Tyrades! By Danny Tyree
This Mother’s Day, let’s not just go through the motions of Hallmark cards and dining out. Let’s stand back and stare in awe at the impact of motherhood.
Modern society as a whole owes an immeasurable debt to motherhood. Alexander Graham Bell might never have invented the telephone if his mother hadn’t nagged him, ‘Son, you never call me.’
On the other hand, perhaps history is fortunate that motherly advice was ignored in other instances. Say, the case of Martin Luther. (‘Martin, sweetheart, why must you post your 95 theses on the door of the church in Wittenberg? They would look so much cuter here on the refrigerator door.’)
Mothers are uniquely qualified to take on some daunting tasks. Who else could discuss with a pubescent girl the strange and wonderful physical changes she was going through? Okay, Howard Stern fans, let’s rephrase that: Who else could discuss with a pubescent girl the strange and wonderful physical changes she was going through WITHOUT FEELING COMPELLED TO SHARE IT WITH A SIRIUS SATELLITE RADIO AUDIENCE?
Mothers have shaped society in innumerable ways. Doctors have learned to incorporate procedures that go far beyond the health of the reproductive system. (‘Turn your head and cough ‘ and say, ‘That’s okay. Go out with your friends on my birthday. I’ll probably still be alive when you get back.”)
Politicians have long known to target the mother demographic. Surely you remember President John F. Kennedy’s stirring line ‘Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask ‘You’re not going out dressed like that, are you, young lady?”
Motherhood is a dizzying string of dirty diapers, kissed boo-boos, monsters under the bed, rubber duckies, bake sales, sleepovers, phonics drills, ballet recitals, Scout meetings, field trips, wedding preparations and the like. According to the Pew Research Center, a staggering number of mothers have considered taking it on the lam from the Mob in the Witness Protection program in order to SLOW DOWN. (‘If I told Bugsy once, I told him a thousand times, if you break both an informant’s legs, don’t come running to me!’)
Moms are a conundrum. They ‘ooh’ and ‘ah’ over that amateurish papier-m’ch’ project from kindergarten but don’t appreciate your professional $150 face tattoo of Ozzy Osbourne biting the head off a bat. Go figure.
A mom is a mom for life. This is known all too well by former empty nesters who recently have been welcoming their adult children back home. This can be a mutually rewarding situation, but problems arise in extreme cases. (‘Son, I don’t mind doing your laundry and cooking your meals and repairing your engine, but couldn’t you do me one tiny favor and get me an autograph from your old classmate Regis Philbin’)
Alas, like so many holidays, Mother’s Day has become hopelessly commercialized. Beyond the candy, flowers and knickknacks for the mantel, children are faced with a dizzying array of other things to buy ‘ such as the new GPS for Items Found Lying Around. (‘Yes, Mom, I now know EXACTLY where this thing I’m sticking in my mouth has been. I hope you’re happy!’)
You say this column is disjointed? I slave for hours over a hot keyboard and this is the thanks I get? You’ll understand someday, when you have a column of your own.
Copyright 2011 Danny Tyree. Danny welcomes reader e-mail responses at firstname.lastname@example.org and visits to his Facebook fan page ‘Tyree’s Tyrades’. Danny’s’ weekly column is distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons Inc. newspaper syndicate. For info on using columns, please email Cari Dawson Bartley at email@example.com or call 800 696 7561.