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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Kamikaze Birds, And Other Mother's Day Tweets-- Sorry-- Treats

Hey, it's Mother's Day.

If reading that sentence on this blog is your O.S.R. (Oh, Shit Reminder), don't worry. I hear they're selling pansies at the Mobil station. You can thank me later.


I was thinking about honoring my mother with a post on this blog, but then I started to feel like that would be trite, maybe even a little insulting, (especially since she'd definitely disown/disembowel me if she read 9 out of 10 posts contained herein), and assuredly too predictable. I mean, come on-- a post about your mother on Mother's Day? That's like... like... um... a Justin Bieber post on National Justin Bieber Day. (By the way, my wife explained who he is to me last night. I am now fit to go out and circulate in even my own socially retarded public sphere.)

Hmm... this post is, I feel, containing an inordinate amount of parenthetical references. I used to use those fuckers (a lot) in my high school writing, which featured prominently a story about a woman named Mary Jane who gets her virginity stolen and the woefully inept Superintendent James Henry Wobbypoohs who investigates the crime.


Anyway, this is not going to be a post about my mother. I felt that would kind of be wasted on her. She's greater than any Mother's Day post I could create-- she's funnier, snarkier, more demure, more assured, and more, well, more than I'm capable of creating. It would just be tinny and hollow and, probably, sad.

So I'm going to write about my oldest sister instead.

It's a funny thing, I suppose, writing about her-- someone who, at 42 and stolidly single, will in all likelihood never be a mother, but maybe that's why I'm picking her as my muse.


(Hi, so here's another parenthetical reference. It's explaining the pseudonym for my oldest sister, because I hate referring to her as "my oldest sister" all the fucking time, and I'm sure as shit not going to call her by her real name. So, um, Julie it is. "Julie.")

Julie doesn't have children, and I doubt she's ever going to. She's never had a husband and I doubt she's ever going to. I could be wrong, but I'd feel comfortable, maybe even a little cocky betting my wife's eyelids on it.

And I'm not a betting man.

Julie moved back in with my parents back in February when the mousketeers decided to commandeer her condominium. She just sent me a text message:

"Omg its exhausting living in a house w/stairs!"

Life is exhausting for Julie. She works for my father, an unending haze of unreasonable expectations, haphazard instructions, and half-Israeli profanities shouted at cringeworthy decibels. Julie hides while at work. If my father is really laying into her, she'll run and hide in the bathroom, the only place in the factory where he can't get to her.

Otherwise, she hides behind her computer screen. On Thursday, Julie e-mailed me 18 times.

"Ho hum, another day of wondering what should go on my tombstone:

The thing I say most: 'Fuck'!"

Kind of sounds like... me, doesn't she? I'm very proud.

(That reminds me-- I need to write my epitaph one of these days...)

Anyway, Julie doesn't have children, but she does have her beautiful nephew, on whom she dotes and smothers as if he were her very own. It's actually very touching to see the two of them interact together. When our nephew got a cold, he threw up twice, and cried afterwards.

So did Julie.

Julie has lots of stuffed animals. Before our nephew came into this world, she doted on and smothered her stuffed animals. She named them, and probably talked to them at night when she was otherwise alone. And while that's kind of unsettling to picture, it's better than what she used to do with stuffed animals when she was a young girl. She used to love to pretend she was a schoolteacher, and that her stuffed animals where her pupils. Sounds quaint, right? Well, not the way little Julie played. She would line them all up on the porch and scream at them at the top of her lungs, presumably for not having their homework completed or for going to the bathroom without signing out the hall-pass. Little Julie would scream and yell frantically and forcefully, until her face turned tomato red and her neck veins bulged almost to the breaking point. These little shenanigans frequently drew the negative, frightened attention of the neighbors.

Alas, a career in education was not in her future. She was doomed to work for my father from the very start. After all, he's the only person I know who can shout her down. Those stuffed animals never had a chance.

She tries, by God. Really, she does.

