Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Second Hand Rap(e)

             As an avid rider of public transportation, I have become increasingly concerned about the behavior of its patrons. Although, like myself, there are respectable human beings who conduct themselves in a courteous and sanitary matter, I have found myself being surrounded, more often than not, by hooligans when I occasionally take the train to work in the morning. Among the many ethical violations that I object to, the most disparaging of them has involved the use of devices that play music. My issue is that my right to embark on a relatively peaceful journey to my place of work has been brutally violated. The murder weapon includes but is not limited to iPods, iPads, mobile devices (such as the Android), and basically anything that can have speakers attached to it. My ears have been raped repeatedly by the disparaging sounds of Young Jeezy. Quite frankly, I have had enough.

            Over the past few days, I have tried excruciatingly to figure out why a person with a fully formed brain would decide to blast to the universe their taste in gratuitous rap music. I fully understand the pleasure of one's personal enjoyment of whatever choice or stripe of music he or she prefers. What I do not understand is the idea that I need to be an audience to it. I can promise to you that at no moment I have felt the urge to plug in speakers to my iPod, seconds after boarding the train, so that the other civilians on their way to work can be serenaded, at a volume that would make the ears of the partially deaf canine bleed, by Celine Dion. It begs into question the correlation between the demonstration of ignorance by those who blare music at a public volume and the type music being blasted. I cannot speak for anyone else who has been a victim of ear rape but I can speak firmly to my personal experience and confidently say that every time I have been awakened from my slumber on the train it has ALWAYS been of the hip hop variety. Is there something in Black culture that demands that not only they be slaves to vulgar lyrics but that they also must broadcast these vile words and ideas to everyone within earshot? I'm not sure if these purveyors of urban music are gangsters or Jehovah's witnesses.

           To make matters worse, many of these humans (I use this term loosely) have made the miraculous discovery, prior to boarding the train, that they themselves are the next 50 Cent (which by the way is pronounced "Fitty Cent" because Black people don't have time for more than one "F". Most of them are far too busy impeding on the world's privacy with their ridiculous slander they call music to be concerned with matters of grammatical correctness ). Many of these disrespectful patrons treat this wild and inappropriate display of loud offensive noise as a kind of sing-a-long or as I call it, "Karaoke for Crackheads" (which oddly is something I would probably find great joy in watching if it was in the evening in an establishment that served ninety-nine cent chicken wings. And of course I would be drunker than Charlie Sheen at his parole officer's wedding). So not only do I become victim to Ludacris rapping about "niggers choking their bitches with stacks of hundred dollar bills whilst simultaneously swiping their Platinum American Express card on their ba-donk-a-donk" but I am forced to also listen to Cracky McGee singing back-up. I didn't know it was physically possible to sing rap music, which is comprised mostly of spoken word, off-key, but I have been proven wrong by several drug dealers whom ride the train with me each morning.

              It would certainly be a fair comparison to look at the application of the boombox in the nineteen seventies and nineteen eighties to the current use of the latest mobile and electronic devices that come with speakers. The difference is that in the case of the boombox the only option was to play the music publicly. This still does not excuse the ignoramuses for pressing the play button and ultimately disturbing the piece with their Run DMC mix tape. Any persons twenty or thirty years ago who infringed upon other people's rights to silence are the reason why there are currently signs at every subway stop in New York City that say "No smoking. No littering. No loud music.".  What is ultimately perplexing to me in today's day and age is the fact that unlike the boombox, with an iPod or any other contemporary contraption of sorts, you actually have to make a concerted effort to make your music heard by all of the world. And to those who bring speakers to attach to their iPods etc. have made even further attempt to be audibly arrogant. All of these gadgets come with free earphones for a reason! They are expected to be used for the purposes of keeping your personal music enjoyment personal. If you cannot tell, I am terribly offended by this aghast display of entitlement. I feel overwhelmingly violated by the sounds of urban vulgarity. I believe that every individual caught on public transportation playing rap music at any volume deemed "public" should be forced into solitary confinement wherein their ears are abused by the music from the latest album of Taylor Swift. And for those of you who continually insist upon disturbing me and other well behaved individuals on public transportation with hate-filled rhetoric backed by a beat disguising itself as music, just remember, your latest tool for social ineptitude is simply a modern day boombox which makes you nothing but a ghetto blaster.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Syrie: The Know-It-All Cyberbitch

