I know several of you Shrub readers would probably sooner engage in a non-stop marathon of Jack Klugman shows than even be seen with your parents. However, recently my mom came to St. Louis to Chicago for a little vacation, and I did something that was simultaneous exciting and creepy: I actually took my mom to work with me.
Now, understand, I work as a counselor with homeless people, and usually, Fridays turn into "Hell Day". There's almost always an emergency - usually around 3:00 pm - which requires my attention. (Or, at least, as someone will remind me - it's usually something that is 1) handled by somebody else, or 2) results in me getting into conflicts with people because they want me to do their job. Sometimes, though, it is something that I can handle and take care of...but I digress). Anyway, my thinking was that, at 3:00 pm, I would have to leave my mom in my office and have the young lady next door entertain her. My mom is easily entertained, enjoying doing things like putting diapers on her cats or purchasing Rosemary Clooney records. I never intended to, like, have her speak to homeless people, or go to shelters, although my boss nixed the idea of having her do my paperwork. He just fired someone because this employee's wife did his paperwork and other stuff.
Anyway, as I picked Mom up from the airport on time (and remember, kids, a Southwest Airlines flight arriving on time is akin to the Backstreet Boys performing Wagnerian opera), we drove to my company's downtown office. These offices are located in a scenic Salvation Army SRO, and there are all sorts of wacky characters. When I brought my mom to the main office, my boss and my fellow coworkers all greeted mom with open arms and an open appointment for alcohol detoxification. (Complimentary cocktails, you know). After a mutual gushing session over how wonderful I am, we headed to my office, located in St. Louis County.
This was going to be interesting, as the young lady in the office next door feels I have a "Superman complex" because I have a poster of him in my office. (Yes, Adventures in Maturity readers, you just got the reference to the "real" letter in July's column, and the contest is over. You'd think this person would notice my Star Trek Troi and Dax action figures in compromising poses, but go figure.) Anyway, I figured that she would ask my mother various embarrassing personal questions, or at the very least, say, "Your son is a creepazoid of the highest order." Anyway, this person never took the opportunity, as she was really busy with work, and besides, I don't think she would let me live down my sordid past as a Polish folk dancer.
Anyway, Mom and I had all sorts of fun, as we took the MetroLink. We checked our a variety of places in St. Louis - restaurants, the big Amoco sign, and the Arch. Unfortunately, Mom wussed out on my original plan at the Arch - I wanted to parachute off the top. Mom thought it wasn't safe. Of course, this is a woman who puts diapers on cats. She had fun, and the great thing is that she had a hotel room and didn't have to stay with me. It was good, because she kept harping on my messy apartment.
Luckily, though, my mom has given her official okey dokey to my lifestyle, such as it is. I have a big ass apartment, have a major league jones for somebody, a cool as heck job, and incredible coworkers. Of course, Mom's only major complaints were that she couldn't find a souvenir for my dad, and that we had to wait in line for baked subs. We ended up getting a menu from Blueberry Hill (a theme restaurant where Chuck Berry plays once a month - you all know who Chuck Berry is, right, Shrubsters? And if you say the host of the Gong Show, I'm going to hit you with a baseball bat) for Dad - we figured that, being the booze hound that he is, he'd dig the beer list. As far as waiting in line, she sure as heck clammed up when she ate her sub. All in all, a fun weekend, and Mom wants to come back. When she does, I'll have a homeless shelter bed waiting for her, but that's another point entirely.
After having her sit and watch South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut, I decided to pull an Eric Cartman. I smacked her in the face and said, "Listen, missy bits - why don't you clean my apartment if you don't like it. What have you ever done for me?"
"I gave birth to you, Senor Bag of Crap," she countered.
Anyway, that's about it - I realize this is short and sweet, unlike my usual pieces for the Shrubbery. If you'd like to ask my mom embarrassing personal questions, just send 'em on over to me at Gordon_D@theshrubbery.com, and I'll go ahead and delete them without reading them. Thanks for reading, and remember, Mother's Day is always in May.