Books Make Perfect Excuses: A Son’s Folly

Miss Crankypants is a little bit down today. One of her kids has started blaming all his troubles, foibles and dumb moves on the books that Miss CP taught him to cherish. He won’t clean the bathroom or help with the laundry. The nerve!
Say what? Mothers everywhere will surely identify–one of your children, the one you waited nine tortuous months to meet, is all grown up now but defends each of his sins by some comparison to a novel’s hero.
As a dyed-in-the-wool mommy, Miss CP feels the heartache and come to think of it, the heartburn. Suddenly, her son is a combination of Holden Caulfield, Conan the Barbarian and Batman. She ignores friends who point out that the kid has a beard and a little beer gut. She digs in for the fight.
Why can’t moms let go? Miss CP’s three sons are cruising close to middle age but she still buys their underwear. And while she whoops with their successes, she weeps when they act like the village idiots. Again.
Don’t they know that a mother’s sole purpose on earth is to see their sons (and daughters) stand atop the dog pile of their lives? Apparently not.
Since childhood, the son in question has done all kinds of eyebrow-raising misdeeds–from decapitating his little sister’s Barbie dolls to hunting neighborhood chickens with spears consisting of a screwdriver taped to a broomstick (the chickens escaped unharmed).
Later, in the teen years, he got in trouble for uprooting potted plants in front of a senior living complex. Oh the shame! In court, he tossed a clipboard at the judge. Did Miss Cranky forget to teach him life’s guiding principle: never throw stuff at a judge!
Of course not. He thought up that gem on his own.
Now it’s his turn to clean the bathroom. He refuses, and says that books are to blame. “No self-respecting hero would swab the john!”
Miss Crankypants sticks her hands on her hips. “Listen, mister. I’ll bet Conan still had to help clean the bathroom now and then!”
Son crosses his arms. “No way.”
Miss CP ups the ante. Well how would you feel if you suddenly have no clean underwear for the foreseeable future? Huh?”
Son laughs. “I bet Batman doesn’t even wear undies!”
Miss Cranky shakes a rubber-gloved fist. “I suppose Holden Caulfield would have a snappy way of dealing with chores?”
Son looks confused. “Wrong book.You’ve got it mixed up with the guy in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.”
Miss Crankypants would show her son some fear and loathing, but the toilet needs attention. Maybe while she’s in there she’ll find some decent reading material. After all, Books make great excuses.

About Linda S. Clare

I'm an author, speaker, writing coach and mentor. I teach both fiction and nonfiction writing at Lane Community College and in the doctoral program as expert writing advisor for George Fox University. I love helping writers improve their craft and I'm both an avid reader and writer of stories about those with wounded hearts.

2 comments on “Books Make Perfect Excuses: A Son’s Folly

  1. As a mother, I feel your pain, Miss CP. However, I raised girls. Perfect wonderful, incredible girls who never left the seat up on the toilet even once or peed in the corner of the bathroom–I’ve heard the horror stories from my friends. But do take heart in payback time. It will come. Wait for it with glee.

  2. Miss CP is gleeful all right. She is already seeing payback as her eldest son (the one with the book fetish) is sleep-deprived, poo and peed on by number one grandson. How does it feeeel?
    Keep smiling, Miss CP aka Linda

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