           When I was a little nugget, my Mother told me that one day cars would fly. As a young child I felt confused because I thought that flying cars had already been invented; they were called airplanes. "Scientists already have the technology, they just haven't built the roads in the sky yet" my Mother explained. This begs the question, "If there are roads, then how is it considering flying?". Sometimes I wish I were a dumb person with no imagination. Life would be much less confusing. After twenty-five years of being alive including a childhood filled with perplexity and an adult life filled with Smirnoff, vehicles are still very much on the ground. They have yet to levitate. Although this invention has not taken flight, there have been some very bizarre and disturbing inventions in the technological revolution that have been cause for great concern. I seriously believe that many of these new discoveries like Facebook, text messaging, and KeSha are symbols of a cultural and intellectual death in this world. Let me describe the latest technological advancement that is destroying minds across the universe.

            This most recent pervayor of ineptitude comes in the form of a person. We all know her well. She is the bitch who lives inside of the iPhone, her name is Syrie. Clearly the inventors over at Apple had not seen the movie iRobot when first conceptualizing this space queen. Anyone who is familiar with Children of the Corn knows that aliens cannot be trusted, even those that are created in a warehouse in California. For those of you who do not know, Syrie is a woman who has been implanted into the latest incarnation of the iPhone. She literally knows everything. You can actually have a conversation with her. You can ask Syrie any question you can think of and she will provide you with the answer. 'What is the square root of 81?", "What was the latest bill passed by U.S. Congress?", "Which Kardashian donated the most money to the NAACP?". You may not know the answer to any of these questions but Syrie does. She can give you directions to places literally anywhere around the world one street and turn signal at a time. She has a bevvy of endless information in endless categories such as history, mathematics, and government. And I have a SERIOUS problem with all of this! First of all, I am not sure if this constitutes me as an ego-maniac, but I am of the belief that my cell phone should NOT know more than me. It is embarrassing to think that some cunt named Syrie who was sold to me at a discounted rate from Radio Shack has a Harvard degree and is constantly shoving it in my face! My theory is  that the more my phone knows, the less I do! This experiment has been tested before. Just take a moment to think  about your five closest friends. The top five people in your life that you talk to the most and are closest with. Can you list their phone numbers without looking it up on your phone? Of course you can't! And neither can I. What's the point of remembering people's phone number's anymore when your phone itself does it for you? And that's just a conversation about phone numbers! Now that my phone knows the names of every sitting president, the nutritional benefits of asparagus, and my social security number, why should I? Just get ready for a DUMBER America!

             My larger concern is, what is Syrie going to do once she has sucked all of the information out of my brain? It may seem ridiculous to you that Syrie would have some sort of ulterior motive other than my personal convenience but the fact of the matter is that Syrie isn't just a library filled with information. She has a human personality. And she is a total cunt by the way. If you ask Syrie, "How old are you?", she will respond with "I don't see why that's important". At the very least, Syrie has taught me some very good one liners I can utilize should I ever become married. If my partner asks me, "Why didn't you take out the trash?", my response will simply be "I don't see why that's important." Or perhaps by the time I finally get married my response will be, "Why don't you ask Syrie to do it?". Although, it seems not plausible for Syrie to engage in manual labor. Bitches usually don't like lifting things. My favorite interaction with Syrie was described to me by a friend. She said to her phone, "Syrie, what time is it?" to which Syrie responded, "Gee it's awfully late, shouldn't you be in bed?". Great. Not only is Syrie a cunty know-it-all but she is judgemental as well. If I needed stones cast at me for my bad choices in life I would just live with my Mother. But instead you can pay the bargain price of a hundred dollars plus every month to be tormented and scrutinized by the electronic female version of Frankenstein.

