Q. Papa: My mother is getting on in years, and I’ve recently had to begin advising her in life because, at this point, I know as much if not more so than her about how the world works. She hates this, and ignores me because, to her, I’m nothing more than her child. How can I get her to start heeding some of my suggestions without bruising her ego?–Old Mom Owner in Omaha
A. Old Mom Owner in Omaha: You mentioned bruising her ego, but not bruising her flesh. Five across the eyes with an accompanying bellow of “There’s plenty more where that came from, you wrinkly old bitchprune!” should be enough to change her outlook.
In all seriousness, “having to call the plays because your parent is nearing the end zone” as Hank Hill once said has to suck for both parties. As the kid, seeing what was once the pillar of your universe’s stability go the way of all flesh provokes all sorts of existential questions. (I’m kept up at night worried that, when I can no longer wipe myself, no one is going to apply the same loving technique to my backside that I do.) As the parent, being so weakened that the creature you once popped out of your sex parts is now more qualified than you to run the show has to make you wish the end would just hurry up and come, already.
My recommendation is a bit of wisdom you can apply to any situation in which you need to make a person more amenable to your desires: Get ‘em drunk. It works. People agree to all sorts of things drunk that they wouldn’t while sober. I’m not talking blackout drunk, mind you–that’s a little grey-rapey for my tastes–but a few drinks to lighten the mood will go miles. Before you know it, she’ll be signing the papers to whatever old folks home you wish to entomb her in. Just make sure you head home before she starts asking if she has the figure of her youth, Oedipus.
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