Tuesday, October 09, 2007

"Make Sure You Watch Out for the Children!"

I was on the phone with my mom yesterday. She suddenly halted the conversation "oooh hold on a minute. THE STREET CLEANER IS HERE!"

Back in the day, I can remember my mother taking glee that can't be classified any less than seismic when she would remind every single member of our family that "Tomorrow is street cleaner day. You will want to get your car out of the circle before they come or you get a ticket!!"

It wasn't just our family that she lectured. Visitors, even if they were not staying for very long would be treated to this warning as well. I know her heart was in the right place, but unfortunately that jabbed me in the wrong place every time. It was like a commercial you can't stand - and the show you are watching is live. Even going for a sandwich, you can still hear it and it still makes the hair on your neck stand on end.

There's a companion "warning" that is issued to everyone who dares park anywhere near their home on NON street cleaner day too. It's the "Make sure you don't back over any children when you leave, we have a lot of kids play in the circle and you can't see them in your mirror!" speech. This one really gets me going, so much that when I hear it now, I say "Yes mom, but I was really looking forward to getting me some street urchin this time."

Not having lived there for over 10 years, I was shocked at how fast my muscles contracted in defense of an anticipated street cleaner warning. After all, how could she warn me if I didn't live there anymore? And by the way, when I moved into a house with Mr. Zoom, she did ask me if we had street cleaner day. TRUE STORY!! Alas, we do. But we don't get tickets for parking there on those days. WHOOO AAAAH!

Mom continued "...I have to get to the window to see who got a ticket this week." .... pause... ...pause.... "Oh well, nobody's in the street this time. No tickets. What were we talking about?"

I wish I could have seen the look on my own face. Even more than 24 hours later, I'm still dumbfounded that my very independent, stubborn, never bored mom has taken to looking out the window for victims of parking tickets - as entertainment. She's got hobbies. She's got movies to see. Friends to hang out with. It just feels so ... odd.

Maybe my dad installed something in the house all by himself again and the electrical/radio/microwaves are silently turning them both into stereotypical retired folks with passive aggressive parking ticket vindictiveness? Now I'm going to have to ask Mr. Zoom to check things out. Make sure there's no oven in the closet now or something.


Aisha T. said...

Come one, street cleaning is fun, Zoom! *chuckle* I love your family stories

Spider Girl said...

Some things never change, eh...especially the things that drive one buggy.

I love my parents dearly, but let us just say that I can identify with forms of familial eccentricity that make one cringe. :)