Ladies and Gentlemen, My Mother…The Antichist

Posted: August 29, 2011 by S. Trevor Swenson in Life, Me & Mine
Tags: , , , , , ,
 

RING

Should we tell Mr. Hitchcock that it's my mom? (not pictured here)

Should we tell Mr. Hitchcock that it's my mom? (not pictured here)

 
“Hello…?”
“Hi Ma.”
“Well, I’ve been called a ‘bitch'” She began, (That was me, ages 14, 15, 27, 28 & 39)
“I’ve been called “Hitler” (My uncle Brian called my mother this during Christmas 1996. She’d been acting like a control freak (surprise, surprise))
“and now I’ve been called “The Antichrist”
 
I was calling my mother back because she had called me an hour earlier and woken me up. I am generally less than polite when woken up by the phone and I am ashamed to admit I barked at my poor mother calling with hurricane survival tips. I don’t remember exactly what our conversation consisted of as I hadn’t had any coffee yet, but I do recall saying at least three times  “Yeah yeah, ok  I’ll talk to you later.”  Which isn’t really that rude except when you’re saying it in the middle of another person’s sentence.
 
“…and the weatherman said that the winds could reach over 100 mph, so you should duct tape your…”
 
“Yeah, yeah, ok… I’ll talk to you later.”
 
So, I was calling to apologize for my grumpiness above and beyond the call. I’m slightly ashamed to admit that this is a rather common apology on my part and I am blessed to have friends and family members who are accustomed to my grouchy grumble mumble chumble, and take it in stride in addition to forgiving me.  Frankly I was more interested in this Antichrist business.
 
“Well I was on my porch, and I saw one of the Appleton’s throw trash off of their porch so I called him on it.”

 

Bad Appletons

Let me pause here and explain who the “Appletons” are and the issues between them and the Anti-Christ. Recently my mother sold her condo and moved to a less expensive apartment in a small city with a high crime rate.  Her new apartment is quite beautiful, and is in a reasonably nice section of her new, crime-ridden city. Right and to the rear of her apartment are her neighbors who she has dubbed “The Appletons” after the street they live on “Appleton St”. The Appletons are not one family, but rather a collective of poor, noisy and low class Puerto Rican families. This is not a dig on Puerto Ricans. I have made many friends over the years from that island and they have been sweet, kind, smart, honorable and hardworking people.  Every nationality, race, etc. has their less than savory element.  My gang too, the pasty Caucasians, has no lack of drunks, chronically unemployed and lovers who have not figured out the intricacies of the condom. This is not a piece about political correctness, socio-economic dilemmas and issues and so forth.
 
The Antichrist’s building is kitty cornered with the Appleton’s and their back porches are facing a vacant lot, which the Appleton’s have transformed into their dumping ground and play space for their three thousand small children.  Recently the city my mother moved to passed an initiative to give free mattresses to the poor. The Appleton’s took advantage of the cities largesse and replaced their old mattresses with new and threw the old ones off of their porches and into the vacant lot that they share with the Antichrist and their other neighbors.
 
Immediately after moving in my mother decided that the adjoining vacant lot was going to be her new project.  I understood this as it is certainly an eyesore.  Plus I don’t visit as often as she would like and her need for disapproval was at a low.  After she set up her new abode she had mentioned going into the vacant lot and picking up the accumulation of litter there.  I admired her gumption, but warned her that in all likelihood the Appleton’s will not view her efforts as a call for pride in one’s neighborhood, and that in short order the lot would certainly fill up with trash again.  The Antichrist answered me with a dismissive “oh I know, I know…but I am on a mission.”

 

Not exactly her view, but something vaguely similar. Nice, huh?

She started by calling the city’s department of health and sanitation to see if she could get the trash picked up from the mattress graveyard.  This has been done to a small degree. Then my mother questioned neighbors as to the Appleton’s history.  Her new, non-Appleton neighbors had nothing very positive to say about them.  The general neighborhood consensus of the Appletons is that “They play music, litter, fornicate, pump out babies at an alarming rate and fight with each other. In addition to this they avoid employment and education and they scream in Spanish a great deal.  Having been raised and reared by the Antichrist I knew her capacity for disapproval.  She quite literally had enough to blanket the better part of the east coast in addition to her son.
 
My mother waved and chatted with a few of the Appletons when she saw them the first few times after moving in.  She has a set of shelves that she put on her back porch to hold plants and upon seeing it one of the Appletons yelled over to her asking if she “wuz gonna keep dat?”  She also ran into the Appleton’s landlord and asked him what the story was.  He replied patiently and good naturedly that they have a “hotel mentality” in regards to their residence in his building.  In other words, it’s not theirs so they don’t care what it looks like, it’s upkeep etc. Attitudes such as this have discouraged the landlord from putting any effort into making improvements or even basic maintenance of the building.  It was a classic poverty chicken/egg scenario.
 
My mother had been dubbed the Antichrist an hour prior to my apology phone call.  As I said she was on her porch and one of the Appleton’s had thrown some trash off of their porch.  My mother took issue with this and piped up about it.  This is something I have inherited from my dear mother; a poor sense of when to STFU as they call it in cyberland.  After my mother’s rebuke the trash slinger looked over and told her to mind her own beeswax.  My mother retorted that it was indeed her beeswax as she lived there too and this was also her view and neighborhood.  Another Appleton, a woman piped up and started to get into it with my mother.  My mother pointed out that they have children and did they want their children to see this and grow up to be pigs?  Something about this statement brought flashbacks of my childhood flooding through my brain, with vague memories of questions as to how I could live in such a pigsty. Mothers love that word. 
 
Now trashy, low-rent people do not like to be called bad parents. I’ve never understood it, but it’s true.  To quote comedian Chris Rock in his famous “Niggas vs Black People” routine 
 
“I take care of my kids”
“You’re supposed to,  whatcha want a cookie?”
 
 
I have seen this behavior before.  Young parents with their infants in strollers hanging out at 2 or 3 in the morning being remarked upon by others and getting very defensive about it.  The overwhelming neglect and ignorance is maddening, but it’s a fool’s errand to get into it with this type of person.  They don’t know any better; they don’t want to know any better and will only get angry and defensive when called on their unacceptable behavior.
 
I also know, but fear that my mother does not, that when you start a back and forth with trashy, ignorant, poor people whether they are black, white, latino or what have you, they get loud, and other trashy, ignorant and poor people within ear shot start to join in until the one confronting them is shouted down, or in some cases beaten by the mob.  Having heard this back and forth a single male Appleton went out on his porch, looked over at my mother and said “You’re the Antichrist.”
 

This was my mother’s cue to go inside, or maybe that was when her phone started ringing with my calling to apologize. Either way she went back inside.  After listening to her tale I cautioned her to leave the Appletons alone.  She may be in the right, but this issue was on a bad course and she needed to recognize that.  Luckily on this rare occasion, my mother, the Antichrist agreed with me.

Comments
  1. Tallkronan says:

    See, this is where Mistress Rage would have been a great friend to have!
    Gosh, I feel for your Mother!
    She seems to have been a wonderful, wonderful woman, Scott.

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