Just spent a weekend at my parents’ house where it is the norm to repeat the same things over and over and over again. For one thing, half of us are half deaf. For another, the other half of us are half whacked. Between the two halves, there is considerable overlap. My mother is squarely in the overlap.
Please…let me demonstrate.
Vacation planning somewhere around 1988 – my mother wanted to take a trip to a lovely peninsula on Lake Erie called “Presque Isle“. (Let me interject that due to our Pittsburgh accent, this does not sound like the lovely “Presque Isle”. It sounds like “Pressed Cow”, which is what everyone to whom I’ve ever told this story thinks I’m saying. Henceforth, you shall hear “pressed cow” in your head when reading this story.)
Now once my mother gets an idea, she runs it into the ground. So all we heard for literally months was this trip to Presque Isle.
Presque Isle. Presque Isle. Presque Isle. Presque Isle. Presque Isle. Presque Isle. Presque Isle. Presque Isle. Presque Isle. Presque Isle. Presque Isle. Presque Isle. Presque Isle. Presque Isle.
Annoying isn’t it?
Right around the same time, my mother discovered a wonderful, miraculous liniment called Unker’s. She called it “salve”. (Now again, due to our Pittsburgh accent, this is said with a very nasaly sound, kind of like sheep baaa-ing with a slight lilt. Henceforth you shall hear this word pronounced “saaaaav”.)
Let me demonstrate:
Me: “Wow, my back is sore.”
Mom: “Want some saaaav?”
Me: “I have a cold.”
Mom, “You should put saaaav on your chest.”
Me: “I fear the apocalypse is coming”
Mom: “At least we’ll have the saaaaav.”
Saaaaav…saaaav…saaaav…saaaav…saaaav…saaaav…saaaav…saaaav …saaaav…saaaav…saaaav…saaaav…saaaav…saaaav…saaaav…saaaav…saaaav… saaaav…saaaav…saaaav…saaaav!!!
This phenomenon with my mother led me to create the Banned Word List. Guess which two words were the first on the list!
You got it on the first try! Imagine that!
So, after the introduction of the list, it was going pretty well and I almost had my mother trained to say “The Peninsula” and “liniment” instead of the banned words.
Then came “bales of hay”.
As in 6 people stuffed into a
Buick Dodge Aries (and not even the K-car kind!), driving from Pittsburgh to Colorado, and while crossing Kansas all my mother can say is “bales of hay…as faaaaaaar as the eye can seee…” in a wistful voice.
Do you know how far it is across the state of Kansas?? 424 miles. FOUR HUNDRED TWENTY FOUR MILES OF BALES OF HAY!!
I never did find a suitable substitute for the bales of hay. In any case, it was better than the musical interlude every time we crossed a state line. It’s kinda like that commercial where the couple is on a road trip and have a song for every state? Yeah. Like that. Only trapped in a car with your parents, two sisters and grandmother who has her knees tied together as a remedy for a bad back and she insists on saving the toast from every meal, and your mother is singing “Gary, Indiana”.
Shit. That’s a whole blog entry unto itself. It’s a wonder I’m still sane, no?
But I digress.
This weekend, I added two new words to my list: “sleep” and “seat”. Very innocuous words when USED ONLY ONCE! But hell….that’s just crazy talk! Why say them once when you can say (before we’re even up the front steps)….
Hi guys! Have you figured out where you’re going to sleep? Because I thought if you sleep in this room and they sleep in that room then everyone will have a place to sleep. But if you can’t sleep where you’re sleeping you can go sleep in the living room and then she can sleep in your room and then she’ll be able to sleep later. If that doesn’t work, then I can’t imagine where everyone will sleep because I thought we’d all sleep like that.
(Close second here is the word “sheets”…because of course, you can’t sleep without sheets….right? Oddly enough, this whole thing starts again at bedtime, as if it wasn’t settled the first time around.)
Add fricken “sleep” to the banned word list. Oh and eff it. Throw “sheets” in there too. What the hell.
And now, we have “seats”, thanks to a baseball game, where we had 10 seats in two rows behind one another. You know what this means, right? Yep! We had repeat numbers in different rows.
You know what? I’m not going to do it. Just imagine 10 people shuffling around between two rows saying the numbers and “seat” while trying to figure out where to park their butts, even though it was really irrelevant since we were all together and IT DIDN’T REALLY MATTER WHICH SEATS WE HAD BECAUSE THEY WERE ALL OURS ANYWAY!!!
:pant, pant, pant: I need a Tylenol.
So, in case you weren’t keeping score, here’s the banned word list as of today, August 5, 2012:
Presque Isle, bales of hay, salve, sheets, seat and sleep.
And now my mother will comment and use all of them in one sentence just to drive me to drink. More. Again. And then she’ll give me salve for the hangover.
Love you, Mom. ❤ At least you’re never boring. 🙂