I just returned home a few hours ago following yesterday’s exciting trip to the Kentucky Derby, and hadn’t been relaxing by the pool more than 10 minutes when my cellphone rang.
“Yes?” I said, with no small amount of trepidation. Calls to my direct line rarely bring good news. “Who is this? How did you get this number?”
“Well, if it isn’t Mr. Bigshot,” said an ancient, bloodcurdling voice on the other end — one that I knew all too well.
“Jesus,” I said. “What do you want, Mother?”
“What do I want? Maybe a couple of sons who are decent enough to call me on Mother’s Day, but I suppose that’s too much to ask! Here it is, already noon, and I haven’t heard from you or Roderick yet.”
“But nothing! At least Roderick has some excuse, what with living in California. He’s probably not even awake at this hour. But you? You should be ashamed.”
“‘I am an ungrateful bastard,’ is that what you were about to say?”
“‘No son should forget his mother on Mother’s Day?’ I couldn’t agree with you more! And yet here we are, with me having to call you just to hear my oldest son’s voice on this special occasion. Now what do you have to say for yourself?”
“It’s not Mother’s Day, Mother.”
“Don’t give me that, you fat tub of lard! I know what day it is!”
“Jesus Christ, woman! Go look at a goddamn calendar if you don’t believe me! It’s May 2 — Mother’s Day is on May 9. You’re a week early!”
“What? Hold on.”
Blessed silence followed, though for all too brief a period.
“Alright, I guess you’re off the hook,” she said upon her return. “But you better call next weekend. Don’t make me call you again!”
“I won’t, Mother.”
“Fine. And stop debasing our family name with all that whoring and carousing. Your father would be disgusted with the way you live!”
She hung up before I got the chance to point out that my father made me look like an amateur in those departments, but whatever. Here’s hoping your mother is saner than mine, or better still, dead. It’s really the only way to deal with such women, in my experience.