Monday, December 20, 2010

Magellan Has Nothing on Mom

Now I've done it.  I've gone and alienated my own mother.

Over the weekend, I wrote an article about my ongoing battle with Tele-Nag, my Verizon navigation system.  In that article, I implied that my mother has a tendency to be inaccurate when providing driving directions and in some cases has caused family members to get hopelessly lost.

Within hours of that article hitting the Internet, I received the following e-mail:


Now you've gone too far.  Criticize my parenting skills?  OK.  Make fun of my misinterpretation of Christmas gift requests?  Fine.  But this?  Accuse me of having  a less-than-impeccable ability to provide driving directions?  I'm totally insulted.

I hope your new GPS system takes you to Needles and loses you in the desert.

Happy Holidays and Love Always,

So I guess an apology is in order.

My use of the phrase "While [my GPS] is pretty accurate with the directions, which is more than I can say for some humans I know (lookin' at YOU, Mom)" was a comedic device without any real basis in fact.  Over the past forty years, my mother has been our family's own Ferdinand Magellan, guiding us on trips to Nova Scotia, Utah, the Grand Canyon, and an Atlas-ful of other wonderful vacations with nary a wrong turn or missed exit.

Well, hold on a minute.  I'm having a flashback here.

It was the mid-70's, and our family was driving from New Jersey to Florida.  That is, Dad was driving while Mom did needlepoint in the passenger seat and my brothers and I were in the back fighting because someone, who shall remain nameless, punched Bobby too hard during a game of "Slug Bug."  We were making a side trip to Washington D.C. to visit our Aunt Judy when we got hopelessly lost.  I mean, we were still within the District of Columbia, but we were just going around in an endless circle with Dad somehow unable to find the proper turn-off.  With each lap around the city our father got angrier and angrier, Mom got more and more frustrated, and from the back seat we spotted more and more VW Beetles allowing someone, who shall again remain anonymous, to inflict more and more damage on Bobby's left arm.  After several hours of circling the city, and my brothers and I learning a colorful new vocabulary, we finally made it to our Aunt's house.

Now, I'm not saying this was Mom's fault.  Maybe she had indeed called upon her "impeccable ability to provide driving directions" and gave Dad a clear and unmistakable route to Aunt Judy's.  Maybe Dad just chose to ignore Mom's navigational advice and "wing-it" to see where the road took us.  Hell, it wouldn't have been the first time (or the last).  So I'm going to give my mother the benefit of the doubt on that one.

On another trip, though, Dad must be held completely harmless as he was not with us.  It was another trip to Florida.  Mom and I, along with Bobby and a friend of the family who spent the entire twenty-one hour trip whistling the theme from "Bridge Over the River Kwai" made the journey via 1971 AMC Hornet Sportabout.  Dad and Eric flew down a few days later.  As far as I can remember, this was the only major trip we ever took where Mom did the driving so maybe she just wanted to take the opportunity to show me, Bobby, and the Mad Whistler a more scenic route to Orlando.  All I know is that when Dad was driving, we never made pit stops in Indianapolis or Nashville.

Nah, I made that last part up.  We didn't get that far off course.

At least I don't think we did, but then again, maybe I was distracted playing "Slug Bug."

So, to set the record straight, Mom, I know you're not nearly as inaccurate with your directions as I may have implied.  I was merely making a bit of a joke at your expense, and for that I apologize.

You can put the Hot Wheels tracks away now.


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Eva Gallant said...

You were mean to your mother! You deserve the hot wheels track to your butt!

Boom Boom Larew said...

Dude! You're not supposed to offend your mother right before Christmas... are you trying to get coal in your stocking?

Slug Bug! *hits Chris in shoulder*

dbs said...

What is this slug bug? And I'm glad my kids don't know it. Oh I just realized it's probably punch-a-bug and my kids definitely know that and yes it all makes sense now and yes I'm a total idiot. Especially since I didn't bother to delete this comment.

Grumpy, M.D. said...

Dude, looks like you need to order a SHITLOAD of flowers.

J.J. in L.A. said...

Dooood, even I'm not that dumb! Tonight, while playing card with a brother and mom, she picked up the five that I'd just discarded, snickered, and said, "It's wild." Without laughing in her face (like I wanted to), I replied, "Sixes are wild."

Even my brother barely cracked a smile. Momma didn't raise no fools.

Suldog said...

ANY journey in an AMC vehicle was bound to be traumatic. I remember driving to Florida (from Massachusetts) in a Gremlin. I felt like I was in some sort of fishbowl for the amusement of southern truckers.

vickilikesfrogs said...

We always called it Punch-Buggy and damn, man...your mom's cool!

Fred Miller said...

I don't know, Man. If your mom thinks it's even possible to get lost in Needles, she's a little impaired. The only thing out there is I-40. You can't get lost if you can find I-40.

Love you, Mom :)

Quirkyloon said...

Lucky for you Mom's have UNconditional love.

Real lucky for you.


Peter Varvel said...

I guess it takes crossing a fine line now and then to remember what's sacred.
(my word verification is 'gymenis,' which means "a worked out and toned . . .?")

Heff said...

"Tele-Nag" ? That's what I call MY mother !!!

Happy Holidays to you too, man !

If I Were God... said...

Fred just did you a huge favor in his comment, calling her 'impaired' and drawing the heat on himself. Be smart- earn yourself some needed brownie points and let him have it!

And Merry Christmas Mrs. Knucklehead, I'm sure you deserve one.

Sandra said...

I somehow don't think this additional post making fun of your mom's navigational skills is going to help your cause. You'll have to post the follow up email from your mom.

Carpet cleaners Sacramento said...

You have so much knowledge about this issue, and so much passion. You also know how to make people rally behind it, obviously from the responses. Youve got a design here thats not too flashy, but makes a statement as big as what youre saying. Great job, indeed.

California county jails said...

Are you talking about the famous explorer Ferdinand Magellan?

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