September 11, 2013

"If a possum takes up residence in your shed, grab a barbecue brush to coax him out. If he doesn't leave..."

"... brush him for twenty minutes and let him stay. Let a dog (or two or three) share your bed. Say the rosary while you walk them. Go to church with a chicken sandwich in your purse. Cry at the consecration, every time. Give the chicken sandwich to your homeless friend after mass.... Put picky-eating children in the box at the bottom of the laundry chute, tell them they are hungry lions in a cage, and feed them veggies through the slats. Correspond with the imprisoned and have lunch with the cognitively challenged. Do the Jumble every morning."

Tips from Pink — of Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin — made public via obituary by her 6 children and 17 grandchildren.

She was 85, so the Richard Dawkins approach to thinking about child abuse applies (if you've got any inclination to condemn that "hungry lions" method of getting kids to eat vegetables).

Could you assemble a similarly charming list of tips from the quirkiest things your mother did? Consider the potential for matching the love these children and grandchildren showed and the alternative: Indict mom for child abuse.

The other day, when Meade and I were traipsing around in that Wisconsin landscape (the photo of which sat at the top of this blog for 18 hours), we were talking about stories people tell about the hardships they endured as children and, in mockery, we started listing the worst things that were done to us, some of which would, I think, be regarded as criminal child abuse today. For example: In the summer, I was taken to Ocean City, New Jersey for a thorough, painful sunburning. (And, no, it did not "turn into a tan," as some people used to say — and Meade still says — about the way their skin functions.)

11 comments:

Bob Ellison said...

At the dinner table when I was perhaps eight years old, I was telling a story, and my mother told me something like this: "You should think about whether the people you're talking to want to hear what you're saying."

MadisonMan said...

When someone her age dies in WFB, I always wonder how she would have been connected to my Mom, who was a similar age and who grew up on E. Beaumont.

They surely must have known some of the same people even though Mom left WFB in the late 40s. I like to think of connections like that.

Inga said...
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Inga said...
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Inga said...

A couple of Independance Days ago a raccoon staked out the front deck as his turf. I don't know why he was so bold, perhaps he was sick, or perhaps Porky, our roast pig lured him there because some careless eaters dropped tidbits and we were too tired that night to clean the deck. At any rate someone went outside for a drink on the deck and saw him sitting there as if he owned the joint. My two sons in law and a boyfriend trapped him in a garbage can, (I don't quite know how they managed to perform this feat of foolish bravery) lidded it and took him several miles away in a wooded area and let him loose, so they say. Hope they didn't kill the poor thing. They said he looked sick, hmmmm. That was pretty damn dumb.

Inga said...

Independence! @!$?*!!!

Belial said...

Maybe not for you Ann, but for those of us of a more swarthy complexion a burn does in fact fade to a tan.

Gabriel Hanna said...

I misread that list as a step-by-step procedure for getting a possum out of your shed, and I was wondering were this was going! Dawkins messes up MY reading comprehension too.

heyboom said...

I lost my mother at a young age but the quirkiness of my Dad's second wife could be summed up thus:

When administering physical discipline, any solid object within arms reach is fair game.

Lonetown said...

I got my kids eating broccoli by having them pretend they were dinosaurs eating trees.

Worked great!

Scott said...

Twee incoherence.