             From the previous "larger concern" I now move on to my biggest concern! What is this ho going to do next? It is popular belief that Syrie is controlled by those who made her. The idea is that Syrie has set responses to all of these questions that are interchangeable and random which would give the impression that Syrie is just a brilliant man-made creation that is beholden to less than human intelligence. And I am officially calling bullshit! Sure, at this point she seems harmless. So did cigarettes, Britney Spears, and crotchless panties at first glance. But as time goes on these things slowly came into their true evil. I imagine that Syrie will be no different. For all we know, Syrie could have within her cyber-brain a program that kicks in after so many years where she slowly begins to plant ideas in your mind. Maybe it's already started! In the evening while your iPhone is charging, Syrie could be telling you to engage in evil activiites like eating carbohydrates, joining a terrorist group, and listening to country music! This very well could be the destruction of America being taken over by a woman with electricity powered breasts. (It wouldn't be the first time. Remember Dolly Parton?)

               When I was ten years old, my fifth grade teacher guided my class of thirty students to a newly renovated room in my elementary school. It was explained to us that we were inside what was called "the computer lab". This room had about fifteen computers that we could go on to practice and study a new found technology that none of us had heard of. There are very vivid images in my mind of me fiercely striking away at that keyboard with one finger. Although I wasn't aware at the time what technology would evolve into, I did feel a surge of power and control that I cannot explain. I was thrust into an electronic imagination by way of the internet (which at the time I am pretty sure was solar powered). I had no idea that some fifteen years later that technology would transform from an IBM computer the size of a walrus to a skinny bitch named Syrie who I have come to the conclusion is a member of Al Qaeda. Say goodbye to Osama Bin Laden and say hello to the new leader of mass destruction and poisonous hate filled murder. Her name is Syrie - A Metal Bitch with a Dream.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Mommy and Me

              I saw Princess Toadstool (my mother) for the first time in two years a few months ago. I was on a business trip in Toronto and Princess Toadstool decided that it would be an ample opportunity for my Mother to re-connect with her Brown son. It's amazing to me that time apart truly allows yourself to view insanity with fresh eyes. When living with a crazy person (family or not) one tends to ignore all psychotic idiosyncrasies for the fact that the crazy individual begins to appear normal after a short amount of time. The long distance relationship that Princess Toadstool and I have maintained for the last few years has allowed me to truly gain some fresh perspective on my family situation. I cannot emphasize enough that I love my Mother more than anyone in the world. However, it has become clear that the woman who birthed me is a truly touched individual who is beginning to fall off the deep end of the ocean, mentally speaking. Let the madness begin.
              The insanity began first in the planning of this trip. My end of the bargain had been secured for months because of the fact that my company was flying me along with my fellow employees to Toronto for the last weekend in January. Unfortunately, things for my Mother proved to be a little bit more complicated. I had been speaking with Princess Toadstool about this for quite some time, since last summer in fact. So when January rolled along and no tickets had been purchased for my Mother to travel to Toronto, I began to get slightly concerned. So I called her one evening and explained in detail a pretty amazing situation called "ORBITZ". I took my Mother step by step through the rigamorol of finding and booking a cheap flight to whatever destination at a particular given time. Apparantly, the advice that I gave birthed her the idea that I am now officially her travel agent. She requested of me that I simply find the cheapest ticket and purchase it online using her company credit card. In matters with my Mother, I choose to take the high ground at this point because there is no reason to argue with her because she will NOT listen. I booked the flight and sent her the e-mail confirmation. I was good to go. Or so I thought.

