April's Real Blog

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Mom's scary memory

Mike and Dad found themselves watching Mom having thot-bubble reminiscences, and Mike lived 2 tell abt it:

Formerly little sis. As I understand it, my muses of Sheilagh Shaunessy and Leonard Driscoll got into a little battle over my brain yesterday, despite your comment that you didn’t think my brain was anything to fight over. Somehow or other, my mother got involved with the situation and ended up braining me with a bathroom scale. That snapped me out of it, but then I became aware of my mother looking forlorn holding the scale and saying, “I wish I weighed now, what I weighed then!” Then thought bubbles starting coming out of her head and everyone rushed out of the house screaming, “Run away! Run away! She’s reminiscing!” I say everyone, but dad walked in at that moment, took a look at the thought balloons and said, “Michael. Do you remember that time we found your mother in the kitchen late at night almost choked to death on a chicken bone while also eating pie? I remember saying to her, ‘Next time, eat the pie and not the chicken. No bones about it.’” Then dad laughed and giggled to himself for a bit.

I said to him, “Dad. Is that the story these thought balloons are trying to tell?” Then dad looked at them, “I suppose so; but it is from your mother’s perspective and whenever she tells these old stories, she has a tendency to make it seem like I am a perfect ass. Let’s check them out together, shall we?”

So we looked at the first picture and it was of two legs standing on a green, furry bathroom scale, and a speech balloon with "Not bad honey! ...I'm down to 125!" I said, “I remember that scale. I loved it. You were never cold when you wanted to use it. What ever happened to it?” Dad said, “Destroyed in a fit of pique by your mother when she went over 140.” I said, “Kilograms?” Dad said, “No. pounds. Never did go for kilograms. I don’t know why.” Dad said, “Notice those legs, son. See the adhesive bandage. Obviously this story is set during a time when your mother shaved her legs and cared about her appearance, but not so much she painted her toenails. She was terrible at the shaving though. She usually had a few adhesive bandages on her legs somewhere. Maybe she thought she could shave off a few kilograms, I mean pounds.” Then dad laughed and giggled to himself for a bit.

So we looked at the second picture and there was dad, mom and me eating the heart out of some animal. Dad was holding a giant piece of pie, so I suppose it was really pie we were eating. Dad said, “Mmmm. Pie. Now, if you look carefully, son, you can see your mother’s method of cutting pie was to cut out noncontiguous pieces.” I said, “Noncontiguous?” Dad said, “Pieces that don’t go together. Kind of like an old story and a modern commentary on it.” Sure enough, the pie had two empty spaces in it, and they weren’t together. I said, “No, dad. Really, why did mom do that?” Dad said, “Well, my speech balloon gives you the clue. It says, ‘Are you sure you’re not going to have some of this great pie?’ So, the uncut piece between the two cut pieces was a symbolic indication of her will power not to eat any pie. It was her piece of the pie, untaken. It was as if she were making piece (peace) with the pie.” Then dad laughed and giggled to himself for a bit.

So we looked at the third picture and there was dad and mom, and mom sipped coffee while dad was eating the pie and letting a drop of his mouth saliva drip out of his mouth. Dad said, “You notice how you left your plate on the table, Michael? I think you were 25 or 26 when you finally started putting your dirty dishes in the sink or in the dishwasher. Your mom and I were so proud when you finally put a dish up all by yourself.” I said, “The same way you are proud of me for getting my book published?” My dad said, “Let’s look at the caption. I was saying, ‘I gotta admire your (chomp, drool) stamina, El…but you’re missing some fantastic stuff here!’” I said, “What is with the way you are holding the pie on your fork? It looks like you speared an amoeba.” Dad said, “Your mom’s pies did have a lot in common with unicellular organisms. Of course these days, a unicellular organism is a girl with only one cell phone.” Then dad laughed and giggled to himself for a bit.

So we looked at the fourth picture and there was mom, lying in bed with a come hither look. Dad was partially naked too, but he was talking to a clothes hanger he was carrying. I said, “Dad, do you have a lot of conversations with clothes hangers?” Dad said, “Don’t be silly son. They are just a bunch of hangers-on.” Then dad laughed and giggled to himself for a bit. I said, “Well your caption says you told the hanger, ‘After two weeks of weighing everything I ate and doing without my desserts – I’d go mad.’” I said, “Was mom mad?” Dad said, “Let’s look at the next thought balloon.”

