Monday, February 16, 2004

Way to go, asshole. 

My Mom tends to panic. She's a panicker. Not a worrier in the traditional sense, or a victim of 'panic-attacks.' She simply seems to receive an overload of adrenaline when quick action is demanded. Once, while playing the game 'catch phrase,' in an attempt to get her partner to say the phrase 'wet t-shirt contest,' as time ran down, she grabbed at her chest-area and screamed 'POUR WATER ON THESE! POUR WATER ON THESE!' while shaking. I laughed 'til I cried. and that's just a microcausm...

My Mom is a very nice person. She's pleasant and small and people like her. Appearancewise, she's Velma from Scooby Doo. (the cartoon, not the lame live-action one.) She is the manager of a discount department store. She's a hard worker. Even though she's only 5'2", she once battled a very large man trying to steal a shop-vac from her store. Days like that, I wish I could've been available to floor people who would think of trying to steal from my Mom...Of course, if I did things like that, I'd probably end up in jail, so there's a give and take.

Anyway, in addition to her pleasant disposition, she's not intentionally mean to anyone. Ever. Especially when she wants to be. What I mean by this, is when it's time to FLIP THAT BIRD or to exact revenge on someone for whatever wretched indignity they've committed, she freezes up. She can't do it. She mixes things up. She flips the wrong finger.

This is why the thumbs up sign in my family now means "way to go, asshole."

I was greeted by this about 2 weeks ago. My wife and I had gone over to my parents house to have game night. I enjoy game night. We play games. My Dad was working, which is just as well, he only plays one game. The rest are 'fag games' according to him. Anyway, my sister arrived and we were set to play some games. My Mom smiled, extended her arm towards me, raised her thumb and said...

"Way to go, asshole."

I was stunned. I just stared. My wife stared. She burst into laughter and so did my sister. Seems that earlier that day, with my sister riding with her, someone cut my mom off on Academy Blvd. In her immediate anger, she showed him the most angry of all approval signs, the thumbs up, while shouting the word 'asshole.' Mr. Mystery driver must have felt pretty good, having received absolute approval through his rear-view mirror for such an egregious act. On the other hand, my Mom couldn't contain her frustration. Eventually she laughed about it, as did my sister. I laughed about it too, once I realized that I WASN'T the asshole. At least not THIS time.

Another quick mom story...We often go to visit my Aunt and Uncle and their kids. Often, we all ride together and often, we take a back road. State hwy 83. it's a 2-lane road that winds though Black Forest and Franktown and is very very dark at night. People tend to ride with their hi-beams (heh heh...hi-beams) constantly, and most will flip their hi-beams at oncoming drivers out of habit, regardless of what beams are being displayed. One (fateful) night, my Mom was driving us all back home on 83. The first 3 or 4 cars that passed her gave her the brights...She was quite shocked that folks would attack her in this manner, especially since her brights were not on.

My Mom had recently acquired a new Saturn L200. New headlights always look bright, this was a fact that became apparent to me one summer when we rented a minvan to go on vacation. We had the brights flipped at us incessantly. My thinking was that "if those effers think the normal lights is bright, wait 'til they get hit with the real brights! yeehaa!" This same thought apparently entered my Mom's mind about the time that damn 4th car got her...

She was coiled like a cobra, ready to strike...Her hand set, twitching on the switch, waiting for the next car to flip their brights at her...Each oncoming car that approached was an opportunity for sweet revenge...Car after car passed, with my Mom's brights-hand cocked and loaded, without flipping their hi-beams. not one. Everyone from that point on followed the rules of the road, dimming their hi-beams and not flashing them or re-activating them until they were well past us. Seemingly defeated, my Mom eventually relaxed back into a normal driving pose.

As soon as she did, someone brighted her.

If you had been a casual observer at this point, it probably looked like my Mom's car's electrical system was malfunctioning. Her brights went on and off, the wipers went on and off, the car swerved. Caught off guard, Mom hit every switch she could, even though it was too late to smite the offensive vehicle. we all laughed, with the exception of Mom. I'm not sure she's over that incident, even today.

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