I don’t know why but this event has been playing in my head for the last couple of days so I thought that I should share it.
I believe the year was 1990 or 1991; I had wanted to earn some cash to buy a video game for my Super NES.
So I asked my mother if there were any extra chores that I could do around the house for some extra money.
Well the 1st thing that popped into Mom’s head was inspired by what stabbed her in the bottom of her foot. “Pull all the weeds in the front yard”, she said as she pulled a large thorn out from the bottom of her foot that was hiding in our classic 70s brown carpet.
Our front yard was small, about 10 feet by 15 feet with more rocks than grass, so I agreed and told her “Deal!!! It will be done before you get home tomorrow.” That was probably the dumbest thing I have ever said in my entire life. Mom then walked me outside and showed me how she wanted the weeds to be pulled and that’s when I wasn’t so sure about my time frame anymore. “If you start after I leave to work in the morning, while it’s still cool outside, you should be done before lunch time,” my mom probably said but in my head I was thinking of playing Super Contra or Rygar.
So the next morning, Mom woke me up at 7:30am to get started. I got up and “zombie walked” my tired ass into the bathroom and started to get dressed. As soon as I hear d the bells on the back of the door chime behind my mom, I thought to myself,
“Let’s see if the BOZO show is still on.” An hour later, “I wonder what that cool ass Bob Barker is giving away in the Showcase showdown” was running thru my head while I sat on the couch eating the ghetto sugar puffs in a big ass bowl. Before I knew it, I had just finished watching the WGN cartoon block
(GI JOE, Transformers, MASK & Visionaries). That meant that mom was going to be home in less than an hour and “Captain Procrastination” hadn’t done a damn thing yet!!!
I got my shoes on, ran sacked our storage closet for tools then ran into the front yard to hop for a yard work miracle. I just started grabbing and yanking weeds. The tops would break off in my hand as the sticker burrs snagged and grabbed and cut my hands because I had forgotten to use the gloves that my mom had told me to wear during my mental shopping trip.
By this time, my brother Robert and his friend Jeff had come to the house to play computer games & I was starting to get pissed off because the entire neighborhood was having fun and enjoying their summer afternoon while I was digging in my front yard.
Then I looked up & there it was… my mom’s Nissan Maxima was making the turn onto our block. I was doomed, done for…FINISHED!!! No job was finished, No money would be earned, No video game would be played…I literally gave up. Mom had had a really rough day at work and saw that I was outside working so she KNEW that I had been goofing around ALL FUCKING DAY. She took a breath then tore into me.
“Why aren’t you done yet? What did you do all day? You’re not even doing this right! Weren’t you listening when I showed you how to do this?” she yelled at me while I stood there in the yard. I really don’t remember how long she yelled at me because my brain hamster must have went on break because the next thing I knew …I was about to say THE DUMBEST THING I HAD SAID IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. Then my mouth opened and these words fell out:
“If you don’t like it…do it yourself!”
To this day, my brother Robert and his buddy Jeff claim that they “felt a disturbance in the force” so bad that Jeff told Robert that he had to go home.
I swear that time stopped, the neighborhood kids quit riding their bikes, the wind stopped blowing & even my brain hamster spit out his coffee, yelling “FUCK!! FUCK!! FUCK!! THIS KID IS ABOUT TO LOSE HIS SHIT!!!” The street had got so quiet that it reminded me of an old Clint Eastwood movie.
And as my head began to picture my mom dressed in a Pancho, wearing boots and about to say “make my day” … I got my well-deserved punishment.
She got me with one of those old-fashioned slap to the face for being disrespectful. She may have continued to yell at me but all I could hear was the ringing in my ears. The last thing that I could make out was, “GO TO YOUR ROOM!!!”
I don’t really remember how long I stayed in my room but I do remember doing both the Eddie Murphy kid complaint & the Spaceballs “Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen.” This was one of the hardest but best lessons that I have ever learned … Respect.