered. I have never been to a cockfight.”

“I liked the way it sounded.”

She picks up another fishing pole and casts again. The hook catches on the long hair of a winsome child playing on the bank and drags her into the water.

“There you go again,” she says. “Exaggerating, if not outright lying.”

“Well, it’s true that you like to fish with at least two poles at once,” I say. “And you do tend to get your lines tangled up and you do cast like a maniac.”

She picks up another fishing pole and casts once again. The hook flies into an American flag outside the federal building, dragging it down to half staff and plunging the country into bewildered mourning.

“You’re doing it again,” she says.

“I’m a writer.”

“You’re an idiot.”

“That’s a good one. I’ll have it write it down.”

“I wish you would not. Also, I wish you would not have written that I was so poor as a child I had to work as a canary in a coal mine. And that I was once a coyote dentist. And that I hunt squirrels in my garden with a shotgun. And that I called Elder Care on you because when you were in charge of me after my shoulder replacement surgery you let a rat gnaw on me.”

“There’s always a hint of truth in everything. You do hate squirrels. And I did suck as your nurse. And you were poor as a child. And you can flip the bird with your middle toe. Admit it, you know you can.”

“That’s ridiculous,” she says. She lifts her bare foot, flips me the bird and then casts into Antarctica.

“I can’t help that you’ve led a colorful life. You started smoking when you were five, and you knew how to wring a chicken’s neck by the time you were, what, eight? And you really did get in a fight with two girls, one with springy hair, and won by grabbing the smaller one by her springy hair and beating the crap out of the bigger one with her tiny body. This is all true and you know it. And the fact that you can flip the bird with your middle toe is comedy gold.”

“I don’t want to be comedy gold. I want to be a cranky old lady.”

“You manage both splendidly.”

She picks up another pole and casts into Pluto, our most discredited of planets.

“You know what?” I say.  “I have this vision. We’re at your funeral.  Slowly the coffin lid creaks open and your bare foot rises majestically, four arthritic toes curling back to flip the entire congregation the bird.”

“Please do not write that. Please just let me die with a little dignity.”

“Don’t you understand, though, Mom? I write all these things so you will never die.”

“I’m going to die, Numb Nuts,” she says. “And don’t write that I called you Numb Nuts. I don’t even know what that means.”

“No, no, no. You will never die.  Not as long as I have a pen.”

My mother shakes her head sadly. “There are so many things you refuse to understand.”  She casts again, and her hook flies back through the years, catching on everything.

§ 26 Responses to My Mother Was Tasered at a Cockfight

  • Michele Wilhite says:

    I can picture the two of you out on the water. You definitely got me laughing again, I loved the coyote dentist! We know your Mom is far too dignified to have done any of these questionable things! She leaves those to the realm of her brilliant daughter!

  • I cackled like a mad hen the whole time I was reading this. Wary heads are still poking into my office, wanting to know what the commotion is. Brilliant!

  • Bob Moore says:

    You are so freaking good it makes me angry.

    http://www.publicis-usa.com Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail.

  • Saintly Mother says:

    I wonder if your readers know you are a pimp who sells her own saintly mother as blog fodder? I should have known you would find a way to get me back for catching the most fish on our last outing. (Actually, I am rather proud to have EARNED that new Mac computer.)

    • Hi Mommy! It’s always so nice to hear from you. Are you back from the cockfight early? Oh wait it’s not Sunday. Just kidding! Happy Mother’s Day tomorrow and remember you have joint access to my checking account so you can always embezzle away all my money if you get really really mad at me. :)

  • I love the way your rationalize your embellishments. It really does work….because it entertains your readers so. Besides it damned entertaining to think up that stuff.

  • We all have our perspectives. Saintly Mothers must understand that. Besides that, the profound ending makes her immortal in a wonderful way.

  • judycoatesperez says:

    OMG Kathy, where would the world be with out you bringing a little sunshine into our lives each day?!? xo

  • Stephanie Anderson says:

    The most creative Mother’s Day card ever! I love the way your brain works.

  • The Rabbit says:

    There is something disturbing about hearing my Saintly Mother use the word “pimp.”

  • Amy Armistead says:

    Who would have thought that nurturing your children’s creativity could have unintended consequences? I’ve loved your books and now I love you blog but I must say my sympathies are with your mother.

  • Linki says:

    And this is why I am the second favorite daughter. What happens on a road trip stays on the road. Do you see me telling about our graveyard robbing adventures? Oh crap! I meant graveyard rubbings, of course (wink, wink!)

    • Saintly Mother says:

      Linki! My special daughter!! You never stretch the truth, yet you are amazingly entertaining and a most delightful vacationing buddy. Let’s hit the road again- SOON. My love to all the family.

  • Did the old lady rob a graveyard? I can totally believe it. I can believe it. What was it, some trinket she can put in her kitchen? And I think I am so low on the favorite daughter scale that even men are ahead of me.

  • Sherman says:

    A fitting Mother’s Day tribute–an ode to how you two (gunpowder and flint) define each other. The real mystery?–why you’re not writing Hallmark cards for Mom’s special day all across America. And next time
    you two go fishin’, be sure to take Sunny along–he knows precisely where to fish and if the tuna are bitin’ . . . .

  • Gunpowder and flint. That is the best description ever of me and my Mom. Sunny does know his tuna (and yellowfin)

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