Monday, August 10, 2009

Mother Daughter Bonding

I'm realizing every woman's worst nightmare. Every day I find myself becoming more and more like my mother.

It's not so bad though. I mean, we're both short, fun-loving, vodka drinkers...what's not to like? No, but really, we have our differences, but we're similar in some scary ways.

We're both no nonsense, don't-feed-me-that-bullshit kind of ladies yet she's more on the reserved side, while I'm a bit more boisterous.

We both know what we REALLY like, but we adapt to most situations (i.e. camping) as long as there's enough beer to make it bearable.

We're both fiercely loyal to our "people" and if you mess with any of them, you can kiss your ass goodbye in one form or another. My mom most notably to her children and grandchildren. She's like a mama bear and I swear on everything that when shit goes down, her eyes get all wide and wild, then they turn red and she grows 6-inch razor sharp claws. She's the most loving, gracious, giving woman...until you grossly cross the line. You want to be friends with her. I'm like this to an eerily similar extent, but I suppose I'll be even more mama bear-esque when if I have my own children because I mean seriously? Children? Eew...said the cynical, jobless, unmarried-with-no-prospects 26-year-old.

Just a few weeks ago we learned we're also both touristy, road tripping nerds.

The upside to being jobless is that you can go anywhere and do anything whenever the hell you want especially if somebody else is paying.

Well not anything, since you know all of us unemployed people, while we appreciate the help from the state so we don't in fact starve, really would love to go rob some sort of establishment just because we're so desperate to remember what it feels like to have our old salaries. Not that mine was good anyway, but better than what I'm living off of now.

I've heard people complaining about their salaries recently and I'm like, I'M LIVING OFF A THIRD OF THAT RIGHT NOW YOU BASTARD! And, it's not much worse than what I was living off of while I was at the newspaper. Quit being such a whiny, money grubbing dick! Be happy you are at the very least employed instead of slowly driving yourself to the looney bin like me! Then I punch them in the mouth. But, then I remember that I mentioned I wanted to rob stores and stuff and I take back the money grubbing part...and give them some ice for their fat lip. Perhaps the legal fees and jail time would be far worse in the long run. See, I'm not completely insane...yet.

Also, there was talk that I might qualify to be on food stamps, but I looked into it and it turns out that I "MAKE" TOO MUCH MONEY. Mmmmkay. Can you imagine that? The Johnson County princess, though far less princessy than many, MANY of my counterparts, on food stamps? It's a riot - a fucking riot I tell you...

Damn, where did that come from? Anyway, back to the doing-whatever-I-want-when-I-want thing...

I've loved the famous author and humorist Mark Twain for quite a while and ever since I found out his hometown of Hannibal, Missouri was a mere four hour drive from my hometown of Kansas City, I've wanted to visit. He was just so my style. He made fun of ignorance in a wise and 19th century snarky way. He'd basically say, "Wow, you're a dumbass. Shut up," but he'd do it in this cleaver, roundabout way that would make most people deserving of his remarks sit there puzzled for hours before they'd think, "wait, did he just insult me?" It's pretty much kick ass and relentlessly entertaining.

One day, my Mom goes, 'hey, want to go to Hannibal?' And while I never pictured making the trek with my mother, most people would rather do anything else besides give up their weekend to drive across the state of Missouri to nerd it up with me over some dude that's been dead for nearly 100 years and I'm not sure why I hadn't thought of Mom years ago. So, we did a little research, booked a hotel room, jumped in the car on a Tuesday morning and headed to Hannibal while listening to "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" on CDs. Yes, I just proudly admitted that...

We tromped through the rain for some lunch at a local bar, marveled at the eight different buildings involved in the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum, hoofed it up 6 billion stairs to the Mark Twain Memorial Lighthouse for views of the Mississippi River and received an unplanned private tour of the famous Mark Twain Cave. Apparently it's not too popular on a Tuesday night.

I was mesmerized by the museum, especially the first building where it's basically a giant timeline of his personal life, mixed with his writing career all in one room. It was extremely well done and any history lover would enjoy it.

