smells like teen spirit, I mean, the odor of my perspiration, I mean, an ode to my inspiration

Other than me, my mom is without a doubt the single most least-capable person I know. She called me last week to ask how to use a garlic press. No lie. She is also insanely aggressive in her quest to correct this hiccup in her design. Plus, she has the kind of competitiveness and attitude toward winning that make being in competition with me look like a day at the spa.  And she doesn’t even cheat. That I know of.

Clearly it’s fair to say this entire project—which can be boiled down to my incapabilities plus my absurd ambition to overcome tiny challenges in gargantuan ways, resulting in huge wins and maybe sometimes a trophy with my name on it—is descended directly from my mom’s competition affliction. All’s fair in love and veggie wars though, and my dad, who at least knows how to do some things like wash clothes and mow the lawn, is not off the hook for this one; he contributed equally to my compulsive competition problem. My dad was the guy who stayed after my softball games arguing calls with umpires for hours like it mattered when I was six.

But it did matter. I learned a pretty important lesson from all those days my dad would harangue umpires to defend my honor or when my mom would give the mathletes judges the stink eye when I got cut from tryouts. And when I say “mathletes” I mean “7th grade cheerleading.” I learned that no matter what, my folks are on my team and our team wins. Even when we don’t. But we do.

I got this in the mail today from my mom, my winning mom. No. 4 was highlighted and I thought, Mom! Do you want me to win or don’t you!? But she knows I will. I always do. Even when I don’t, I do.

Homer Simpson’s Six Best Grilling Tips

  1. To make grilled food taste terrific, my secret ingredient is beer: Add 72 ounces to stomach, then cook. I also find that a half pound of meat really wakes up a veggie burger.
  2. To keep bugs from biting, I move everything indoors and barbecue in the house. It also makes the kids nice and sleepy.
  3. I keep kabob skewers handy for unwanted guests, like my annoying neighbor Ned Flanders. And I don’t use them for the kabobs.
  4. Grill up some vegetables for the vegetarians in your life, like my daughter, Lisa. It’s easy. But remember, no matter how you do it, veggies taste bad.
  5. Give your backyard get-together a theme. The guests will love it. My favorites have been the “Quadruple Bypass Anniversary Party” and “The Great Flanders Smoke-Out.”
  6. What’s the best thing to do with leftovers? Leftovers? Never heard of them.

4 thoughts on “smells like teen spirit, I mean, the odor of my perspiration, I mean, an ode to my inspiration

  1. Okay, so I really only did that once and the call was not just wrong, it was stupid. I mean like bizarrely stupid, remind me sometime and I’l tell you about it. I just had to explain it to him, y’see, and he still didn’t get it. What a maroon!

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