I wake up at 2 a.m. with razor blades in my throat. The cold my older daughter had two days ago invaded me and I hear a faint strum of a guitar. I walk downstairs and there’s Harry Chapin singing his magnum opus:
Cat’s in the Cradle and the Silver Spoon
Little Boy Blue and the Man on the Moon
When you’re coming home Dad
I don’t know when
But we’ll get together –
CRASH! BOOM! SMASH! His guitar neck in my hand, pieces of it all over the stairs, I glare at him and say, “Sorry.” I hand it back.
“Hey! You copied me!” says John Belushi at the end of the stairs.
“I learn from the best.” I take a shot of NyQuil and go back to bed.
Later that morning, I’m up, still in a purple NyQuil haze, making a peanut butter and banana sandwich for my daughter’s lunch. I set it on the table and a hand with a ring on every finger reaches for it. I slap his wrist.
“I…I…I…I’m sorry ma’am. It’s just that I don’t get too many peanut butter and banana sandwiches in heaven.”
“That’s okay, Elvis. But it’s for my daughter’s lunch.”
“I understand, Ma’am.”
“Elvis, you know I love you honey. And you know I don’t mind you calling me ma’am. In fact, the only time I like ma’am is if it’s attached to a Southern accent, which you undoubtedly have. But you need to find yourself a good chef up there.”
“None of them know how to cook hillbilly.”
“Yeah, that could be a problem. Tell ya what. I’ll put in a good word to my grandma, I heard she was a fantastic chef.”
“She know how to cook collard greens?”
I turn on the radio and as usual, the procession begins. Robert Palmer and his women with slicked back hair, white faces and red lipstick set up their instruments, not that they know how to play them anyways. He starts singing,
The lights are on and you’re not home
Your will is not your own.
“Mr. Palmer! You know I got a bad case of loving you but your music is not conducive to a preschooler’s learning environment. She needs to concentrate.”
He’s dejected, but I’ve told him so many times before. Only Mozart in the morning. He’s more than welcome in the afternoon when I’m doing dishes. Wolfgang rolls in his harpsichord leaving talcum powder prints from his wig on the floor. He sits down and wails out “Rondo Alla Turca“.
I turn to put dishes in my sink and Hunter Thompson is rummaging through my medicine cabinet next to the fridge. “Hunter, you know I kicked Vicodin a long time ago.”
“Yeah, just thought you might have a few left.”
“Ha! You know that’s not possible! Besides you won’t find anything stronger than cold medicine.”
“What about this?”
“That’s for my under-active thyroid.”
“High blood pressure. Now off you go.”
Hunter shuts the cabinet door. “Whatever happened to housewives and their ‘secret’ medications?”
“Number one, we’re called stay at-home moms. Number two, thanks to Saint Erma, we don’t have to hide the fact that our jobs are sometimes crappy.”
“Oh yeah, Saint Erma.”
Just then a choir of angels sing, and Erma Bombeck appears with a glowing aura of light. I have no choice but to genuflect.
to be continued…