Happy birthday mom!
GETTING MORE TALE #688: The Mom Con
Was chatting it up with Superdekes over at Arena Rock the other day. He mentioned putting his two daughters through university. What a great dad. My parents were similarly good to me. They paid my way. My mom paid for my textbooks. Some of them could get really expensive. You’d be looking at over $100 each for some. I kept many of them. My Astronomy texts are still beautiful though outdated. I am fairly sure I still have my English translation of Herodotus’ The Histories (c. 440 BC) somewhere.
My first year of university, she came with me to the book store to help me find everything. Good thing she did, as it was an intimidating prospect for a first timer. One of my history courses had four novels assigned. I got all four, but only after class started did I learn that you didn’t need all four, you only had to choose one of the four. Rookie mistake. In the years that followed, we all learned to wait until class actually began before you bought every single book. Some might be optional. It was Russian history, and I chose Ivan Turgenev’s Fathers and Sons (1880). Not what you’d call a page turner but I worked my way through it. It introduced me to the concept of nihilism (which I still don’t really fathom) and that helped me at least understand The Big Lebowski later on. So I chalk that as a “win”.
The parents took good care of me through school, loaning me the car most of the time. On Thursday nights I only had an hour and a half between classes so I would go to my grandma’s house in Waterloo for dinner. Porkchops with mushroom soup.
I worked my way through my history degree, but in my final year I tried to pull one over on my mom.
My buddy Peter introduced me to Beavis and Butt-head a year prior. In Frankemuth, Michigan he rented a VCR just to tape some MTV broadcasts of the show. We didn’t get it in Canada (unless you had satellite). So when I saw the Beavis and Butt-head Ensucklopedia (1994) just sitting there in the actual school bookstore, I had to buy it. The mere sighting of Beavis and Butt-head sitting there in a school text book store was too hilarious for me to ignore.
Mom used to tell me, “Just put your books on your credit card, give me the receipt, and I will reimburse you with a cheque.” It was a sweet deal so why not throw Beavis and Butt-head there in the pile?
Well there was no pulling the wool over mom’s eyes. Of course she looked at the itemised receipt and questioned me.
“I’m not paying for Beavis and Butt-head!” she said, and true to her word, gave me a cheque for the total minus that book.