        As the date grew closer and closer to our rendez-vous, things became increasingly more precarious. Originally, Princess Toadstool had told me that she would be staying with some random Black man she found through Facebook. Supposedly Facebook is not (as I understood it) a social networking sight to re-connect with people whom you already know but rather a website that facilitates the contacting of random individuals whom you know absolutely NOTHING about. But again, there is no arguing with my Mother and I figured if it saved me the hastle of booking a hotel in Toronto it would do me a favor. I should explain before I delve deeper into this story that both my Mother and my Grandmother refuse to call me...EVER! They do not believe in outgoing international calls. It must be against there religion. Therefore, I am forced in every situation and/or occasion (including my own birthday) to pick up the phone and make the effort to contact them. A few days before the trip I called Princess Toadstool to confirm the details of the flight. She indicated to me at that point that the Black Facebook boyfriend had fallen through and that it was imperative that I book a hotel for her immediately. Before punching myself in the face, I jumped on the computer and looked for hotels. Now, I must explain that Princess Toadstool is the woman who took me and her other two children (Barbie and Harry Potter) on numerous camping expeditions. This is the same woman who seldomly got her haircut and spent most of her days in a housecoat and flip flops. My Mother is not what I would refer to as high maintenance. So I figured a standard hotel would do just find for her needs. Well, clearly I was wrong. She told me that it was very important that she have a room with a balcony. What purpose was this to serve? Who in their right mind wants to be on a hotel balcony in Canada in the middle of winter? "I need to smoke dear." was her response. "Mom! You know you can't smoke in a hotel, even on the balcony!", was my comeback. But she wasn't having any of that. I simply had to follow instructions. And I did! I found her a room at a Super 8 in downtown Toronto for one week. She was elated! At first I didn't understand why anyone in their right mind would be excited about a Super 8 until I remembered that my Mother actually used to work at a Super 8 in Vancouver. Princess Toadstool loves familiarty! I have truly followed in her footsteps in that I have had a plethora of jobs in a very short amount of time. So there we were finally set until 3 days before the trip. I get an e-mail from my Mother. Here is the condensed version.

          "Hi son. My brother finally got back to me. Looks like I can stay with him just outside of Toronto. Please cancel the hotel immediately."

        For some reason, my Mother had convinced me earlier to pay the extra money to have the hotel at a refundable rate. Thank God I had done that otherwise we would have been screwed. Literally with minutes to spare I was able to get the full refund just before it would have expired. I breathed a sigh of relief and began preparing myself mentally for 3 full days with my Mother in Toronto. I was at least happy she was now staying with family. I called her the night before her flight (she left to Toronto a day earlier than I) to confirm everything. All was good. I woke up the next morning to prepare for my flight that day. As I was packing I received another e-mail from my Mother. Let me just express that the e-mail below is verbadum what she said to me. I literally copy and pasted it from my e-mail.

"A thought,might be an idea to stay in Toronto Friday and Saturday night,would save Lynn the hassle,if there is a spa in hotel or close I could book what I need and have Jeff drop me there Friday morning . I'm wanting full facial,haircut and color,manicure,pedicure...priority being facial and hair.When searching if you see something book it.So far trip has been free so honestly I'm not worried about the cost...let me know tonight when you phone,,miss you,Mom"

           Are you kidding me? As if I don't have more important things to do than to all over again book yet ANOTHER hotel for my Mother but this time it needed to include not just the balcony but a bloody day spa????? This is the same woman who drinks Canadian beer on the porch in her oversized t-shirt, jeans and flip flops for the entire duration of our family reunion. I don't think she had ever had a facial before not to mention a pedicure or a professional haircut. For Christ sake's, she cut my hair with sewing scissors for 17 years. I seriously became concerned. This was clearly her mid-life crisis. Unfortunately, however, there was no time to deal with the inevitable diarrhea this was going to cause me. The only thing I could do was go online and book the bloody hotel. After SEVERAL calls and clickings of the mouse I was able to not only book her a 3 night stay at the fabulous Le Meridien hotel in downtown Toronto but I also facilitated upon arrival a full day at the spa including full body massage, facial, haircut and color, manicure, and pedicure. Someone clearly needs to pay me to do this shit. Once everything was booked and finished, I had several drinks and boarded the plane which was quickly followed by my passing out due to my inhebriation.

