>>> The Strumpet's Trumpet
By staff writer Allison Parks

July 15, 2007

Recently, after living in sin with my BF, I've moved back in with the ‘rents. Normally, I possess a monk-like tolerance of my mother's nagging, and can calmly tune out the incessant speaking—if you can recall the SNL skit where Chris Farley is a woman reading the Zagat's guide to her husband (Adam Sandler), that is her to me—but now I've lost my tolerance entirely. Some days I want to hang myself with underpants like the Unabomber, but then I’m afraid she'd lay at my grave nagging that my decomposing fat wasn't properly fertilizing the foliage around my tombstone. Even in death, there will be no freedom from the nagging.

7am, the knocking begins.

“Allison, are you awake?” she squeals. “I found a shoe in the kitchen. Is this your shoe? Let me know if this is your shoe, is the other one in there? I can't find the other one out here. Allison?”

Knock knock knock.

“Allison, do you have boots? ‘Cause when winter comes, you'll need boots and they'll be on sale now because they're out of season.” Knock knock. “Allison.”

“Allison, did you make a bowel movement today? Allison? What color was it?”

“Yes, I have boots,” I say, draping my underpants over the chandelier.

“Ohh, where did you get them? They had boots in your size? Did you get the boots online, or in the store? …Online? From where? …That's good because I didn't think you'd be able to find boots in your size.”

When I'm not barricaded in my room, the phone rings. “Allison, where are you? You're not home yet. Do I need to call
the highway patrol? I'm worried. Just call and let me know you're OK. Allison, call your mother.”

When I get home, there she is, lingering in the kitchen, waiting to tell me things in tortuously lengthy and obvious detail.

“Allison, I've made fajitas. There are extra ones, so when you get up tomorrow you can make yourself, one, maybe two fajitas. You can wrap them in Saran wrap and put them in a little baggie. Put them in the fridge when you get to work, then at your lunch break, you can just pop them in the microwave.”

For some reason, she thinks I am incapable of waking myself up and have never used an alarm clock before. I also am too useless to prepare for the traffic forecast of the day.

The sun rises and the knocking begins.

Allison, are you awake? Okay, I just wanted to make sure you got up in time. Do you have work today? Well, you may want to leave soon, it's a long drive. Did you take a shower last night, ‘cause I don't think you have time to now. Well, don't get snippy with me, I just don't want you to be late. Fine, I just won't speak, how is that?” Five minutes pass.

Knock knock knock.

“Allison, do you have clean clothes? I did some laundry and that dress you like is out here. Maybe you could wear it with your flats and a nice headband?”

Some days I'll get off a little early and do an arm crawl to my bedroom to hide from her view. She instantly senses my car in the driveway.

Knock knock knock.

“Allison, why are you home? Allison, when they let you off early you should offer to stay and help out, that's how you get ahead. Don't be a slacker. Now that you're home, you should get on the treadmill. You've turned into veal.”

Lately I've been a little backed up, which has fueled her unnatural interest in my feces.

Knock knock knock.

“Allison, did you make a bowel movement today? Allison? What color was it? If it's too dark, that means your sick. But if it’s too light, that's not good either. Allison, did it sink? Or float? Don't strain too hard or you'll get hemorrhoids like your brother.”

Knock knock knock.

“Allison, quit ignoring me, if there's a problem with your stools, I think I should take a sample to the doctor.”

Friends, I beg of you, please take my mother on a play date so I can have some peace. Or, until I move out, pray to God for her to steer clear of the Hanes-Her-Way noose that tempts my every waking moment.