“Ma’am, what brings you here tonight?” the E.R. doctor asked Mama who was stretched across the gurney giggling while I nervously paced, as if she’d expire at any moment. “Looks like you overdid it on the dance floor,” he chuckled.
Yeah, while boogying to the Rubber Radial Rumba.
Before Mama answered, I pointed to her swollen foot, her blackened toes resembling grotesque piano keys. “I don’t know how it happened, but I did it! I shrieked. “I ran over her! My own Mama! Not once, but three times!” I blurted, throwing myself on the mercy of the medical circuit while clutching the blue, leather, tell-all evidence. You know that old cliché, “from tragedy comes comedy– and a squashed ballet flat.”
“Three times, huh? Was it on purpose?” the comedic physician howled surveying my damage.
The nurses exploded with laughter as did Mama, obviously delusional with pain. As for me I kept singing the Christmas tune, “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer.” Must have been the shock, after all it was my first “official” maiming. Poor Mama. She was already walking crooked due to her bad back and now look at her. Her foot resembled a lopsided eggplant. Heck, I’m supposed to be mindful of her deteriorating health, not a contributor to it. Hmm. Wonder if my AAA card will be revoked or if I’ll be charged with assault with a deadly Michelin?
“Don’t you worry, this was bound to happen with all that you’ve had going on,” Mama consoled, as the nurse slapped an ice pack atop Mama’s foot while Grandma and her homicidal reindeer still echoed in my head.
Recently my house had been more hectic than usual. My son, Jack just finished a 12- year journey to becoming an Eagle Scout– an endeavor that required everyone channel their “Inner Chippewa.” Some days rivaled the infamous table scene in the Helen Keller movie as he struggled to finish. You’ve never seen such fits: crying jags, writhing on the floor, broken dishes, and the desecration of one perfectly good pot roast. Jack’s behavior was almost as bad. To top it off, in addition to hosting a houseful of company for the weekend, I’d taken on the repurposing of several, antiquated scout badge replicas that had seen their share of mildew and wood weevils. (Yes, a scout’s Mama is brave, trustworthy, and stupid). After ten days they were only halfway completed, just like the dining room floor that Hubby was frantically laying around me.
“As long as nobody walks on this side of the room, they’ll never notice that big hole I made,” he assured, as I prayed for a miracle and inhaled more paint fumes. When Mama and Daddy arrived early to help out they found me neck-deep in Clorox, cookbooks, and antispasmodics. Why is it when you’re expecting guests your body always goes into involuntary spasms? I half expected Elvis to drop in and croon, “A Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” as I popped muscle relaxers like Skittles.
“Don’t worry the Calvary is here,” Mama proclaimed. For the next three days she worked tirelessly from dawn to dusk cooking, cleaning, sewing, shopping, gluing, and glittering. And as a dutiful daughter I showed my appreciation in a way that would last long after she’d returned home. Five indications that you’ve run over your Mama–
- She wails repeatedly, “My foot! My Foot!” This isn’t her response to your outrageous claim that you saw Sasquatch in your vegetable patch that morning. Too bad Mama didn’t take a breather in between her screams. If she’d let me know exactly where her foot was in proximity to the tire, I doubt I’d thrown the car into reverse in desperation to free her, before slamming the gear into drive once more and taking her out a third and final time.
- Her hair is dripping wet– and she’s oblivious. When your mother owns stock in plastic rain bonnets due to her perpetual fear of water (beehive kryptonite) and she’s standing in a monsoon, something’s definitely amiss. In hindsight I should’ve looked back once more to make sure everybody’s body parts were inside the car when I asked for the “all clear.” In my defense the words “go” and “no” sound a lot alike–the hospital shrink said so.
- The 16×20 commemorative glamor shot of your mother is from the inside out. The photographer/X-ray technician stated that Mama’s white pants streaked with tread marks across the legs were a nice touch. I’m still trying to figure out how those marks got there in the first place.
- An MK emblem is branded into her foot. I think Michael Kors ought to thank Mama personally for taking his advertising strategy to another level. Talk about customer loyalty! I can see why he charges so much for those shoes, his signature metal insignia didn’t even crack under 2000 pounds of pressure—thankfully, nor did her toes. If he was smart he’d expand his market to include the sophisticated, steel-toed boot crowd.
- Her shoes don’t match. They say white goes with everything, but pairing her sneaker with my polka-dot bedroom slipper (the only shoe I had big enough to fit) was a major fashion faux pas. I felt terrible knowing she’d be making the drive home sporting that ridiculous thing, but she took it in stride–antlers and all. “It may be out of season, but it’s certainly apropos,” she laughed.