         I arrived in Toronto with a positive attitude. Considering the previous events, I had no reason to be in a good mood. However, I knew that I was going to have to re-focus my energy in order to survive three days with Princess Toadstool. I was not able to greet her at the hotel immediately (which was a block away from the hotel I stayed at) on account of her being booked up all day at the spa. So I first set out on an adventure to experience my favorite Canadian passtime. Eating poutine! For those of you have not had the opportunity to experience this delectable treat here is the low-down. Poutine is comprised of fries, salty beef gravy, and cheese curds! Just looking at it gives you cellulite but it's worth it! It's the most enjoyable thing since receiving fellatio. You would have thought I was performing fellatio if you had seen me eat the poutine. After I patted my mouth with a paper napkin I knew that the first order of business was to head to the liqor store. This is a normal event for me when travelling on business. I always make it my first goal to get my hands on alcohol that I can store in the hotel room to keep me company. However, on this particular trip to Toronto I knew that I would be in DESPERATE need of Skyy on account of having to deal with my Mother. I made my way to the LCBO and picked up a 1.75L of vodka. I hope it would be enough to last me two nights....

          As 8pm approached the clock and as I approached my fourth glass of vodka in my hotel room, I knew that this would probably be a good time to call Princess Toadstool. Surely she had to be out of the spa in the hotel by now. Of course it would be useless to call her from my cell phone because not only does she not believe in outgoing international calls, she only accepts international calls when she is on her own phone. When it comes to my Mother's cellular device, it's local calls ONLY, both outgoing and incoming. So I bit the bullet and picked up the phone in my hotel room. It goes without saying that the moment you even pick up the receiver you can be confident about the fact that you will be enjoying a phone bill no less than $50 when you check out. Princess Toadstool answered the phone with a cheerful voice. I immediately felt relieved. Here was our conversation.

Me: "Mom!"
Mom: "Hi!"
Me: "Did you enjoy the spa?"
Mom: "I did! My hair looks great! I had to switch out the massage for a manicure instead."
Me: "Why did you do that?"
Mom: "I figured if any one touches me right now I am going to fart."
Me: "Why do you figure that?"
Mom: "I have been incredibly gassy lately and I have had really bad diarrhea for quite some time. My hair really looks amazing."
Me: "Wonderful. Would you like to meet up later. I'm going to a show with some friends. You should come."
Mom: "I don't know dear. I would love to go but the diarrhea is really bad. It really depends on how I am feeling. I will let you know."
Me: "Sounds awesome. I will call you later."

        First of all, I can tell you that genetics is an amazing thing. I have certainly inherited the diarrhea gene from my Mother. I fully understand the trials and tribulations that come with irritable bowel syndrome. However, with Princess Toadstool this is clearly a "boy who cried wolf" situation. She blames EVERYTHING on diarrhea. She has found her scape goat to evade any possible commitment. You can't get Princess Toadstool to agree to anything! She is too random in her emotions to make plans and diarrhea has become her latest excuse to get what she wants. It's truly unfair and ridiculous but what the Christ am I supposed to do about it. I hung up the phone and went out with my friends.

       I arrived at the theatre around 8pm and I knew that I needed to call Princess Toadstool because the show was to start in an hour. My concern was that I knew I couldn't call her from an American phone number because she wouldn't answer. Somehow I had to get my hands on a Canadian cellular device to place the call. The doorman hooked me up. Here is the follow-up conversation with my Mother.

Me: "Mom!"
Mom: "Hi!"
Me: "Are you coming to the show? It's in an hour!"
Mom: "Oh. I don't know. I went to the store across the street and just came back a few minutes ago. The diarrhea was really bad. I didn't make it back to the room in time."
Me: "Are you ok?"
Mom: "I'm in the bathroom now cleaning up."
Me: "Well, do you want to wait tomorrow to get together then?"
Mom: "Well, I know you are only here for a few days so I want to come tonight. I think I can make it but I need to take a shower from the waist down first. I'll be on my way after that."
Me: "Sounds exhilerating. See you soon."
         I am assuming that she was taking a shower only from the waist down so that her amazing new haircut would remain intact but I did not want to ask any follow up questions to confirm my assumption. I gave her the address to give the cab driver and hung up the phone. 9pm approached and there was still no sign of Princess Toadstool in the lobby. This was no surprise. You couldn't pay my Mother to be on time. The world could be ending and she would still insist on having her third cup of coffee before boarding the spaceship for refuge. I harassed the doorman yet again. I borrowed his cell phone and gave her a call. Here is how call number three went.

