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Thursday, December 16, 2004

Mama Mayhem

I need to step away from Christmas for a day. No, I, unfortunately, have not run out of holiday hoopla to share but I thought maybe today I should introduce you to my mother.

Well, she isn't here right now. I mean, she's not dead or anything. But she isn't aware of my blogging, mostly because of what I am about to tell you, and because she is virtually new to this thing we call the Internet. She calls it "the CNN thingy inside the little blue 'e' on the screen", because I set CNN as her homepage on Explorer.

I bought her a laptop for her 60th birthday this past June. She's never been on a computer but really wanted one and more than anything, she really wanted to learn how to use it. For the first two weeks her laptop was a $2,000 electronic solitaire game. Once she began to familiarize herself with that, she "found" pinball.

"Yes, mother! Oh, sure. I bet you are! You're right. No one plays pinball better than you, for you are the one, the only, Pinball Wizard!"

Please note here, I have sat down at the computer (for many painful hours) showing this woman step-by-step how to do various things. I also have handwritten and typed (saved on her desktop incase she loses the paper version) instructions for each said task.

She has been doing this for six months. During this time, I decided, she is either...
A) trying to kill me slowly and painfully
B) fucking with me to find the breaking point she couldn't find when I was a child
C) really a friggin' airhead in need of a refill
D) wasted too many good chromosomes having so many children
E) hitting the sauce again
or F) all of the above

Guess the answer and you'll win a prize. If you said "F - all of the above", I say, ding-ding-ding, we have a winner folks. Step right up and claim your prize. It's a lovely prize really. It's the sanity I no longer have. Here you go boys and girls!

When I was little, I thought this was not only the prettiest lady in the universe but the smartest. I must have been a crack baby to think such rubbish!

Don't even start your hogwash about, "Lois, shame on you, that's your mom!" or "Lois that's not nice!"

I'll tell ya what's not nice. Last night I was at home, minding my very own business. My phone rang. It was my mother. We exchanged the regular pleasantries and before long, she was going in for the kill. I e-mailed her some photos I'd taken of my dad and she was having "a devil of a time" retrieving them. I decided to send her the photos again, but this time through instant messenger. She said she had to have these pictures right away. I wondered if Dad was trying out for some modeling gig I didn't know about.

"Okay Mom, first open your MSN IM."
"My what?"
"The little blue guy with the butterfly thingy."
"I don't see that."
"It should be on your far right, at the bottom of your screen."
"There's nothing down there."
"Mom, do you remember where I told you to find the volume to listen to Barry Manilow?"
"Oh, down there! I see."
"Okay, click on the little blue guy."
"The little blue guy?"
"Yes. Your MSN instant messenger."
"Honey, I don't want to chit chat. I want to get those pictures of Dad."
"Trust me Mom, I don't want to chit chat either! This is how I plan to send the pictures to you. Could you please click on the blue guy two times, very fast?"
"With my left clicker or my right clicker?"
"Always your left Mom. Unless I say, 'right click', it's always your left."
"I don't know why I can't remember that. You say it all the time."
"I know."
"Oh, there it is!" She said this with such surprise, it was almost hard to be mad at her. Almost.
"Great! Now you need to sign in. Did you keep the password saved?"
"The password?"
"Never mind that. Is there a place for you to hit 'Sign in'?"
"Yes, right on the little rectangle box."
"Good! Hit that."
"Sign in?"
"Okay. Well now it's doing this weird thing and the little blue guy is spinning around and around."
"That's okay. It's signing in."
"Remember when you were little and would spin for hours and hours. You were such a cute kid."
"Yes, I remember." (It was what I did when you were making me lose my fucking marbles mother, of course I remember.)
"Oh, Lois Lane is online."
"Yes I am. I am waiting for you."
"Well, here I am," she giggled.

This went on for quite some time but she finally made it to MSN IM. I was proud, for a second.

"What you need to do now is hit 'Accept'."
"I don't see that."
"It's in the little blue flashing box at the bottom of your screen. The one that says, 'Lois Lane conversation'. Do you see that?"
"Oh, that's you."
"Yep, still me."

Then she did the unheard of. She was watching TV. I could tell I didn't have 100% of her attention, more so than normal.

"What are you doing Mom?"
"Oh my god! The president's legs just went out from under him. Oh my god!"

Freaked out, I hop on CNN dot com. I checkout US, Homepage, World news and nothing.

"Was this during a press conference Mom? Where is the president?"
"On NBC."

I run to the television, only to find out my mother was watching fucking West Wing!

"Mom, I gotta go."
"What about my pictures?"

Fuck your pictures and fuck West Wing and while you're at it, fuck me for being so goddamned stupid buying you something you are too insane to operate!

"When I come over Saturday, I'll retrieve them from your e-mail, okay?"
"Oh, that's a great idea! I just wish I could look at them right now. But it's okay. I can wait."
"Thanks for being so patient with me Mom. I have to go (STAB MYSELF IN THE FUCKING HEAD WITH A BUTTER KNIFE) take a shower. I love you."
"I love you too sweetie. Thanks for your help."
"No problem Mom. Goodnight."

And that my friends, is my mother.