MOTHER – SHANE ….. SHANE …… SHANE
I come running down in a cape. I frequently walk around the house with a woolly hat and a cape because it’s so bloody Arctic.
ME – What?
MOTHER -The internet is gone.
ME – Is it? Shit.
I look at the computer
ME – You’re on the internet
MOTHER -WHAT ?
ME – You’re on the internet. You’re typing an email.
MOTHER -I know that, but my email got deleted.
I scratch my head wondering what the hell is going on.
ME – Well. Ok. So, the internet is working.
MOTHER -I can’t type. My buttons are slow. Are you watching a movie? Get off the internet?
MOTHER -Are you on the internet?
ME – Yes. I’m studying. I’m not watching a movie.
MOTHER -I wish you would just let me use the internet. I want to send an email and the buttons aren’t working.
ME – Mam, that’s not me using the internet. I’m in my room.
MOTHER -Will you just get off the internet.
ME – No. Turn off the computer and turn it back on.
MOTHER -BUT I’LL LOSE MY EMAIL.
Note – using the Gutenberg press from 1440 to write a letter would be quicker than how fast my Mum types on a computer.
ME – You’ve already lost it.
MOTHER -JUST GET OFF THE INTERNET. YOU’RE USING ALL THE INTERNET AND NEED SOME OF IT. THE BUTTONS AREN’T WORKING.
ME – THAT IS SO STUPID.
I walk away
MOTHER -YOU’RE STUPID
ME – NO, YOU’RE STUPID. THAT IS LITERALLY LIKE SAYING, I CAN’T HEAR THE TV WILL YOU PLUG OUT THE FRIDGE IN THE KITCHEN. YOU SOUND RIDICULOUS.
MOTHER -The f key is not working. I need the f key.
ME – I’m ignoring you. This is like a bad parody.
Like most parents, it is difficult to let go. It’s difficult to really see your children as adults. It’s difficult for them to admit their children might know something they don’t.
Here is an example of a very typical day. Lets start with the morning.
MOTHER -Are you awake?
ME – I am now.
MOTHER -Are you getting up?
ME – No. Go away
MOTHER -Don’t tell me to go away
ME – What do you want?
MOTHER -It’s late, you can’t sleep all day.
I look out the window. I notice there is no sun outside at all which tells me, at the very latest, it’s 8 am.
ME – It’s not late.
MOTHER -I’m going out. Will you feed the cats?
ME -You feed them.
MOTHER -I can’t, I have to go.
I sit up in bed.
ME – This is so stupid. You keep waking me up, yelling instructions at me while I’m half asleep and then going mental when I don’t do them.
MOTHER -I don’t go mental and I don’t yell.
This post is a sort of revenge. While logic falls off like slices of a perfectly cooked Turkey. Here in my creative space, I am God. I can tell it my way. I don’t need to argue or defend. I can just write. It is perhaps the most therapeutic of ways to get clarity of the mind.
MOTHER -Will you send a message for me on what’s up?
ME- It’s What’s App.
MOTHER -What ?
ME – Like application. It’s What’s App.
MOTHER -What’s Up, is a better name.
ME – You can tell Facebook. Why can’t you send it?
MOTHER -I am trying to, but I hit send and the phone turns off.
ME -Are you hitting the off button?
This conversation continues and ultimately it ends up being my fault that her phone keeps running out of battery. Quickly we discover that she’s got literally everything turned on, Hotspot, Bluetooth, Wifi, the torch.. you name it. It’s on.
MOTHER -I need them on, because I need the internet. You’re using too much internet. I can’t send messages.
ME – Oh my fucking God, you stupid alien, get a crash course in computers and phones.
MOTHER -DON’T YELL AT ME
ME – There are elephants in the zoo that can use a phone better you than you can. Fix it yourself.
Later the same afternoon.
I’m teaching a student how to pass his visa exams. This student is from Syria. We have classes on Skype.
ME – I think it is very sad. But yes I agree with you, I think the media is not reporting the facts. Many people in Ireland are mistrustful on the facts that we are getting.
STUDENT – We have lost everything Mr Shane. I don’t recognise any of the pictures of my city. It’s very sad.
Door barges open
MOTHER -DID YOU EAT ALL THE PANCAKES.
STUDENT – The rubble and the… the … the debris
ME – Debris. Don’t pronounce the s. DE BRI
MOTHER -THEY ARE MY PANCAKES. YOU ATE ALL OF THEM.
ME – ( whispering ) I’m working. My student is from Aleppo. Get out.
Mother stands defiant. She is not leaving until she gets an explanation. No amount of closed doors, English lessons or Middle Eastern civil wars is going to get in her way. They were her pancakes and I, Shane, resident Fat Bastard ate two of them.
I use my hands to signal “6 in the packet and I had 2”. Go away. She leaves, but it’s not over. Damn it, as God is my witness, I know it’s not over.
