Tuesday, March 16, 2004

She's Smarter When She's By Herself... 

In an earlier entry, I asserted that my Mom tends to panic. My sister reminded me recently that she's also been a bit self-destructive over the years. The two incidents that best support THIS assertion shall be related to you, dear reader, right about now...

My Mother will tell you, without hesitation, that she is "smarter by herself." It would seem that she tends to become distracted when others are in her company. This fact leads her to do certain things that implore others (such as my Dad) to ask questions like "What would you do if we weren't here to help you?" The answer is simple...She'd do just fine. She's much smarter when she's alone. She says so. It must be a fact. The two incidents I am prepared to type about happened, of course, while others were around. If my Mother had been alone, these things probably wouldn't have happened. At the very least, she probably wouldn't have admitted anything to anyone if they did.

One winter morning when I was 9 years old, I woke up feeling ill. I convinced my Mom that I couldn't go to school and she called in sick for me. My Dad was either off that day, or he didn't have to go to work until later on. Either way, they were both home with me. Sometime that morning, they had to go somewhere, I cannot quite remember where. I went with them for reasons I can't really remember at this time. Hell, I can't even remember the destination. Those details have become lost to history for reasons that should become obvious as you read further. I DO remember that we had to get some gas in our 1969 Dodge Coronet. We stopped at a gas station on Main Street in Security. Both Mom and Dad got out of the car, Dad went off somewhere, maybe to pre-pay, and Mom went to pump the gas. She quickly discovered that she wasn't quite close enough to the pump for the nozzle to reach, so she decided to pull up a bit. Not wanting to climb all the way back in and shut the door, she just hopped halfway into the drivers seat, started the car and hit the gas. She then began screaming and flailing around like a crazy person. I panicked, I didn't know what the Hell was going on...My Dad heard her screeching and came running. He gathered her up, tossed her in the passenger seat, got in the car and drove off.

"What's going on!?" I asked? "Your Mother ran over her foot...We've got to get to the hospital" my Dad replied. I was really very concerned, I had never witnessed behavior like the kind that my Mother was exhibiting. she was flailing about in the passenger seat, flopping like a fish on a dock, screaming, yelling, moaning, screaming, wailing....The pain MUST have been excruciating because she simply WOULDN'T CEASE emitting noise with the exception of two-and-a-half very peaceful seconds during which she lapsed into unconsciousness.

I felt quite relieved when she blacked out. It was calm. It was quiet. I'll have to admit that I wanted VERY MUCH for her to remain unconscious for the remainder of our trip to the hospital. Sadly, for me, this was not the case. She quickly came to and picked up right where she had left off, flailing, moaning and flailing some more. I slumped into the back seat of the Dodge, soundly defeated. Soon enough, though, we reached the emergency room.

After she had received some sedative medicine, I'm told, she attempted to explain to the doctor what had happened. It's reported that the conversation went something like this:

Doctor: "How'd you do this to yourself?"

Mom: " I needed to pull the car up and when I did, my foot got caught between the car and the gas pump island."

Doctor: "Yes, but HOW'D YOU DO IT?"

Mom: You know how, if you just want to move the car real quick, you jump in and let your foot dangle out?"


Doctor: "No...No, I don't."

My Mom WILL STILL try and defend her formula for super-short-distance driving even today, regardless of who she's arguing with. Apparently, it was worth all the pain and the considerable length of time she had to spend on crutches. This tale, however, is not the most colorful example of my Mother's lack of regard for her own well-being. Once upon a time, my Mom broke her nose playing hockey.

At least that's the story we, as a family, give people. This lovely little incident happened at the Rustic Hills Mall in Colorado Springs, a shopping mall that was lost to progress some years back. When I was younger, it boasted a number of shops including Dave Cook Sporting Goods, a Hardware and Garden Store, Furr's Cafeteria, KarmelKorn and a Video Game Arcade called Nickelodeon. When I was younger, as a family, we dined at Furr's on quite a regular basis. When it was clear that it would be a Furr's kind of evening, I would consistently lobby for the Rustic Hills location. While it certainly wasn't the closest, it HAD AN ARCADE, DAMMIT, and I loved to play them video games. I'm still not sure why, in the 80s, arcades were so dark. At least Nickelodeon was dark. So was Quarter Zone. And the Space Center was too. I guess it helped players to see the screens better. If that WERE the logic behind extremely dim lighting, the philosophy didn't do Jack-Shit for bubble dome hockey, as my parents discovered one fateful evening following indulgence on the fine fare at Furr's...

We had all gone to the arcade to play some Mat Mania or a little Paperboy. Of course, I was elated...I grabbed whatever money my Dad offered me, got my tokens and ran off. Some time later, when my token supply was exhausted, I went to track my parents and my sister down. I found my Dad, but Mom wasn't around. When I inquired as to her whereabouts, Dad explained calmly "she's in the bathroom...She busted her nose." It seems that, during a heated bubble dome hockey match between Mom and Dad, the little tiny puck got lodged behind the little tiny net at her end of the little tiny rink. Ever helpful, my Mother exclaimed "I GOT IT" and, indeed, went to get it. Unfortunately for her, and her nose, she forgot that the puck was, as it always is, protected by a thick plexiglass dome, which she unwittingly drove her face into at full speed. This action "busted" her nose and severely damaged her pride. THIS incident, she won't defend at all. Probably because she can't. There's not much to say, really, other than that she did, indeed, break her nose playing hockey.

She certainly wouldn't have done THAT if she were by herself. Bubble dome hockey is a TWO-PLAYER game.

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