Mother's Day is this weekend (figures you wouldn't know that bad seed!) This is a gospel version of Harlan Howard's sweet classic "No Charge."  I dig some of the classics and it seems idiotic to bash country music when I like country rock (Eagles, Allman Bros., Lynyrd Skynyrd, Grateful Dead, Bo and Luke Duke et al) Now I'm not a big fan of country music, my dad is kind of a hillbilly and he tortured the family during road trips. He manned the radio and it was either country cheese or doowop. At the time he smoked cigars too. And even though I was susceptible to motion sickness, no one wanted to let me sit near the window because I was the smallest. I got the middle. I used to deliberately separate my legs (little lolita) just to annoy my siblings at which point they'd start kicking me and eventually someone got hit, it usually wasn't me because it's hard to take a back swing at the short kid from the front seat. I smugly laughed when my parents missed because I know they weren't pulling over to slap me. Instead they just issued idle threats to the tune of "You're gonna get it." I had my parents pegged from the crib. I knew exactly when I was and wasn't going to get it. In fact, I used to run into the bathroom and lock the door when I knew I was gonna get it. Furthermore I had my right foot in position to bolt as I started to tell my parents what I really thought of them and their dictatorship. Apparently I set a trend. One of my brothers once locked himself in the bathroom to evade my dad. He ruined it for everyone. My dad walked up the stairs and broke the door off the hinges. The funny part was that it didn't take much of an effort for my father to do this. No huffing and puffing, he breathed on the door and it went down (prefab construction). My brother didn't even get smacked because my dad had released his aggression with his wrecking ball routine. But no one ran into the bathroom and locked the door after that. Well, actually my brothers did, but for an entirely different reason. In later years I decided I was going to get my dad to quit smoking by giving him an exploding cigar. He was grateful when I presented it to him. Days pass and I'm wondering why my father hadn't said a word while I'm busy giggling up a storm imagining a cartoon-like scene of an exploding cigar. So my dad finally tells me the cigar looked cheap so he threw it out. Of the few things my dad liked to splurge on, cigars was one of them. Practical jokes are entirely lost on my parents. I once got a prop screw in a box of cereal, it had fake blood on it, and molded around your finger. Not very realistic from a short distance but I figured I could turn on the waterworks and be convincing. So I put it around my thumb and ran downstairs screaming to my mother. She looks at it hastily and says "How did you do that?"  Mental note: add more ketchup.

My oldest brother used to do this trick where he made it look as if he was pulling off his own thumb. The first time he did it I almost started crying. Then I realized I didn't care if he didn't have a thumb and it would hurt less when he hit me. Being the youngest child is the low end of the food chain. But it's not without its perks. I credit my position in the family order for my great dramatic acting. If one of my siblings slapped me and it tickled, I went into a death scene. And yet I fear you, for you are fatal then when your eyes roll so, why I should fear I know not, since guiltiness I know not; but yet I feel I fear. Some bloody passion shakes your very frame,These are portents; but yet I hope, I hope, They do not point on me.  Picture me rolling around on the floor reciting this, telling my parents I'll miss them when I enter the great beyond, etc.

About the tune...the gospel version had an excerpt about Jesus which I removed (and since I don't have a good audio program, you'll notice a short gap). It has nothing to do with my being Jewish, the song has nothing to do about Jesus. If anything, Jesus belongs in a Father's Day song. My mom called me to tell me that the song made her misty-eyed. I sent it to my mother for more than the obvious reason. It has special meaning to me because when I was a kid I ran a cuteness racket. I used to demand a quarter (re: one video game) for a kiss. Little Lolita. The song is about a kid who submits a bill for all the work he does around the house. I think he's undercharging. but maybe not if we adjust for inflation and the CPI.

I can't stand when my mom says "Every day is Mother's Day." I'm not allowed to be a bitch for 365 days? yeah, I'm declaring my own holiday, bitch day. But you don't have to commemorate it because every day is bitch day. That explains alot doesn't it?

I love my mom. Too much, really. Sometimes I think they forgot to cut the umbilical cord. My mother watched me being born. She said she was too out of it to watch the other kids. That's why I'm maladjusted today, I didn't get my rightful share of prenatal drugs. If I'm pregnant someday,
I'd like to try Lamaze but just the same, i want there to be some morphine and 90 proof booze on hand in my nightstand.  I'd also like my husband to be on hand, literally, so I can shatter his knuckles and otherwise abuse him liberally. Let's not forget, every day is bitch day.

These conversations are real!

Debbie: Mom, remember I gave you that song 'No Charge?' I need to borrow it

Mom: I erased it.

Debbie: Oh, I see. Clearly it choked you up. Wait, what do you mean you erased it? I sent you a CD.

Mom: Oh that, I wouldn't erase that. I love that.

Debbie: You just said you erased it.

Mom: I didn't know what you were talking about.

You have to read between the lines here. I should start calling my mom Jeff Spicoli. Her stock reply is "I don't know", I don't know where it is, I don't have it... but that's everyone in my house. It's our polite Jewish way of saying "I am not doing you any favors. Can't you see I have my own life to lead!" When my dad says we need to have a serious talk I'm certain it's going to be stupid and irrelevant. Yesterday he called me 5 times and I kept ignoring him. We have to have an important conversation, he insists.

Debbie's Dad: I said it was important.

Debbie: *sigh* What?

Debbie's Dad: We're taking mother out to dinner Friday or Saturday and you're invited.

Debbie: I didn't realize the invite list was so extensive dad. Friday or Saturday?

Debbie's Dad: I'm not sure

Debbie: This is important? You didn't even pick a day.

Debbie's Dad: Well I have to consult with everyone.

Debbie: Who's everyone dad? This isn't a wedding! I would prefer Friday.

Debbie's Dad: Well I have to consult with everyone.

The Mother's Day dinner plebiscite is scheduled for Thursday.

Debbie's Mom: Can somebody bring me in a soda?

(I am not doing you any favors. Can't you see I have my own life to lead?)

Debbie: Here dad, give this to mom.

Debbie's Dad: Aren't you going to bring it?

Debbie: Dad!

Debbie's Dad: Your mother wears the pants in the family.

Debbie: No dad, she doesn't, you do... Maybe one day a week she wears the pants.

Debbie's Dad: That's not true. She wears the pants 6 days a week. Only on the Shabbos do I get a break.

No we're not religious, but my dad's got all the lines. My pop's a funny guy. He's one of the most confident joke tellers you'll ever listen to. He can tell the worst joke but because he's convinced it's the funniest joke in the world, you have to laugh. At him not with him, but still...

Maybe I just don't get certain jokes


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