Heather's Columns ....

Iíll Be at Momís for Armageddon

Holidays at Momís have been a bummer lately. After sixty years of stuffing Thanksgiving turkeys and Christmas stockings, she went on strike and refused to participate. She ordered take-out for Thanksgiving (the Turkey Chop Suey with Yam Dim Sum was okay, but the deep dish Turkey, Cranberry and Anchovy Pizza was less than festive) . At Christmas, she stuffed our stockings with leftover Halloween candy and called it good. She went to bed at 7:30 on New Yearís Eve, daring anyone to come over and celebrate in the dark.

Though all thirteen of us (my siblings, their spouses, offspring and various pets) still intend to show up for Easter, weíre pretty sure Mom is trying to tell us something. But though Mom may eschew the traditional holidays, there is one event for which she will always be the ultimate hostess: Armageddon.

Iíve never given much thought to Armageddon, though watching House Speaker Pelosi and President Bush duke it out recently, Iím thinking that a little disaster planning might be timely. Mother Nature has been pretty bitchy lately too, a kind of atmospheric menopause, spewing out hurricanes and tsunamis and snake-infested droughts. Weíve got the terrorist thing going, Global Warming, and bedbugs biting opera divas. So I figure itís time to determine my own personal disaster recovery plan, and Iíve got it: Iím going to Momís.

Because Mom has crucial supplies:
• Cold remedies, burn remedies, motrin, aspirin, and every kind of Ėrin you can imagine.
• Bandages for every conceivable body part including a whole box of them that seem to be designed for ear lobes.
• Cold packs, heat packs, and packs that can swing either way.
• Braces for knees, necks, and thumbs plus enough ace bandage to mummify half of the neighborhood.
• Thermometers for every bodily orifice and at least a case of that stuff that really stings (to prove that itís good for you) to pour into wounds.

Momís Q-Tip supply is only surpassed by her stockpile of toilet paper, and you could have a runny nose at Momís for decades and never run out of tissue.
And baggies?
Oh my gosh! Mom has a supply of baggies that would make the infectious disease people at CDC gangrene with envy.

Mom has critical communications:
Mom gets at least seventy thousand TV channels.
There are broadcasts from places like Venezuela and Naknek Alaska, some of which are in languages none of us know (but you can learn a lot just watching the pictures). She gets weather channels, shopping channels, and one that focuses on scrap-booking (an apt hobby for an apocalypse, Iíd say). This wealth of important information is augmented by the fact that Mom has a TV in every single room of the house. So all thirteen of us could be watching a different channel in a different language to keep track of the demise of the rest of the world.

Mom has ample accommodations:
Mom has a leaf for the dining room table (which she hid when she went on strike, forcing all thirteen of us to scrunch around a table meant for four) which expands the eating area nicely. Mom has at least thirteen thingys that are, or could become, beds (including an inflatable kiddie pool, which is where I think my brother should have to sleep). Momís house is a bit weak on bathrooms, only two and a half of them. But I think if we restrict ourselves to core family only and donít invite Uncle Leo (an easy call since no one likes him), the remaining thirteen of us will manage our restroom schedules pretty well.

Momís house is geographically desirable:
Momís location (which I will not divulge because if all of you show up, the bathroom situation would become dire) seems relatively safe since there is nothing particularly bomb-worthy nearby. Besides the Super WalMart down the street, there are no strategic facilities anyone would want to commandeer. The nearest fault line is 700 miles away, so a 6 pointer wonít even shake Momís petunias; a tsunami would have to travel more than two thousand miles to dampen Momís door.

Iíve reviewed the entire plan with my siblings, who quickly elected me to broach the subject with Mom. Our first conversation about it went pretty well I think. And if she ever speaks to me again, Iím pretty sure weíll be able to iron out the details.