Archive for the ‘Sentimental Sass’ Category
I come from a line of women who ‘save’ things.
God forbid an empty milk carton get thrown in the trash!
It must be WASHED OUT, not just rinsed, and all four pinched corners must be opened up to make the carton’s ‘mouth’ large enough to accomodate any manner of vegetable waste: apple, potato and cucumber peelings, especially.
For a reason I can no longer recall, my mother would save and wash these plastic bottles that held Daily’s OJ. I think she saved them for my grandma who would then fill them with iced tea.
I remember thinking those bottles were pretty cool because the 1/2 gallon jug curved into two finger ‘rings’ on either side of the neck, making carrying a breeze.
Unfortunately for me,
those convenient little rings
made for an excellent grip
on the world’s most bizarre
weapon in the history of child abuse!
We were going to my grandmother’s house one weekend, so we loaded up the family truckster, a VW Rabbit (70’s gas crunch), with all the crap my mother ‘saved’ for her mother. Now, that Rabbit was small, so with my folks, my brother and me, there was very little room for much else. Somewhow, my mother managed to stuff in along with us three trash bags of various empty cartons and Daily’s bottles. Thank God Grandma lived just across town!
We needed to stop and get milk and bread and ‘good creamery butter’ for Grandma. Dad, as he was the only one not buried beneath mounds of cardboard and plastic, was the one who went inside the supermarket. Mom, my brother and I sat in the parking lot, holding our worthless loot.
Don’t recall what set me off, but I started gettin’ lippy with my mother (another trait of our lineage). I may have been only 10 or 11, but I could sling the sass with the best o’ them!
Because my mom was in the passenger seat directly in front of me, because she was a ‘lefty’ and because we were swimming in refuse, my mom could not comfortably and easily wind up for a good sock to my mouth. She only could make a pathetic, little 1/4 turn in her seat to shoot me her
A glutton for punishment, the knowledge that she was pretty much immobilized fed the fire that flew from my tongue.
When my mother’s face got so red I thought I’d actually set her afire, she frantically FELT about her (never breaking the DEATH GLARE) for something with which to beat my sassy ass.
Finally, her fingers found paydirt;
her eyes widened in enlightenment.
Still twisted in that cock-eyed 1/4 turn, my mother hoisted her right arm. Wielding that empty Daily’s jug held fast in her clenched fist (Damn! Those little rings are handy!), with every sinew and tendon visible in her forearm, my mother morphed into some warped version of Lady Liberty.
The stream of smartass cracks spewing
from my mouth suddenly ceased.
I could only stare at those goddam
convenient finger rings.
Was THIS how I was to meet my end?
Bludgeoned by a fuckin’
Daily’s Orange Juice jug?!
I SWEAR TO GOD I HEARD
THE PSYCHO-SHOWER-SCENE MUSIC.
A sickly squeak from high in my throat escaped; my mother’s CUE to commence the pummeling.
I ducked and buried my face in the plastic bag o’ jugs as my mother landed blow after blow on the back of my noggin. She was actually GRUNTING.
She landed about six blows when I realized, ‘this noggin-knockin’s not hurtin’ — AT ALL!’
the utter ABSURDITY,
of it all hit me harder
than my jug-packin’-mama,
and I burst out laughing.
Naturally, my guffaws made
my mother bring down some more HEAT.
I couldn’t help it;
the whole scene was GONZO!
I sat up, tears streaming down my face, laughing so I could hardly breathe. My mom managed a couple more half-hearted hits, and then, she too burst out laughing!
For the record, my brother (three years my junior), may have been a blind, deaf mute; he just sat there with saucer-eyes (probably takin’ notes, the little fucker).
Mom and I were still laughing and crying when my dad got back in the tin-can car. He had to get back out to pick up some of the Daily’s jugs that had spilled out.
“What the HELL happened in HERE?” he asked.