Mom's not dead.

Katrina and Mom weren't at the restaurant for our once-weekly breakfast yesterday.

They're often ten or fifteen minutes late, so I grabbed an AARP Bulletin off the diner's counter for a laugh. It's half ads, and the other half is mostly articles about insurance, which coincidentally AARP sells. What a scam.



& links

Dec. 18, 2022

When I finished the insurance fluff, Mom and Sis remained absent. I looked out the window and harrumphed a few times, watched a pretty girl across the diner, and suddenly they were half an hour late.

That's far later than they've ever been before, so at that point I couldn't order breakfast. I'd be too worried to enjoy it.

And of course, I never carry a cell phone. My line is, I got along fine without a phone in my pocket 50 years ago, so fuck phones. To know what had happened to Mom and Sis, I'd have to bus home and call, or check my messages.

It's one of my great fears, that they'll get in a wreck on the way to the restaurant some Saturday morning. Mom's in her 90s and doesn't drive, and my sister is in her 70s and drives a little leadfooted. It'll suck if they die in a wreck, of course, but it'll quadruple-suck if they die in a wreck on the way to have breakfast with me.

On the bus ride home, I worried. Mom really loves the Saturday breakfasts. I don't think she cares about the food, but she cherishes a chance to nag at me for an hour straight. She'd never miss that, not voluntarily, so the worst was on my mind.

It takes two buses to get home, so there was plenty of time to worry, and in the middle of it, a though crossed my mind, then looped back and loitered a while: If Mom's dead but Katrina's OK, hey, they share a house. Maybe I could move into Mom's old room at Katrina's house?

That's an awful thought at an awful time, but Katrina's almost as much of a recluse as me — she spends 99% of her at-home time in her room, and she's gone every weekend, so she'd be a lot less annoying than my flatmate Dean.

But like I said, it's an awful thought while I didn't know who was dead or alive, so I shooed it off, or filed it away for future reference.

When the bus dropped me a block from home, I hurried back through the rain, unlocked the door, stepped inside, and headed straight for the john. I was concerned about Mom and Sis, urgently needed to get to my phone, but even more urgently needed to pee. Being old, that took a minute, and felt like two.

In my room, I checked my texts, and Sis had overslept. That's all.

She said she'd woken up at about the time they were supposed to be at the restaurant, but it's a half-hour drive, plus another fifteen minutes getting Mom awake and dressed and out the door, so Katrina figured — rightly — that I'd be gone from the diner by the time she got there. She'd texted me that they weren't coming, but my cell phone was at home so I hadn't known.

Oversleeping is a gift from the gods, so I'm not mad about it. I'm only mad at me. First off, for daydreaming about Mom's room, but also, I gotta start carrying my cell phone with me.

If I'd had my phone, I wouldn't have had to hurry home and worry all the way. Wouldn't have had to tip the waitress $5 for just sitting at a table for half an hour. Could've stayed and had a lovely breakfast alone. Also, with the cell phone I can punch a magic number to find out if my bus is running late.

Me and Mom and Katrina shared a long and enjoyable text-messaging session, which is the next best thing to seeing them. Or maybe it's even better, because not once in her texts did Mom ask if I've thought about repairing my teeth, or tell me I need to lose weight, or invite me to her church for Christmas, or inquire about my ex-girlfriends from the 1980s and '90s.

My sister said she was surprised I'd been worried. "You're usually so que sera sera," she typed. Well, I'm easygoing about my own life, daily deciding not to look for a job yet, watching movies instead of cleaning the room, and I'm still about half unpacked from moving last Spring. About the few people I love, though, yeah, I worry.

News you need,
whether you know it or not

Google's permanent deindexing of pirate sites spreads across Europe 

Catholic Church buys $2.4M Seattle house as finances peak, parishes close 

South Carolina school district gives clergy members say in which books are banned 

The state of Oregon will not execute seventeen people on death row 

Authorities then Microsoft developers erase an historic black cemetery 

NY Times dumps its only trans contributor, adds anti-trans voice 

Guns are now the leading cause of deaths among American children 

US botched 35% of execution attempts this year 

Jeez, if there's one thing I would've thought America could do, it's kill people.

Judge torches federal prosecutors for flipping a defendant and using him to spy on defense team 

More than 1 in 10 species could be lost by end of century, study warns 

And it never stops, never stops, never stops, never stops, never stops, never stops, never stops, because climate change isn't 'coming', it's underway. It'll kill billions, and we're not doing squat about it.

Auburn has now paid nearly $6M to settle suits against cop charged with murder 

And it never stops, never stops, never stops, never stops, never stops, never stops, never stops, never stops, never stops, never stops, never stops, never stops, never stops, never stops, because all cops are bastards, or they know who the bastard cops are and do nothing about it, which is the same thing.

Conservative donors pour 'dark money' into case that could upend US voting law 

And it never stops, never stops, never stops, never stops, never stops, because Republicans are the enemy of common sense, common decency, simple truth, and democracy.

Clicks ahoy

Coverage on Musk shows the New York Times is hopelessly devoted to protecting the 1% 

Were the Wright Brothers really the first in flight? 

• Mystery links... like life itself, there's no knowing where you're going, so click and click and click a third time.

Fat Fury: My favorite comic book superhero when I was a kid 

Andy the goose 

Chicken gun 

♫♬  Mix tape of my mind  ♫

America, Fuck Yeah — Team America 

For What It's Worth — Buffalo Springfield 

Long Black Road - Electric Light Orchestra 

Sad Joy — Manfred Mann 

Where Do I Go? — Hair 

The End 

Angelo Badalamenti 

Don Luce 

Stuart Margolin 

Dorothy Pitman Hughes


Cranky Old Fart is annoyed and complains and very occasionally offers a kindness, along with anything off the internet that's made me smile or snarl. All opinions fresh from my ass. Top illustration by Jeff Meyer. Click any image to enlarge. Comments & conversations invited.
Tip 'o the hat to Linden Arden, ye olde AVA, BoingBoing, Breakfast at Ralf's, Captain Hampockets, CaptCreate's Log, John the Basket, LiarTownUSA, Meme City, National Zero, Ran Prieur, Voenix Rising, and anyone else whose work I've stolen without saying thanks.
Extra special thanks to Becky Jo, Name Withheld, Dave S, Wynn Bruce, and always Stephanie...

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