So we looked at the fifth picture and there was mom, lying in bed, and looking shockingly like Elizabeth. Dad said, “*#@! Michael. I want you to know right now, I have never slept with your sister, or anyone who looked like your sister. I have not cheated on your mother.” I said, “No one’s accusing you of cheating, dad.” Dad said, “People ask me all the time, ever since September, if I am cheating on Elly.” I said, “I don’t know where they could have gotten that impression, dad.” Dad said, “Me either, but if I ever catch the guy who is spreading those rumours, I am going to show him exactly what a Patterson does when he is angry.” I said, “Write a scathing newspaper column using fake names?” Dad said, “What? No! Only an idiot would get revenge that way.” I said, “Let’s look at the next thought balloon.”

So we looked at the sixth picture and there was mom checking dad’s pulse, while “ZZZ” was coming out of his mouth. Dad said, “A woman who checks a man’s pulse when he is asleep is a marvel.” I said, “Well, that’s one word for it.”

Then we came to the final picture of mom, red-faced, with cross-eyed green eyes, and sweat or tears streaming off her body in all directions, all while grasping a piece of pie in one hand and in the other a piece of chicken. Dad said, “There she is, choking on the chicken bone.” I said, “Dad this is a horrible picture. It scares me just looking at it.” Dad said, “Well, Michael, you have to put things in perspective. Choking on the chicken bone didn’t stop your mother from finishing up that pie.”

I guess dad is right. Mom is one of those persons with a clearly-defined set of priorities, even from her earliest days.

Michael Patterson
Mike, while I was hiding from Mom's thot bubbles, I came across a foto album where Mom had a pic of that weird scale U described. It had a caption w/"Scale on which I weighed 125 on February 24, 1980. May it R.I.P." Mom is so weird. So is Dad, of course.


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  • At 8:45 AM, Blogger DreadedCandiru2 said…

    She has a scary sense of priorities, you mean. If she were angry at your dad for sitting there looking like he was tormenting her, she should have told him to his face instead of avenging herself on innocent foodstuffs. That's the problem I see with your family; everybody talks but nobody says anything.

  • At 9:11 AM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    yeah, my fam puts the "ass" in "passive-aggressive," i'm afraid.


  • At 2:51 PM, Blogger howard said…


    I am not sure I agree with your sentiments about your mother when it comes to food. Whereas it is true that Pattersons are known for their passive-aggressiveness, I think it is fairly safe to say that where your mother is concerned, there is no such thing as an "innocent foodstuff" or being passive. I know when I have seen your mother unhinge her jaw to go for the maximum pastry consumption, "passive" is the furthest thing from my mind. Actually, I start to hear those noises like Godzilla made in the Godzilla movies; but I am sure that's just my imagination.

    Howard Bunt

  • At 3:05 PM, Anonymous jeremy jones said…

    april, if ur mom wuz scarfin' down food like that in the middle of the nite, i think thass a sign of like an eatin' disorder or sumthin'. duz she still do that? i'm so glad ur not like ur mom & u worry 'bout how much u weigh or how much u usedta weigh. wut i mean is not that u don't care how much u weigh, cuz u gotta gr8-lookin' body, so u do care. thass obvious. not that i mean the only reasn i like u iz cuz u have a gr8-lookin' body. i like ur brain 2. & ur personality. & the way u smell. cuz u smell good. thass the reasn. but not just cuz u have good perfume, eh? & ur talented & smart & stuff. all those thingz put 2gethah. thass wut makes u attractive, not just ur body. 'course that duzn't mean that just cuz u & ur band decided 2 break up that meanz ur not as pretty. i mean since ur talented duzn't mean u hafta show off ur talents 2b attractive. i can just know ur talented & thass enuff 4 me. well, wut i mean iz not like "enuff 4 me" means that i hafta have all thoze thingz or ur not attractive. if u were in a car wreck & gotta a buncha scarz or sumthin', i still wud think ur pretty & stuff. it's that inner beauty thing. 'course ur outer beauty iz still way hott. wut i mean iz i'm glad ur not ur mom. thass wut i mean.

  • At 4:36 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    howard, like jeremy sez, the behaviour mike was describing mom as doing in that last thot bubble is sumthing peeps w/an eating disorder do. our health teacher told us that a lot of times when ppl have a binge disorder, the bingeing is, like, a way of swallowing yr emotions insteada dealing w/them directly. that's how it fits in2 b-ing passive aggressive. like if mom were mad @ sumthing dad did or sed, but insteada being all, "i'm mad @ u," she sed nuthing and then w8ed until she was alone w/the fridge and stuffed her face.

    jeremy, i can't say 4 sure if mom duz this nemore, since, if she did, she wd do it when i was not around or w8 until i'm asleep. but i do know that she doesn't worry so much abt stuffing her face in fronta other ppl, so mayB she just duz that instead now.

    oh, and thanx 4 the compliments.