When we got to the last building, which pretty much focused on his different books and writings, I was briefly snapped out of mesmerization and into hysterical laughter when Mom and I walked over into the "Innocents Abroad" exhibit and unknowingly into a cloud of nuclear waste mixed with three day old summer roadkill that had apparently escaped from the ass of a man that had just quickly exited the exhibit. We both looked at each other wide eyed and covered our faces to not only block out the stench, but stifle laughter until we could run back to the "Roughing It" exhibit to hide in a faux stagecoach until we could compose ourselves and let the area "air out." It took me a while to get Mom to go upstairs because, "I'm not going up there with that guy!" She said, for fear the cloud had made it's way up there as well. Hehe, farts are funny.

Love this quote:

Upstairs, we learned why Samuel Clemens, a former steamboat pilot, chose the pen name Mark Twain and saw actual photos and stuff he used such as one of his white suit jackets, a top hat and a pipe...mesmerization back on.

As we started our journey towards the steps leading to the lighthouse, our peaceful walk was interrupted by some vagabond-type young man singing extremely loudly behind us. I was mildly entertained mainly by how uncomfortable my mother became in this situation. After muttering things like, 'I hope he doesn't come near us' and 'oohhhh, go away!' under her breath, we realized he was singing some religious song and she said, "Oh shit, he's singing a damn Jesus song!" *brief pause* "...and you wonder where you get it, Lara..."

Before we left the hotel for our excursion, I read the Mark Twain Cave brochure and noted how absurd it was for them to use the words "light wrap" to remind visitors to bring a light jacket (the words I would have chosen) for the tour since the cave is 52 degrees. Men aren't going to immediately understand what that means. You might as well say "bring a pashmina." Then, when we arrived at the cave, I said to Mom, "Now, don't forget your light wrap!" and she pretty much lost it and had to sit in the car for a second so she could stop laughing. Later on, my Mom told the story to my Dad and at first, he thought she was talking about food...I rest my case. I have a bright future in brochure writing...Now 1, 2, 3 someone hire me.

Wednesday morning we decided to take a ride on the Mark Twain Riverboat before heading back to KC. We situated ourselves in a couple chairs on the top deck at the front of the boat and quickly realized we were overlooking a gaggle of white trash who provided much side entertainment during our hour-long sightseeing ride.

The chick that would have looked about my age if it hadn't been for the rotting, yellow teeth and half blond, half dark brown hair because of the roots down to her ears, had a child that was maybe 8 months old and BITCHED about EVERYTHING the ENTIRE time. Mom and I watched as person after person sat behind this chick and her parents, then promptly got up and moved to another seat far, far away.

At one point, everybody had food and the kid was stretching her neck out and squawking like a baby bird and WT mommy responded by shoving potato chips and mini M&Ms in her joke. Pretty soon, all the food was gone and the baby FLIPPED A SHIT, you know, like all babies do from time to time, which caused WT mommy to become flustered, yell at the baby to STOOOOOP! and pass the kid off to her grandparents, who also looked confused as to why the baby was screaming.

Then I about fell overboard when Mom matter-of-factly said, "That baby is just hungry. Why don't they feed it? Fucking morons." And, we both laughed uncontrollably in our own little, profane world.

The rest of the riverboat ride involved me salivating over "Jackson's Island." "Oh my god, that's Jackson's Island from Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer!" A Great Blue Heron flew out of the trees as we slowly chugged past and I gasped waaaay too excitedly and pointed waaaay too spastically just because I know they're my mom's favorite and she would have been pissed if she had missed it.

As we continued to float by, my dreams of becoming the female Mark Twain were crushed when I saw the state of the island. Wilderness - wild, woolly wilderness and there was no way I would ever fashion logs together in a skiff, float my ass to this island and stay here for any period of time no matter how craptastic my dad was or how cool Jim the escaped slave was for fear my face would be eaten off by some unnamed river creature, but mostly because of butt crack beetles. I'm far too obsessed with modern technology and I'm not talking flat screens and Blackberries. I'm talking modern dwellings and indoor plumbing. OK, well, maybe I would, but only if there was moonshine. Lots and LOTS of moonshine...

It was quite the educational and worthwhile road trip - for the love of Mark Twain and, most importantly, for the love of Mama.


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