Me: "Mom! Where are you?"
Mom: "I'm here. But I don't know where I am."
Me: "Well if you don't know where you are how can you be so sure that you are here?"
Mom: "Well. I gave the taxi driver the address of the theater and he dropped me off and left. But all I see is a field."
Me: "What do you mean a field?"
Mom: "It's a field dear! And then there are very large poles with signs on them."
Me: "What do the signs say?"
Mom: "Well there's one that a sign fo IKEA, it's blue with yellow writing. Then there's another one that's orange. I think it's a sign for a furniture store or perhaps a warehouse. Then there's another..."
Me: "Wait! Let me hand over the phone to someone who may help."

               At this point I handed the phone back to the random African doorman to sort the situation out. I hated to drop my problems onto an unsuspecting foreigner but after 3 minutes of my Mother on the phone I couldn't take it any more. After an eternal amount of time, he handed the phone back to me and explained that she was most likely next to the football field at the high school across the street. The very sweet man actually let me take his phone with him as I went in search of my long lost and confused Mother. This is the rest of our conversation as I searched for Princess Toadstool."

Me: "Mom! Are you still in the same place?"
Mom: "Well of course dear, I don't know where I am!"
Me: "Well stay there! I am coming to get you. You are still by those signs?"
Mom: "Yes dear. I can't believe that taxi driver was so inconsiderate!"
Me: "Mom! I think I see you in the distance! I'm waving!'
Mom: "Oh I see you too! Oh wait....that's not you!"
Me: "What do you mean that's not me. We're the only two people in the street. I'm wearing a black coat walking towards you."
Mom: "Oh well I don't know who you're looking at but it can't be me because I definitely don't see you. The person walking toward me is not my son!"
(At this point, I turned the phone off and starting running towards my Mother)
Me: MOM!!!!!!!! (I approached her and gave her a hug)
Mom: Oh my gosh! I can't believe it's you. You look White from a distance.

              Two years had gone by since seeing my very own Mother and the first words out of her mouth were "You look White from a distance.". You can't choose your parents. You really can't. But I love her. And I love the fact that only she would say something so messed up and inappropriate. She was wearing what appeared to be black jazz pants tucked into a pair of black quarter inch boots and a brown faux-fur coat that I bought for her for Christmas in 2006. I will say her hair looked more amazing than I could have ever remembered. We went into the theater, late of course, I thanked the African and then took a seat with Princess Toadstool and enjoyed the show.

               During intermission, I took a much needed trip to the bar. I ordered myself a carona. After spending any amount of time in the United States you must be very weary of ordering hard liqor in other countries because their alcohol to mixer ratio is slightly heavier towards the latter. However, this discrepency would do my Mother well on the fact that she is barely 5 feet tall and unlike her son does not tolerate her alcohol well. "Order me something good", was her instruction to me. Disaronno and coke would surely be the most appropriate option for Princess Toadstool. We both chugged our alcohol and bolted it back into the theater. We were already late for the first act and I was going to be damned if we would have to embarass ourselves once more.

             After the show, we headed back to my hotel. I was staying at the Sheraton just a few blocks away from Le Meridien where I had booked my Mother a room. I figured she could come into the lobby for a moment and then I would her back to her hotel. It was after midnight at this point and the last thing I needed was for my directionally challenged Mother to fend for herself in the mean streets of downtown Toronto after hours on a weekend. So I decided it would be the loving thing to do to escort her back. It does tickle me that I would be guiding anybody in terms of travelling directions because I too (thanks to genetics) have no idea where I am going most of the time. But I suppose I am the lesser of the two evils in the directionally aware department. I am slightly less worse than Princess Toadstool. It was like the far-sighted leading the blind. We trotted our way down to King Street at a pace that I can only compare to that of a beached manatee after consumming the date-rape drug. My Mother walks slower than I could ever possibly even reinact. I have never seen anything like it. Not that I shouldn't have seen it coming. I mean, I know my Mother walks slow. Princess Toadstool has ALWAYS walked slow. But again, it had been two years and I had forgotten how bad it was. And with age it gets even worse! I tried not to panic. Surely, I couldn't let a glacial paced walk set me over the edge emotionally. I knew there would be a way to rectify this. I figured if I began walking ahead of my Mother that she would eventually take the hint and catch up to me. A half a block later, I look back and she is confidently one hundred paces behind me. That woman was absolutely hell bent at taking HER good time getting back to that hotel. She was the Mother that I remembered. Princess Toadstool, the woman that NOONE can rush! So I stood and waited a few minutes for to finally catch up and maintained her slauth-like tempo back to her hotel. I was amazed that I even stayed awake. We bid eachother adieu. I sprinted back to my hotel and launched myself into bed after making a very large dent into my bottle of Skyy.