  • At 7:08 PM, Anonymous liz patterson said…


    As soon as I read this story I went straight over to Mike and Dee's house to look in that junk that Mom left in their basement, to see if I could find that wonderful scale, if Mom could weigh 125 on it, maybe I could too, after all, it had to be a miracle, and then I could eat whatever I wanted too, and only weigh 125, but Mike told me, "Liz, I think the point of that story was that the scale was broken, see, Mom wasn't on a diet at all," and I grabbed Mike by the collar and explained to him, "BUT THE SCALE SAID 125 AND THAT'S ALL THAT COUNTS, UGLY BROTHER!" and the next thing I knew Dee was whispering in Mike's ear and he was grudgingly agreeing to do something and then he stayed home to watch the kids while Dee drove me to the nearest drug store and bought me a scale, then we went back to their house and she did something to it with a hammer and some tape and then glued a shag carpet remnant on it and now I have my very own pink fuzzy bathroom scale that says "125" every time I step on it, Mom was so right, every woman needs a sewing room, Dee is a miracle worker in hers, the only problem now is that Shiimsa thinks the scale is her enemy and they fight every morning when I go in the bathroom to try to do my girl business, but that is the price of thinness I guess.


  • At 7:29 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    liz, i m not sure if u realized this wd happen when u called up mom 2 tell her abt yr "best scale ever," but she is on her way over 2 yr apt 2 "weigh" herself.


  • At 8:22 PM, Anonymous liz patterson said…


    At first I thought a weighing party with Mom would be fun, we would have Jello shots and take turns stepping on my fuzzy scale, but when Mom got here, it was a little different than I pictured, first of all, she bellowed, "Out of my way!" and stomped over to where my scale was sitting and when she stepped on it the scale made a funny groaning sound and the needle moved over to 128, well Mom bounced up and down on it a few times, shouting, "That can't be right!", and then the needle moved over more, to 133, and I said, "Well Mom you have gotten older and wider since you weighed 125," but she wouldn't listen, she shouted, "If you weigh 125, then I weigh 125, we look just like sisters, everybody at Lilliputs always told me so!" and she kicked the scale hard against the wall before getting on it again and then there was this terrific SPROING and next thing I knew the needle was moving back and forth really fast, but it was hovering around the 215 range, and I said, "Mom, I think the scale is broken!" and she said, "Well of course it's broken, I could have told you that!" and she jumped up and down on it a few times and said, "See? Broken. And you said you had a magic scale," and I said, "No I didn't, all I said was, I weigh 125 on it," and Mom suddenly snorted something about a whole package of Oreos and a pan of Kraft dinner and the next thing I knew she was gone, my pretty pink scale was broken, and I had all these Jello shots to drink by myself, it's been a tough night.


  • At 9:08 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    liz, that xxplains y mom was yelling, "lousy liz magic!" just b4 biting thru a fone book.

    ne1 got an xxtra fone book?


  • At 2:05 AM, Anonymous liz patterson said…


    Yay, we are finally back to my turn!, anyway, I brought Anthony one of Mike's free books because Mom made a list of people we hadn't collected compliments from yet and said it was my job to collect some compliments from Anthony, anyway, so I took the book over to his house one night after Frenchy was in bed, and told him he had to read it right then, well of course after reading the first few words Anthony immediately said, "Your brother writes well, Elizabeth," in the very formal way he does now that we are Polite Dating, and I acknowledged his compliment properly by thanking him, as I am a Patterson I am authorized to accept compliments on behalf of all other Pattersons, then I checked some of the things Mom told me I could say in response to a compliment, I wrote them down on my hand, anyway, I picked the one about how Mike has always been a good writer because the other ones were all blurred from my palms sweating, I was nervous, it has been awhile since I got to be the focus of a real-time love life story line, anyway, just as I thought we might get down to some serious complimenting business, Frenchy popped out and started to shriek bratty-like that she wanted to see the book, which at first I thought was stupid because she is only supposed to be like 2 years old, but when I saw her it made more sense, because her aging is going so fast now, she looks like she is 6 and talks like it too, also she is advanced in brattiness, but that is only to be expected because of who her mom is, being French-Canadian is a terrible handicap, and you can tell that Frenchy is meant to be thought of as handicapped because she looks a lot like Shannon Lake, anyhow, before I knew it, Frenchy was horning in between me and Anthony, being a romance speed bump and insisting Anthony was hers all hers, and I tried to sweeten her up by asking if I could sit with them, but Frenchy said I could only sit on the other part of the couch, well, let me tell you, I almost gave her a good old fashioned Patterson drowning in the creek of children we do not really want, but then I remembered that soon I will be the stepmother and I can send her to boarding school, I can't wait.



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