"Yes, that's the look I've decided to go for. After fifty years: the Dad look."
"It just doesn't look good."
"You act as if I have diarrhea smeared back there. I mean, I do, just not in that particular area..." I muttered and mumbled.
Mom scowled at her plate. There was a giant frond of lettuce blocking out her cheeseburger and thick-cut peppered fries. She kept flopping the lettuce from once side of her plate to another as she got at the good stuff.
"Mom? Mom! Do you want to put that lettuce on my plate? It's just empty calories."
Like a Jules Verne heroine, Mom continued to valiantly battle the lettuce monster. Chewing, she said something I couldn't hear. Something about diarrhea?
"Do you have wax in your ears?! I said, SALT, please."
"Right-o. Actually..." I passed her the smug with a salt look. "My ears are pretty wax-free. Go ahead, say something. I'll hear it!"
"At the urgent care, as I was recovering from beriberi or yellow Hawaiian fever, the doctor happened to notice how gross my ears were--and how I looked like dad, too. Horror all around. Anyway! They irrigated my ears. As I lay on my side and they flushed in this warm liquid stuff to soften up my brains, I got to doze off a little. It occurred to me that the Volcano Van guy actually looked like that jackass on the eating channel...
"Which led me to wonder drowsily if it was too late to put that into my blog? Because, you know, my blog needs strict accuracy. So people can now really see who I was dealing with, and all... Then my pleasant ear reveries were punctured by the wailing howl of a child being tortured in the next room. The kid was just screaming. OWWWWW OWWW, I'M SCARED SCARED SCARED OUGGHHHHHHHH OWWWWWW WAAAAAAAH!!! This went on for twenty straight minutes. When the nurse told me to turn on my other side, I said just please don't do to me whatever you're doing to that kid heh heh. She was not amused, but she told me they had yet to even touch the kid. Yikes. The kid really hates doctors. After my ears were wonderfully flushed out, I went outside and felt the sunlight full on my face and saw a mom with her kid sucking on a lollipop. It looked like he'd been crying. The kid turned and gave me an ugly face. I must have looked like a doctor! Ha, ha?"
Mom lifted her lettuce frond again, as if checking to see if sea monkeys had started a little community under there.
"You know, Mom, Pat is reading that decluttering book. Maybe you should go through every dehydrator and waffle maker in your house and ask if it sparks joy? If no joy, then chuck. No joy, trash... Right? If nothing else, you should throw away that lettuce. It's obvious it brings you no joy."
"I think I'll get a box."
"The book also has a section on folding your shirts so they'll stand up at attention."
"Yes, Pat was showing me. You want to fold your clothes so tight that they stand up in the drawer. So you can see everything you have. But he was showing me that his shirts won't stand up, they just sag back. I guess they're suffering from low T."
"No tea?" Mom stopped the waitress. "My son needs some tea. And make sure it's strong!"
"Anyway, Ruby Creek is going through a lot of construction right now. Right by my library it's just crazy. I think this photo exemplifies the meaning of life... for all of us."
"What are you talking about?!"
"Just a traveler lost in this crazy ol' world..." I got up with a faraway look in my eye. I sauntered out into the parking lot, letting the sunlight fall on my face and Mom pick up the bill.