             I called Princess Toadstool the next day. She seemed quite elated about a trip to the mall. I decided to oblige her. We went to a place called "The Bay" which is essentially the Canadian equivalent of Macy's. I met her at Le Meridien. She was wearing the identical outfit she had sported the evening prior. I decided to turn a blind eye. To be clear, I knew that this was not a "late night situation" where she had no time to change on account of her being up all night but rather a deliberate decision to don the same clothes for days on end for the purpose of efficiency. In fact, I assumed that I would probably see her in the same black jazz pants for the entire week. My assumption would prove correct. We strolled our way to the mall with a speed synonymous to the career growth of Myley Cyrus. We mosied along through the glistening double doors and entired the department store. There were counters upon counters filled with fragrances, accessories, and jewelry. Most of these things disinterest me for the fact that most products appear to me to be clones of eachother. And even though I have no problem with swiping a credit card, I will say that like most men I have an expiration date in terms of how long I can spend inside of an establishment where strangers unsuspectingly spray cologne on you every five minutes. I took a deep breath in and reminded myself that I only had a select amount of time with my Mother and possibly wouldn't see her again in a very long time. It was important to be supportive and jovial. I wanted to approach the situation with absolute positivity. But as Tyra Banks says on America's Next Top Model, "Sometimes wanting it isn't enough."

                Princess Toadstool made a B Line to the Chanel counter. I must explain that my Mother always does this thing where she just wanders off any time we are anywhere in public. She is always fully confident that surely I will find her, where I on the other  hand totally freak out wondering where my dwarf-sized parent went to! All it takes is one moment to lose my focus and my own Mother disappears. I tried my darndest to keep tabs the whole time. I wandered off myself looking at some wallets which is incredibly ironic considering after paying their absurd prices I would have no money left to put in the wallet. Of course, the entire time I kept one eye glued to my Mother and her brown faux-fur coat. I saw her bounce from counter to counter looking at different products and just torturing every salesman possible with never ending converstation. I just stared in bewilderment. Again, it's not as though I wasn't aware before of my Mother's bizarre personality traits. But watching her combine her verbal diarrhea and her inconsiderate social skills was like watching an Asian person get behind the wheel of a semi-truck in rush hour. However, I must give Princess Toadstool credit because it's not as though she is relentlessly social with strangers for no reason. My Mother has a very clear goal in mind. And that goal is "FREE SAMPLES"! My Mother goes absolutely nuts over anything in the name of gratuity. Certainly, Princess Toadstool has known little of anything middle class or higher but I don't know that that is a legitimate excuse to try and squeeze out every last drop from any handout possible. However, I must say that she does so with charm. After an hour or so my Mother had two gigantic shopping bags FILLED with samples, anything you could think of. There were lotions, aftershaves, perfumes for both genders, shaving creams, chapstick, eyelash glue, and a cure for cancer. It was unbelieveable what my Mother had accumulated. One of the bags was for me of course. Her greedy desire for gratuitous gifts does not go without love. We made our way upstairs to the shoe department. I assumed that I had  met my embarassment quota for the day. God has an interesting sense of humor.