The class is finishes. I leave the room
I walk out to the kitchen, I can see Dad watching the news. At this point in this rather short blog post I should firstly say sorry for taking so long to write but also to say that I did write quite a lot of stuff. I just didn’t want to publish it. I wrote
W IS FOR WALT – A compelling comparison between the messages of Jesus and Walt Disney and how I identified more with Disney but that now I’ve realised that he also lied to me. It was very depressing, so I decided against it.
W IS FOR WITNESS – Political satire about the American election and how I feel about Trump. I didn’t publish it because there is so much content already out there on him and I wasn’t sure what I could add to the discussion. Besides, I’m not sure I have established myself as someone that readers actually give a shit about when it comes to serious shit. For the moment, I’m more farts and sex than foreign policy or saving the rainforest.
W IS FOR WEIGHT – Ah, this one was when I was drunk. I wrote about my battle losing weight and my joy gaining weight. It was written from the perspective of my left boob which I have affectionately called Julie. I think publishing this one, probably would have scared the shit out of everyone.
Anyway, Dad as usual was watching CNN and having a conversation with my brother ( who was blithely not listening ) about Trump.
DAD – I tell you this much – no one believed it but he had a good plan. Lower corporation tax with stop the big boys moving overseas and keep the jobs in the country. He has a good business brain.
ME – I think that’s bullshit. He came with that idea about a week before the election and there is no evidence that he will actually do it. He’s gone back on so many things he’s said. Look at his foreign policy.
DAD – Well, I don’t believe in a One China idea.
ME – Yes, I neither do I but there is a status quo that while it doesn’t need to be adhered to you have to at least.
DAD- Well, no one is going to sing at his inauguration.
ME – What?
A head pops up from a newspaper in the corner of the room. It’s Mother. She’s drinking tea.
MOTHER -He asked Kanye West and he won’t do it. He’s just out of rehab. He can’t stand that one Kim Kardashian. Do you know she spent $30,000 this year on make-up. No wonder Kanye is in and out of rehab.
Myself, brother and father all stare at her. Mother is famous for her tangents and conversation pivots. She can turn a political chat into a Hollywood rant in seconds.
ME – Ok.
MOTHER -Apparently shes not getting on with Beyonce. The two of them were never friends. Listen to this,
Everyone continues doing what they were doing and completely tunes her out. Mother hasn’t noticed and continues reading the Daily Mail article out loud.
Watching Star Wars on TV
MOTHER -Is that the bad guy?
ME – What?
MOTHER -What is that?
ME – It’s a… eh… it’s… Yoda.
MOTHER -Looks like a teddy bear
SISTER – He’s a Jedi knight.
MOTHER -Oh lovely.
Mother sits down. Watching a movie with Mother is a comic mix of being hilarious and frustrating. She appears to detest any kind of suspense.
MOTHER -Who is the bad guy?
ME – That one. With the stick. But you don’t find that out until the next movie.
MOTHER -God, that’s too long to wait.
2 mins later.
MOTHER -What are those?
SISTER – Lightsabres?
MOTHER -Oh right. Is it sword?
ME – Yes.
MOTHER -Is he going to die?
ME – Yes. But at the end of the movie.
MOTHER -And its there only one green teddy bear in the movie?
ME – Oh my God, just watch it.
MOTHER -Is there anything else on?
SISTER – No. We’re watching this.
MOTHER -It’s stupid.
ME – You’re stupid
Later that night about 10 pm
MOTHER -Is that your washing in the washing basket?
I look down. It’s pretty much a washing basket of pink baby clothes. I look up. There’s a moment of silence.
ME – This is a basket of pink baby clothes. Yes. Yes, they’re mine.
MOTHER -Don’t be so smart. Are they your clothes in the washing machine?
ME – Yes.
MOTHER -Will you take them out.
ME – They are still going round.
She stands there. Shes thinking of something else to ask me to do. Nothing irritates Mother more than firing off an instruction that even she herself acknowledges to be completely stupid.
MOTHER -You need to hoover this room.
ME – I’m studying. I’ll do it later.
MOTHER -There’s dust everywhere.
ME – Ah for feck sake, I’m trying to study. Will you go away. This is difficult.
MOTHER -I’ll do it.
ME – From now on, I’m ignoring you.
MOTHER -Will I do it?
I ignore her.
MOTHER – Is this a clean sock, or a dirty one?
I continue to ignore her. My God if I had this kind of discipline with food I wouldn’t have massive man tits.
She leaves. Thank you Jesus.
I love her really but it all gets a bit too much sometimes. I guess it’s like that with every relationship. You just have to learn to have your space and then in turn you can….. hang on…… WTF….. is that…… OH MY GOD, SHE’S TURNED THE HOOVER ON AND SHE’S COMING UP THE HALL.
IF YOU READ ABOUT ME IN THE NEWSPAPER, AFTER I COMMIT AN ACT OF MURDER. REMEMBER I WAS ONCE NORMAL .