Tonight I went over to my parents' house. Dad was in night class, and Mom was watching the news. She's interested in Hurricane Katrina.
During the commercials, Mom muted the t.v. She began to spin a great tale of wackery. She said "The neighbors over here? Yeah, they threatened to sue the people across the street."
Zoom: "Sue them for what?"
Mom: "They have a camera."
Zoom: "Who has a camera? How can someone threaten to sue someone, because they have a camera?"
Mom: "No no no no, see. The neighbors have a camera mounted on their house. I think they are paranoid"
Zoom's inside voice "Really. you recognize paranoid do you?"
Mom, practically whispering in a very dramatic way: "The neighbors. They have a camera on their house to record the comings and goings of.....people. They go to Mexico a lot, and they seem to have quite a bit of extra money to redo the house all the time. HE is working two foreman jobs. And that is illegal. At least I think it is. So they go to Mexico, they go over the border and back, and well, I just don't know what they bring back...but...well, you know"
and she emphasises this with a knowing nod and a raised brow.
Zoom: "Where did you hear this?"
Zoom: "Mom, Janine has been the recognized neighborhood busy body and zany lady for over 20 years. As far as we know, she tells the neighbors that you guys are aliens. And that Slausen here is your alien baby (Slausen is the cat) just because he looks funny. "
Mom: "NO, I saw the camera myself. So I know it's true. I'm just going to stay out of their way."
Zoom: "Ok, that's probably a good idea."
Now, as a further display of power, the painful family visit gods made it so that Janine was walking up the driveway right when I tried to leave to go home.
Among Janine's stories was the following:
Janine, to my Mom: "Have you seen the inside of your neighbor's house? They just re-carpeted the house last week! $40 a square yard is what that cost!"
Zoom's inside voice: "Yard? Don't you mean foot? Eh, as if that's the only thing wrong with this current conversation...." **UPDATE AFTER POSTING: C says "no honey, they DO sell carpet by the yard." Great, there goes MY credibility.**
Mom: "I was just telling Zoom about the camera...."
That was a Toyota Prius with a full tank of hybrid wackery, lain at the feet of my Mom. She will now drive it in circles around me for the next 6 months to a year, waving the "I told you so" flag. With checkers.
And then it will make appearances at Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners.