March 1, 2019

wherein karma gets the banana

It took less than forty-eight hours.  That is some seriously commendable swiftness.  It puts the windy, whooshy sound in the word itself.  Swiifffffffffft.

Karma could apply for a job at Jimmy John's.  Freaky fast.  It could deliver Amazon packages in New York City.  It could play that level of Ms. Pac-Man where the power pellets don't even turn the ghost monsters blue any more, and Karma would always get the banana and would never, ever get killed.

Right, so ... *counts on fingers* ... exactly forty-five hours and twenty-six minutes after my sending my mother the e-mail discontinuing communication between us, Karma was all *screechy tire sound* right outside, and the phone rang.  It was The Kid.

Some parents hear their teenager say, "I'm pregnant."  Some hear, "I'm doing drugs."  Some hear, "I did a hit-and-run last night but I put the car in reverse and ran over the guy again to be sure before I sped off."  This is all a natural part of parenthood.

Nothing could have prepared me for that phone call.  "Hey, I'm just calling to tell you something really good.  My dance teachers recommended me to the drama teacher because they were short on male leads, and so now I'm going to have a male lead role in The Sound of Music because I can waltz and speak German.  I'm going to be the Nazi soldier who waltzes.  I think he's important.  It's in April and there will three performances!"

My brain glossed over the bit about which play and I said, "So you're going to sing and say lines and dance on stage in front of an auditorium full of people."

He said, "Yeah!"

We hung up because his bus arrived.  Then it pounced on me.

Oh, sweet blithering Christ, no.


Not The Sound of Music.

I started to breathe heavily.  My palms became sweaty.

The Sound of Music is the pimiento cheese of musicals.  It's the vomit-y residue of 1965.  The songs burrow into your head like Guinea worms.  They are exposing teenagers to this.  No one is calling the CDC.  No one is telling Child Protective Services.

I must remember to thank his teachers.

Not only do I have to sacrifice every afternoon (and some Saturdays) in March to rehearsal transportation ... I have to attend dress rehearsals and three performances of this ... this ... thing in April.

I called his father.  "And you're going to be sitting beside me for every single performance, motherfucker, because I am NOT suffering alone," I said sweetly, because we enjoy an excellent co-parenting relationship.

Sometimes I'm accused of over-reacting.

This is my recompense.  It is the means, karmically speaking, by which I earn my freedom.  Harsh, but I can make it through this.  I can pay my dues.  I have the header graphic from Steam Me Up, Kid to help me.  I can close my eyes and see this any time I need.

As for the music ... I've been through some bad times, though none as bad as this experience is likely to prove.  I've been awakened every morning for a year by the same Morrissey song playing on my college roommate's boom box.  I've sat politely through Schoenberg.  I've heard "Muskrat Love".  I ... I can do this.

I think I can.

I think I can.



Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett vehemently disagree with you.  And they're always right.

From Good Omens, a discussion between an angel and a demon, both of whom are three sheets to the wind:

“I mean, d'you know what eternity is? There's this big mountain, see, a mile high, at the end of the universe, and once every thousand years there's this little bird--"

"What little bird?" said Aziraphale suspiciously.

"This little bird I'm talking about. And every thousand years --"

"The same bird every thousand years?"

Crowley hesitated. "Yeah," he said.

"Bloody ancient bird, then."

"Okay. And every thousand years this bird flies --"

"-- limps --"

"-- flies all the way to this mountain and sharpens its beak --"

"Hold on. You can't do that. Between here and the end of the universe there's loads of --" The angel waved a hand expansively, if a little unsteadily. "Loads of bugger-all, dear boy."

"But it gets there anyway," Crowley persevered.


"It doesn't matter!"

"It could use a space ship," said the angel.

Crowley subsided a bit. "Yeah," he said. "If you like. Anyway, this bird --"

"Only it is the end of the universe we're talking about," said Aziraphale. "So it'd have to be one of those space ships where your descendants are the ones who get out at the other end. You have to tell your descendants, you say, When you get to the Mountain, you've got to --" He hesitated. "What have they got to do?"

"Sharpen its beak on the mountain," said Crowley. "And then it flies back --"

" --in the space ship --"

"And after a thousand years it goes and does it all again," said Crowley quickly.

There was a moment of drunken silence.

"Seems a lot of effort just to sharpen a beak," mused Aziraphale.

"Listen," said Crowley urgently, "the point is that when the bird has worn the mountain down to nothing, right, then --"

Aziraphale opened his mouth. Crowley just knew he was going to make some point about the relative hardness of birds' beaks and granite mountains, and plunged on quickly.

"-- then you still won't have finished watching The Sound of Music."

Aziraphale froze ... A look of pain crossed the angel's suddenly very serious face.


See?  I told you.


  1. Who would have thought this of your kid? I'll be there in the audience with you if you need some additional support. 👍

  2. The one and only time the musical that shall not be named was even thought of by the committee I was in charge of in my AmDram days - they got such a fright at my response that it was never mentioned again - course it doesn't really help when your middle name is Maria - I kid you not

    1. And you let them know your middle name in these circumstances because ... ? Silly bibbit.

  3. That does it. I'm reading more Terry Pratchett.
    Also (not that it merited a lot of respect in my mind before) but I can't take the Sound of Music seriously any more. Thanks, hahaha

    1. For you? The witch books. Start with Equal Rites. :)

  4. The hills are alive...with the sound of karma!!!! I'm so sorry this happened to you. Mona

    1. Thank you. Thank you for your condolences. It means a lot.