Mom and I decided to go to Perkins because we rock like that. I had originally suggested the pulse-racing thrills of IHOP, but then I remembered Karen had given me a coupon for Perkins. But when I got to Perkins I noticed the coupon was no longer good.
Mom was already in her assigned booth. She gave me a wan smile, perfect for painting.
"It seems the coupon is already expired," I said as I slid in.
"Ohhh, noo! I'm so sorry, Greg."
"Yeah. First Trump, now this."
Mom ordered what I was having: pocket meat. Mmm-mm good!! (It's a new holiday treat!) But first we started with the plate o' degradation.
"So I was annoyed with Chris yesterday. I had sent a text, on my phone, you know, and the text came back, something like, 'Way to go, I'm so proud of you for texting!' I wrote back, 'I've been texting for a full year now!' Does she think I'm stupid?"
"You showed her, Mom. And for the purposes of this blog, this is Chris your friend, not your son. So the nice people at home know."
"I just didn't like her patronizing attitude. I know she didn't mean anything by it, but... Speaking of which, my neighbor wrote me this nasty little note."
"You know how I go over to feed her dogs every Friday, and yesterday she left me a note not to give her dogs too many dog treats. They were getting fat! How can she possibly say that? I've only been going over there for the last month!"
"You were giving Chris's dogs bits of your turkey meat on Thanksgiving. And a frenzy of snarling dogs broke out and we had to separate the dogs. (And for the purposes of this blog, this Chris... aw who cares.)"
"But that was Thanksgiving. I'm not giving too many treats to her dogs. She's just a little anal, that woman."
"Speaking of anal, Pat claims that his mother would take his rectal temperature after every diaper change. Heh, heh."
"Oh, I don't want to hear about Pat! I feel sorry for him, I do, but..."
"And then on Thanksgiving Pat got bitch-slapped by his father. But then Pat turned his dad around with a karate move like lightnin' and pinned him against the refrigerator."
Mom pushed away her platter. "I don't have an appetite for anything anymore."
"Maybe if they stuffed those waffles in someone's pocket first?"
Then, smirking, I regaled Mom with the tale of The Expired Tags. I got a 75 dollar ticket, because I hadn't noticed my tags were expired since they never sent me the renewal notice in the mail. So I went to the DMV where they told me I had to get my emissions tested. Enjoying life, I left again and just as I was getting onto Hampden a cop car bounced down from a dirt lot and almost cut me off. I swerved around him like a Tokyo drift. As I got on Hampden I noticed the cop was blocking traffic behind me. Hampden was completely empty. It turned out there was this huge funeral procession for that state trooper. A line of cop cars with their lights on stretching for miles, and I was just ahead of it, all alone on the street as firefighters and police and ambulance were parked along the side, standing with their hands on their hearts. I waved to them, because why not."
Mom stared at me.
"So now I know what it's like to be a hero. A dead one."
Our bill came. It was an outrageous 22 dollars and 15 cents.
Mom heaved a sigh. "I'm really sorry about the coupon."
"Me, too, Mom. Me, too."