"What the hell do you want for your bday???????" she wrote to me in email #16 on Thursday. All she wants to do is the right thing, but in a world that consistently and unfailingly leaves her feeling unappreciated, why bother, right?

Julie will always bother.

As I mentioned some posts ago, there's the constant updates about crime in our neighborhood that she insists on sending to me.

"Over the past few days, several unlocked vehicles have been entered overnight in the township. Small electronics have been taken. Residents are reminded to park their vehicles in a well lighted area, remove all items of value, and lock all doors."

And there's the random consumer alerts about unsafe products and/or services that she insists on sending to me.

"More TV for toddlers equals school trouble later

By Reuters - Mon May 3, 3:31 PM PDT
Less surprisingly, children who watched more TV at age 2 weighed more by the time they were 10 and ate more snacks and soft drinks, the researchers reported in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine. "The results support previous suggestions that early childhood television exposure undermines attention," wrote Linda Pagani of the University of Montreal and colleagues at Bowling Green University in Kentucky and the University of Michigan."

And then there's the random bytes from the entertainment industry that she insists on sending to me.

"Teen Mom Star Maci Has Moved On to a New Guy!
Thursday – May 06, 2010 – 10:59am
Teen Mom star Maci Bookout has found a new guy in the wake of her split with Ryan Edwards, the father of son Bentley, 18 months."

I mean, really. Where the hell would I be without my sister?

And, in spite of her best intentions, shit happens-- mostly to her. Mostly in her car. Mostly when windows or sunroofs are opened.

In 1989, she was driving along in her beautiful red VW Jetta on a gorgeous, sun-dappled day when she stopped for a red light. All the windows were down. A man on a bicycle sidled up alongside her Jetta and stopped, too, for the red light, as some bicyclists do. Unsteady, he put his left hand out to stabilize himself against her car, and he fell right through her open passengerside window, right into her car-- she screamed like hell and the guy probably shit his little shorts. Alas, they did not exchange phone numbers and, eventually rings. Though it would have made for a hell of a how-we-met story told to the grandkids.

But that was a very long time ago. On Wednesday, though-- well... I'll let her tell it in her own words. Far more effective than mine-- just proving that there's a little bit of the storyteller in all of us Aprons:

"I was listening to book on cd (first time I ever used this cd player----the fuckin’ thing got stuck in it this morning)

Had the sunroof back---same as in the morning.

When I parked in the driveway, I stayed w/the car a bit to clean out the side pockets of crap.

I thought I’d felt something roll down my back, but looked around - like the doggies do -& couldn’t see anything on my back.

So I finished what I was doing and then I turned around to close the door & VOILA, dead baby bird smashed flat on my seat where my right thigh was.


Dad called as I was bee-lining it to the house to take my HAZMAT shower. I just kept saying “when are you going to be home?” “when are you going to be home”.

He came in the house as I was coming out of the shower. I gathered gloves, plastic cups and a container of Lysol wipes & dragged him outside.

He helped me get rid of it. He said it probably fell out of a tree on my hair through the roof and I hadn’t been sitting on it the whole time.

Nice, I’d kept my hair up & it probably became a hearse-nest for the ride home.

I have no other explanation---only the creeps."

Happy Mother's Day, you fucking lunatic. There's a dead bird on your ass. And I love you.


  1. haven't you heard all that charlotte perkins gilman feminist shtick about the societal importance of aunts? women not meant to have children of their own but to enrich the lives of other women's children?

    i love your sister, by the way.

    i once had a live bird in my house. does that beat a dead one in the car? what if i had four cats and a german shepherd in the house too?

  2. Oh my GOD.
    Even if you did tell me the punchline of this entire crazy story, I still almost vomited from gross-out and laughter combined.

  3. P.S. The Captcha word I had to type in to post that comment was "vultiv."
    I don't know what that bore mentioning.

  4. Fuck's. Sake.

    I laughed and laughed and laughed while reading this! Please make your sister's e-mails a regular-ish thing!

    And now (since nothing could top that nugget of comedy gold) I'm going to bed! Thanks for that! That cheered up an otherwise unbelievably shit day!


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