April's Real Blog

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Drawing on the chesterfield

Michael was kind enough to stop by here and post another one of his stories from the past:

Robotic little sis. Thanks ever so much for baby-sitting last night and for the home repair. I know my lovely wife, Deanna, was a little angry with you for the motor oil you spilled on our new chesterfield; but I understand completely. After all, sometimes when it comes to chesterfields the creative urges can’t be squelched even though there may be a tremendous price to pay for it, like the dent in your head where Deanna tagged you with that crowbar as she was chasing you around the house.

It reminds me of a time when I was young. I had my felt pens. I loved my felt pens. They were in colours of yellow and green and blue and purple and orange. In fact, when I was younger, I loved my felt pens so much, I often felt like I was a little kid drawn with a felt pen. Strange, eh?

I remember looking over my old colouring books: My C for Chicken book on which I scrawled an orange colour across the chicken, leaving the C for corn untouched. This is because I prefer eating chicken to eating corn. Then I had a very, nicely coloured scarecrow and horse colouring book. I don’t think I coloured them, because the scarecrow had on a red shirt and the horse was brown, and I didn’t have those colours in my felt pens. I think those might have been the pages mom liked to show off, when she was in her "Michael is so talented" mood. Now the very simple drawing I had done of a zombie, a house, a tree and a bird were coloured with colours I had, so I was pretty sure I coloured them. But I am rambling too much. The important part was the joy I had with my felt pens.

Now there was one occasion with my felt pens where I had become a little overenthusiastic with my artistic endeavours. And as many young chaps my age, I sought forgiveness for my deeds before they were uncovered by my parents, in the hope that I could avoid wear and tear on my bottom. So, I went to my mother, as she was washing the dishes and I said, “Mom..I know…I just know you’re going to be mad at me.”

I gave her my best hangdog look, but it didn’t work as mom grasped my wrist and snapped the bone right there. I guess I don’t know if the bone really snapped, because we never went to a doctor to check it out; but as I think back on it and how it looked at the time, with my hand bent back like that, I think it was snapped. I held in the pain though, as mom said, “What happened, honey? Tell me what it is.”

Well after that snapped wrist I was suddenly in hysterics. I grabbed mom around the neck and said, “I’m scared to tell you-ma…I know you’re going to be mad! You’re going to HATE me, ma!! Please don’t hate me, please!” After all, if she was willing to snap my wrist before she knew what happened, I knew it was going to be a lot worse when she did find out. I know when I tell this story to other people, they generally say, “Cheeze Mike, will you shut up? I’m watching the game.” But for me, it was a real fear of losing parental love.

Mom grabbed my left elbow, and I thought she was going to snap my arm, but then she grabbed my shirt with her left hand and pulled it tight around my neck so it was hard to breathe. Then she said, “Michael…I want you to be able to trust us with your problems…”

She pulled back and did the standard Patterson hand to her chest to indicate deep emotion and said, “You’re expecting me to be angry & I don’t even know what’s happened. Tell me, sweetheart…”

Well, I fell for it. I gave my mom a big hug and said, “I drew all over the new couch with felt pens.” Why didn’t I say “chesterfield “ instead of “couch”? Well, mom likes the States’ way of saying things, sometimes, and I thought that might help. But it didn’t. Right after I said that I could feel mom’s head expand in fury. I could feel her growing 5 eyebrows of anger. And most importantly, I could feel her dig those sharp fingernails into my back.

So, you see, robotic little sis. When Deanna nailed you with that crowbar, that was just her way of showing that she still loves you, even though the new chesterfield is ruined; just the way my snapped wrist and deep scratches down my back showed my mom’s love for me. Now if you could just stop hiding in the basement behind the central vac and come get a butter tart, I think we would all feel a lot better.

Michael Patterson
Thank you for telling me that story, Michael, and also for luring me out of the basement with those delicious butter tarts. These stories from the past are most instructive. Do you think it would have been a good idea to go to Deanna before the oiled chesterfield was discovered and to beg her not to hate me for what I had done? I am quite interested to learn the most effective strategies for negotiating Patterson family life.


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  • At 6:04 PM, Blogger DreadedCandiru2 said…

    Your best bet is to shudder in simulated horror when you hear the name "Therese". This is, of course, because the Pattersons all believe that "Therese, last name unknown" spends her days plotting to, as they put it, "make trouble" for them.

  • At 12:32 AM, Blogger howard said…


    It was so good to see you briefly yesterday when you came in from your ship board adventures. You didn’t look any worse for wear, except for the odour of meat about you. Personally, I am quite delighted when a plan so utterly simple works.

    I was visiting your Grandpa Jim and your step-grandmother Iris and listening to Iris’ usual round of complaints about how she has to take care of Grandpa Jim all by herself. Then I related to Iris your difficulties in being sent off to a weekend camp, which lasted more than a weekend, and how you escaped onto a tortilla boat headed for Barbados, and how your rescue attempt failed. I don’t think Iris really believed that story.

    Well, then Iris launched into a discussion about how the scuttlebutt was that according to officially witnessed occurrence, you had not visited with your Grandpa Jim even one time since you turned 16. I was, to be frank, surprised that the officially witnessed occurrence would try to paint you, previously the award-winner in grandfather visiting, in such a negative light. Iris said, “Well, Coward (her name for me), if you really want April back, I will call up Elly and tell her I desperately need someone to serve Jim tea and not coffee and to help him learn to count to two, and to bring Dixie over for a visit. That should have April back in no time.”

    I said, “I don’t get it.” Iris said, “Coward, dear, if you notice I said tea and not coffee. Elly will have nothing to do with an occasion if coffee is not involved. Plus she hates those education exercises with Jim almost as much as I do. I hate them more because I have actually done them. And then there is Dixie, who is, shall we say to be polite, not Elly’s favourite dog, especially with her lack of bowel control after a visit with us. I think it’s fairly safe to say April will be home pretty quickly.”

    A quick phone call from Iris to your mom and the next thing I know, you’re back. Sometimes it’s not who you know, but how much who you know hates to do something.

    Howard Bunt


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