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Thanks for asking.

My mother called me at work this morning. My mother is the most hysterical person on the face of the earth. She and my dad live in Texas these days. Being so far away from my brother and me gives her endless opportunities to fret over nothing. When I say nothing I mean absolutely nothing. If she hears about something bad happening in New York, no matter how far away the trouble is from either of us, the whole family gets a series of hysterical phone calls until she’s sure that everyone is accounted for.

As you’ve probably heard, there was another crane crash in New York today. Unfortunately for me, it was on the Upper East Side, which is where my brother lives. Now, I’m not a bad sister. If I had thought for one single second that my brother was involved I would have been beside myself. But how many people live in the neighborhood? Thousands? Tens of thousands? What are the odds?

So mom called me at work. At this point I was only vaguely aware of the accident.  Her tone of voice suggested that someone had recently died and she was calling to give me the news.

Mom:  (voice shaking)  Wanda?

Me:  What’s wrong?  Who died?  Is Dad dead?

Mom:  Have you heard from your brother?  There was a crane crash!

Me:  GD IT MOM!!!!

She does this at least once a week.  You’d think I’d have learned my lesson by now.

Mom:  Well, have you?

Me:  Oh my God, HE’S FINE!

Mom:  They said someone was killed!

Me:  It wasn’t him!

Mom:  How do you know?

Me:  Mom, you have got to stop bothering me at work with this stuff.  It’s nothing.  He’s fine.

Mom:  This is your brother we’re talking about.

Me:  I have to go.  Goodbye.

Mom:  But..but….

Me:  Goodbye.

What I really wanted to say was, “Mom, get a farking hobby.  Stop pretending to be worried about stupid stuff all the time.  You just want attention.  Freaking out every gd five minutes doesn’t make anyone think you’re a concerned parent, it’s just annoying.”

I know what you’re thinking.  I’m a terrible person.  Maybe I am, but you try going through this every week for 38 years.  But you’re right, every time I have one of these conversations with her I feel horribly guilty.  I mean, she’s just a little old 69 year old lady with nothing better to do than worry about her family.  Except she’s been acting like this since she was at least 31, which is when I was born. 

So what do I do?  I get on the internet to see if my brother’s name comes up among the casualties.  It doesn’t.  But he did call me a few minutes ago to tell me that it happened on his block, so it could very well have been him after all.  I’m a horrible person.

In other news, Harvey Korman died yesterday.  Mr. Rizzuto thinks I’m retarded for liking old comedy shows like Carol Burnett and The Honeymooners, but you and I both know that shows like that were pure awesomeness.  So here’s my thank you to Mr. Korman for making the world a little funnier.  And here’s the least offensive clip from the funniest most politically incorrect, and best movie ever, Blazing Saddles.





  1. I’ma miss the Harvster. Does your mom know you’re a conjoined triplet? Mine laughed…

  2. Is Blazing Saddles actually funny? We’re shopping for movie rentals tonight so I may go check that mess out.

    Wanda, your mom is cute. And you’re mean! Just kidding.

    Upper East Side, huh? Swanky.

  3. My mom’s bizarro sometimes, too. I’ve released the guilt of being annoyed with her. Mostly.

    Yeah, Blazing Saddles is a masterpiece.

  4. Wanda, I used to live with this sort of thing every day.

    Right up until my mum went into nursing care I had to call her every afternoon after I drove from her house to my house (a 10 minute drive!). If I didn’t she’d want my sister to call the police and the ambulance and the fire brigade because I’d been killed in a car crash on the way home.

    Even up until the very end she’d tell my brother and I “don’t go near the water” as we were leaving from our weekly visit with her. She was deathly afraid of water, almost drowned as a child in a dam on the family farm and lived through the Maitland flood in 1955. She was always worried that one of us would drown.

    In 2002 when all those poor people got killed in the Bali bombings, I was in the US staying with my relatives. Poor mum didn’t know where Bali was in comparison to Australia or the US and she thought that I’d been hurt or killed. My sister had to call me at our nephews house so that I could talk to mum and reassure her that I was still very much alive.

    Anyway, what I’m trying to say is even though this must surely give you the shits backwards, try to put up with it.

    In the grand scheme of things, this isn’t the worst you might have to deal with.

    And I promise that in the far distant future you’ll be able to laugh about it.

  5. Though I do agree that it’s not very phreaking funny right now!

  6. Joders, my mom got hit by a car in, like, 1943 (she was completely uninjured) and now she won’t even think about crossing the street without saying a Hail Mary. Oy. I know I should try to be patient.

    And no Sissy, I never told her I had conjoined triplets. I don’t think she’d get the joke.

    Anners, I can’t believe you’ve never seen Blazing Saddles! It’s the funniest movie ever. It’s very, very offensive though, lots of racial jokes.

  7. I remember seeing Blazing Saddles when it first came out in the theaters — we laughed ’til we cried, and the campfire “beans scene” was a particular favorite, but there were many good bits.

    Then, not long ago, we rented the movie on DVD and decided we couldn’t enjoy it anymore. Yesterday’s humor in today’s world just doesn’t have the shock value that made it so brilliant when it was first released.

  8. On the other hand, I have the opposite problem with my own mother. When the floodwaters isolated us in 2006 and we had to Clorox everything, boil our water, and try to survive until our roads were accessible again, I heard nothing from any of my relatives. They forget I’m here — here in existence, much less here in the middle of a horrific flood.

    I wouldn’t mind if, once in a while, I got a call because someone wanted to know I was okay.

  9. My favorite part was the beginning when they’re trying to get the workers to sing a spiritual. Nothing shocking about it, just pure slapstick.

    The next time you have a flood Shado I promise I’ll call. Of course, we might just be suffering through it together….

  10. Maybe you could get your Mom to call Orly instead? That would be enough to make him your plaything if only to get her to stop.

  11. Stevo might be on to something there, Wanda.

  12. He just might be!

  13. I’m with Stevo. She needs Orly’s number.

  14. Hoo boy, lotsa stuff to cover today!:

    You send me your mom’s number, and I’ll send you my mom’s number, and we’ll pass them on to the moms, and I see a best-friendship being born. Whenever we get an ice storm down here (once or twice a year), she calls to make sure I haven’t opened the door or taken a step outside or (God forbid!) thought about getting in the car. For those who don’t know, I live in South Carolina, so ice storms shouldn’t be the biggest worry around, but there you go.

    I have never seen Blazing Saddles. I know, I know — and up until a couple of weeks ago, I had never seen an Indiana Jones movie, although I just watched the first 3 so I could go see the new one without being totally lost.

    I miss Sydney Pollack with all my heart. The Electric Horseman, The Way We Were, Three Days of the Condor, Tootsie (one of my alltime faves), Out of Africa — he made Hollywood as beautiful and relevant as it’s supposed to be at its best.

  15. My mum is the opposite – she’d let me walk around the city at 13 (at night time), leaves her keys sitting in the ignition and swims in shark infested Sydney harbour.

    When my sister was 18 and had finished school she’s take off for days and not call. I got a bit freaked out but mum would assume my sis would call if anything was wrong.

  16. I loooooove Mel Brooks. I eagerly anticipate of Blazing Saddles, the musical! Young Frankenstein is out now I believe.

    I too love the opening where they’re trying to get them to sing a spiritual, and then go into “I get no kick… from champagne!” ROFL!

    Yeah, racial stuff all over the place – but I think Brooks doesn’t leave anyone out there… he makes fun of everyone, including himself. Heh!

  17. …and my mother makes me call her when I get home from just about anything that involves driving for more than a few minutes. I’m glad she’s around, though.

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