From: "T.L. Kelly" <>
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: <>

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

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.


copyright 1997 T.L. Kelly. All rights reserved.