Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Consultant Is Available

I am careening toward the precipice overlooking the abyss of badgirldom. I can't help myself. But I can try to make excuses and minimize the impending damage. I don't want to badmouth my own mama. But I can't stop the flow of information pouring out my fingertips.

I love my mother. Dearly. She has been the guiding force in my life, and to this day fills the gaps in my day-to-day existence like no other selfless being could begin to dream of filling. That said, let's get right to it.

What was she thinking? After church, when she returned the #1 son to the Mansion, she also returned six plastic containers. It's not like they were valuable containers, such as Tupperware, or even the Christmas-themed plastic tubs which are used to distribute the annual holiday Chex mix. Granted, I had told her that I would take the containers back. In their heyday, they held the precious Hot & Sour Soup to which I used to be addicted, before having my thyroid gouged out. I took a sabbatical from the H & S to avoid coughing, thus jarring loose whatever stitches or packing might have been deposited in the cavity at the base of my throat which used to house my gargantuan thyroid. That H & S soup is OH SO H! And then the season slid into full summer, when even Mrs. Hillbilly Mom does not crave steaming, esophagus-searing soup, and I have not yet gotten back into the swing of the delectable H & S.

The thing with these quart-sized plastic containers is that they have a soup-tight seal. Nothing leaks out of them. Nuclear waste could be transported coast to coast by rail in these transparent, stackable tubs. I have given my mom chili, vegetable soup, spaghetti, ham and beans, cabbage and sausage, and chicken and dumplings in this poor-man's Tupperware. Jeff Foxworthy would be proud. Nary a drip betwixt the Mansion and the end of her trip. The containers are utilitarian, and free! So my issue is not with her bringing them back. It's with her manner of transport.

Most people would take those six plastic quart containers, set one on the table, and stack the other five inside. The lids could loll separately in a recycled petroleum-based sack from The Devil's Playground, alongside the horizontal tower of containers. But that's not how my mom does it. Ever.

Mom put the lid on each container. She shoved all six lidded containers into one Devil's bag, willy-nilly, lids and bottoms akimbo. And because those containers are rambunctious ne'er-do-wells intent on escaping the minute her attention should wane, Mom tied the top of the bag shut with three knots. Just to be sure.

I had no idea that Mom was once a Boy Scout. That she had sailed the seas as a bosun's mate, harvested fish from the deep, climbed the North Face of Everest, and competed in the Calgary Stampede. Her knots know no rival. The only way to open a bag closed with a Mom's knot is to rip a hole in the side of the bag.

If she had driven off the low-water bridge on the way to the Mansion, that sack of soup containers could have supported Mom and #1 on a float down the creek without a paddle, into Big River, down the Mississippi, through the Gulf of Mexico, across the wide Atlantic, and perhaps around the world. Mom might sign on as a consultant with Mayflower, or North American Van Lines. Far be it from me to broach the subject of her container-sacking habits. I hope she has many more years to annoy me with her packing pecadilloes.

I love my mother. Immensely.

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