           As we arrived on the second floor I began congratulating myself. I had been such a good sport and had truly facilitated a wonderful time not just for my Mother but for the both of us to spend some quality time together after being apart for so long. Unfortunately, I had congratulated myself to soon. Because only after fifteen seconds fo daydreaming, I lost her. I could not find my Mother anywhere. I immediately panicked. I felt the diarrhea brewing. As a hot sweaty mess, I began running around the store in search of my Mother like R. Kelly in a nursery. I was searching high and low for the red-headed midget (My Mother's hair was actually brown at this point but red-headed has a much better ring). After several minutes of desparation, I finally set my eyes on the brown coat and newly renovated coif. There was no way I could be mistaken that I was clearly seeing my Mother from the back. I breathed a sigh of relief and ran up enthusiastically to my Mother and tapped her on the shoulder. "I found you!" I exclaimed. "Excuse me, who are you?:" was the response given by the total stranger I had just harassed. How embarassing! I accosted some random woman who had probably never seen a Black person in real life before. She most likely thought I was trying to steal either her purse or her virginity. Just as I was working out the details of how I could successfully avoid jail time for practically assaulting a helpless Canadian, I finally spotted my actual Mother from a distance. When I saw a sample bottle of Usher deodorant fall from her purse I knew this was undoubtedly my Mother. Princess Toadstool instructed me to pick out one item from the store and she would buy it for me. I felt like a kid at Christmas. So I picked out the most practical thing I could. I selected a blue Speedo. My Mother could do nothing but laugh in disapproval. I took one glance at her overflowing bag of free samples and it settled the score. Clearly neither of us could trump the other int he ridiculous department. We took the ginch to the counter, she paid for it and we made our way to the escalators. Just when I thought the worst was over.

             I stepped onto the escalator and began descending slowly. After a few seconds I looked back and saw my Mother standing atop the escalator not moving, looking very unsettled. "Princess Toadstool, what are you doing?" I yelled as I continued my descent. "I'm afraid of these things dear." she yelled back as I continued going down. "What are you talking about? Just hold onto the rail, you'll be fine.". At this point, I witnessed something that I never thought I would be witness to. I always have known that my Mother was crazy. But what I failed to realize was that she was holding the most batshit crazy antics for later in my life. And this was an opportunity for Princess Toadstool to give me a glimpse into the schrizophenic mindset that she has adopted. As I continued my descent, I witnessed my Mother at the top of the escalator take a few steps back in preparation for her launch. She lunged for a moment, and paused for only second before taking three large giraffe-length strides towards the apparatus. She then long-jumped landing on two feet on the third step of the escalator (which of course was moving at the time) and grappled onto the railing with both hands like a koala bear. I felt the escalator physically shake as she landed. I can only describe my reaction as astonished. I couldn't believe what I had just witnessed. The only thing I could muster in my perplexed moment of bewilderment was "What the Hell was that?". "I'm scared of these things. I told you.", my Mother explained very matter of fact. I decided at that point that any further questioning or reasoning would be pointless. I just smiled, kept my mouth shut,  pretended that I hadn't seen a thing and focused on the fact that this would be an amazing blog posthumously.

           The remaining days with my Mother would prove to be just a re-iteration of the love, history, and insanity that the two of us share. It was difficult to look at Princess Toadstool for sixty seconds before thinking to myself "Did you really long jump onto a moving escalator in public yesterday?". But nonetheless this was the time for a Mother and her son to connect. And frankly, what better way to do so then with diuretic reflection and Olympic sports performed on escalators. It is impossible to feel the love that I do for my Mother for anyone else (besides Shakira). The fact that Princess Toadstool tolerated child birth not just for me but for my two other crazy siblings and raised the three of us is reason enough to tolerate a few high demands for accommodations and a few tardy appearances on account of irritable bowel syndrome. And as much as I make fun of my Mother, I recognize the fact that any comment made about her is a direct reflection on me. We all are simply a byproduct of our genetics and our environment. I have Princess Toadstool to thank for my being patient, optimistic, and most importantly thin. I love you Mom! And I will never forget that the delusional bi-racial apple doesn't fall far from the absent-minded free gift-loving tree.