From: "T.L. Kelly" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Newsgroups: talk.bizarre Subject: Speaking in Tongues Date: Mon, 1 Dec 1997 20:33:49 -0800 Organization: Teleport - Portland's Public Access (503) 220-1016 Lines: 84 Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.3.96.971201203240.2311Eemail@example.com> About my mother. I have invited her to come with us to Oregon, to find a perfect little farm in which we can all be poor and happy, but she doesn't like the poor part just the happy part so I figure it's 50-50 and I usually am the one to care about the happy part in our family anyway. So we'll be happy, never mind the poor part, she says. I tell her we are not poor yet because we have 20 grand in the bank. We are temporarily middle class. You maybe, she says, but I am going to start a business called The Crocked Pot. I will have ten crock pots lined up on a table, all steaming and churning stews and sauces and roasts and sauerkraut and soups and calves brains and people will line up at the door once they get a whiff of all the things brewing in my crock pots. It will all be self serve. I won't even have to be there. I'll leave a cash register open with a sign that says 'exact change only.' Everything else in the place will be throw-away. Knives spoons forks plates napkins chairs tableclothes tables people. They will eat and eat and eat and when they have stuffed themselves silly they will die and I will sweep them up and put them in crock pots. Big ones. The whole world is recyclable, you know, and that is the secret to good business. You must even recycle your customers. Feed the rich common street carcasses. What are we having for dinner? I'm not hungry, Mother, I say. I've eaten too many poor people today and my stomach is upset. Books my mother wants me to read: Atlas Shrugged, Holy Blood Holy Grail, The Name of the Rose, The Meaning of Masonry, The Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Exodus, War And Peace, Lolita. I write them all down on my list of books to read when my mother's around, and when she goes to sleep, I cross out all of them except Lolita. My mother says I am worried about driving the car to your house. The left front tire is bad, any minute now and the steel-belted part of the tire will begin to show through and I may just go careening off the freeway and end up in a ditch. I have premonitions about this, she says, nasty bloody premonitions with twilight zone music playing in the background. Rod serling walks out from behind my wrecked car and says, you are driving down the freeway, on your way to see your daughter, and suddenly, the rubber starts to flap on your left front tire, exposing the eerie silver glint of steel belted mesh as the tire explodes sending you screaming into...the twilight zone. I ask my mother, then what happens? She says, then there is a commercial for Crystal Light, and when Linda Evans says, "Because I believe in ME!!" -- I am filled with terror. It is as if Linda Evans is speaking to me, trying to warn me of impending disaster. I tell my mother, then take the Amtrak. But then she tells me about her train disaster premonition, this one with Stephen King in an American Express commercial, and I finally give up and say, okay Mom, I'll come and get you. But I think it's ridiculous , you only live an hour away. She says, be careful, I've seen you in a premonition too. I tell her I don't want to know. She says, are you sure? This one has no commercials - it's a video with Twisted Sisters. My mother is talking in her sleep. I listen closely, waiting to hear more about The Crocked Pot. I am terrified that she might set up her business in my neighborhood. But she's speaking in tongues, and I only know a few phrases in Spanish. Donde esta Susana? I whisper in my sleeping mother's ear, hoping to get her to converse with me on a subliminal level. Esta Susana en casa? I whisper. My mother mumbles back, no, en la cocina. I whisper back, donde esta La Crocked Pot? She mumbles, en la cocina, con Susana. I go into the kitchen, looking for Susana, but she is gone and left a note on the table that I cannot decipher because it is written in tongues. I had a friend once who, after she had been saved, could speak in tongues. We would go to lunch together and she would be looking at the menu and suddenly lapse into speaking in tongues, ordering items not on the menu, which the waiter (who was also saved) understood and brought to the table. Things, I discovered later, that I could not afford. The table was covered with items one would have expected to find on the table of the Last Supper, along with a bottle of wine dated 2 B.C., a rare vintage that costs $50,000 a bottle. My friend told the waiter, in tongues, that it would do fine, and she broke off the top of the bottle with her teeth. Blood of Christ, she said, as the waiter poured the wine, and the waiter replied, may the world someday be swimming in the blood of Christ. Then the waiter brought the check and my friend suddenly lapsed into poverty, a language I could understand. Years later, I heard she became a stockbroker who predicted the rise and fall of stocks by holding a pendulum above a copy of the Wall Street Journal. wenchpoet copyright 1997 T.L. Kelly. All rights reserved.