As I write this, it is Sunday, Mothers Day, and I know my mom is behind all this. Since she left the tangible world a few years ago, this has been a sad day for me, but so far this morning I have laughed out loud several times, and I know she is out there somewhere making this happen. Always equally adept at telling tawdry jokes and running her business systems management company, Mom was no stranger to having a good time. Whether shopping for pet owls or painting every natural-wood surface in the house avocado green during the 1960s, her artistic energy fueled by the weight-loss medicine her doctor gave her after bearing her last child, there was always time to make a run to the fun shop to purchase a variety of plastic bugs to place atop the food she would leave out on the stove for my dad (rest his wonderful soul, as well), just in case he returned home late for dinner after a five-day leave of absence spent getting a hair cut, which, of course, meant a five-day winning spree shooting pool at Speedys, a wonderful little place in Charlotte, N.C., where we lived for a few years when I was a youngun. And believe me, the fake flies on the macaroni and cheese was a mild one. It didnt elicit nearly the reaction from him as the time we bought our first color television set, the day after which Mom managed to find a piece of plastic to place over the screen, making it look like it was shattered by a gunshot, all the while having me sit close by with my BB gun, coaching me on how to apologize profusely for being so careless as to accidentally let said gun go off while aimed at said television. That one was an Oscar-winning performance on both our parts. I could go on and on and on and never remember all of the wonderful tricks she taught me-- ever cracked your fathers bedroom door and placed a bucket of water atop it, causing it to fall when he opened it to go in for a good nights sleep?-- but I know she is out there still at it. For one thing, I just stepped outside my office to smoke in the parking lot. My office is located in the heart of a residential neighborhood in Midtown on Peabody, near Cooper. I heard a strange kind of clip-clop sound (and no, I wont burden you with the Clip-clop, bang! Clip-clop, bang! Amish drive-by shooting joke) and looked up to see a man ride past me on a horse (and no, no more horseman-knew-her jokes either). Yes, a man riding a horse down Peabody Avenue at 9 a.m. on a Sunday morning. And when he saw me looking at him, he waved and began laughing hysterically. Thank you, Mom. I feel certain you were responsible for that. Then I opened the paper only to see this headline: PRESIDENT OUTLINES WAYS TO SAVE FUEL; CHENEY UNVEILS PLAN THIS WEEK. Even though she was spared having to have Georgie as her president, she still knows whos really boss and was probably looking over the shoulder of whoever wrote that headline. But the grand finale of the morning was running across an article about a pair of twins who got drunk on an airplane headed from San Francisco to Shanghai and caused the plane to make an emergency landing in Anchorage, because one of them bloodied the nose of one flight attendant and jumped on another, applying a choke hold, because she wanted to smoke a cigarette. All I can say about that is, You go, girl! And thanks, Mom. Im sure you made sure I saw that too. Its good to know they let you still be a prankster in Heaven, and I cant wait to find out what happens later today.
Caught up in the glare of the TV lights, Crazy Bill began to flash back to the old days, back before the cameras and the cops and the smack, back when the row of shops and the wide sidewalk down on South Highland were a brave new world of free love and easy drugs . . .