Grandma Knew...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010, 9:26 AM

Grandma knew that if you were patient, good times would always curdle up. She was the oldest in a fluctuating family of 17 siblings, and had seen life at its harshest, and known it to be like chewing on rancid beef jerky. She was of a generation for whom pleasures like bathing without clothing would never occur, for some omnipotently randy deity always had his eyes on you, and that would be too much for the fabric of life to bear. As grandma would say, “I was born a Cyclops, and I’m gonna die a Cyclops, pass the coon gravy to yer lil’ sister.”. Having never seen things in 3-D before, she felt no need to let doctors “dig around in my skull”, looking for her other eye. “Those charlatans steal enough of what durn piddly little ya got.”, as it was already, so she said, and “I got better things ta do with my vittles than to expose them to one of them varmints.”, was her philosophy in life. Grandma met grandpa when she was not even yet a teenager, and had an eye on him from before she was old enough to go to the store. Grandma felt like, “we gots two eyes when we is together, you can’t call us four eyes!” They took to each other early on, any thing he would shoot, she could gut it, and cook it, and put it on the table for whoever was there to eat up. When she turned 13, and he turned 15, they decided it was high time to tie the knot, and they had a brood of their own in no time. Many of the neighbors marveled at the sight of Grandpa and Grandma coming into town, their 11 cyclop children in tow, all wearing matching gingham skateboard clothing, all wearing matching earbuds attached to grandpa’s MP3 player, listening to the same remixes of Appalachian death metal clog dancing reindeer music. Grandma played a little hammer dulcimer when they were at home sitting around the microwave stove-kettle heating unit in the middle of their one room log cabin, way up in the mountains. The kids would take turns doing a slow, yet complicated little dance grandpa had brought over from the old country, and they sounded like a giant alien beehive as they all joined in on their wax paper and combs, humming in time, while the cruel winter winds blasted outside the safety of their small, yet odorific mountain top cabin. Late at night, the children would huddle in fear at the warbling sounds that would fill the room, as the sputtering stove-kettle heating unit would cast a shadow of grandpa and grandma making the beast with one back on the far wall of the cabin. In those days, life was quite harsh, and people jumped in age from 17, directly to 75, thereby skipping 57 years that they might have endured had they been living in a different corner of the planet. Grandma always said, “that’s alright by me, if ida been living all them years, it would surely have kilt me sooner than this!”, and would make a big hocker sound, right before spitting a sour chaw of tobaccy and killing the unsuspecting chicken scratching on the log cabin floor. She was a strange critter, I think we musta had funerals and buried her on at least three separate occasions, but true to her tenacious self, the Christmas tears and sorrow holiday would arrive, and there she would be, up before dawn whistling, and rendering fat from a recently dismembered animal into the shape of the Christmas piƱata ghost, filled with gooseberries and pine cones, and other treats that would make her Christmas eve meal the spread of the year. You couldn’t eat or shit for at least five weeks after that feast. When one of the children would announce intentions to get hitched, she would slap their ears, and hit them on top of the head with a frying pan, before rapping her hairy arms around them, sobbing and laughing simultaneously, smothering them with big slobbery kisses.
—Mark Mothersbaugh


Fax Paper said...

Looks like it was a fun project. Thanks for sharing.

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