Posts Tagged ‘stuff my mom said’

The Thinking Viking has a long history of fast cars.

The first time I knew I was going over 100 MPH… mom, you loved the 1976 V6 Mustang II.  It was the first of the gutless Mustangs, but it still had a v6 in a small frame.

South Padre Island, 1982?.  Way past the beaches on access roads…  Mom floors it, muttering “no damn cops out HERE..” on the sandy back road to the beach, years and years BEFORE it became a Spring Break destination…

She turns around and drives back at 55…

We get a blowout a half mile after this point.  Still 5 miles from the bridge, gas station etc. Nothing but sand and sea around us.  Night closing in.  Cell phone? What is that?  I learn how to change a tire.

Happy Odin’s Day!

Keep thinking everyone.



The Thinking Viking has a brother (and a step brother, but that is for later).  He had flown in from Memphis, TN to Stapleton Intl. Airport in Denver, CO, and I was driving us both back to Boulder to meet mom (I was living with her again since I started school). It had been years since we had all been together.  It’s been a while since this went down, heck, Stapleton Airport doesn’t even exist anymore.  I think it is a parking lot.  DIA is much better. Anyhow…..  We’re cruising through backroads of Colorado in an 89 Honda Civic, catching up.

Then, a rail crossing. A train is already there. And it’s doing the slow for five minutes – stop- backup- business that freight trains do. Fuck.  We chat some more, I bitch that the car has no radio (not broken – original owner didn’t want one).  The train finally moves forward steadily… good 15 or 20 minutes killed.

I drive home in a hurry.  We don’t speak.

We get to the apartment.  The nurse meets us at the door.

“Thank God you made it. She’s waiting for you both.”

We rush to mom’s room, each of us taking one of her hands.

“Mom, I’m here…” I manage to blurt out…

“Matt?  Is Jeff here? ”

“I’m here, too Mom.” my brother replies.

“Thank you..”

Those were last two words she spoke. She squeezed our hands, and died.

Cancer sucks.

She died bankrupt, uninsured, due to her pre-existing condition of “cancer”.

Think about it.



The Thinking Viking was once an unemployed student.  Living with mom again at 21, helping her through her last days after the cancer returned again. I had been fired a couple of weeks before, because they needed to fire “someone” –  they could not figure out who was actually stealing from the loading docks, I was the new guy, so I was out.

Mom was sick, and tired, and had decided that after fighting cancer for over ten years, only to find it returned with a vengeance and that she would be facing more surgery, more chemo, and that even then, she could not expect to live more than a year, she decided to live out her end days in dignity.  She would take drugs etc to ease her suffering, but would not fight again. She didn’t have it in her. I understood.

Having me unemployed was not good. We were silently terrified about the situation.

The phone rang. Friend looking for something. Didn’t have it.

Cook lunch for mom.

Phone rings again – oddly same question. Same answer. Can’t help ’em.  Don’t have any myself.

Then my mind kicks in.  Math starts rolling. whirrrrr – click. click. click. PING!.

“Hey mom, can I borrow $100 until this afternoon?”

Mom – “What for?”

“So I  buy an ounce of weed for $100 and sell it for $160.  Pay you back in two hours.”

“OK.  I love supporting cottage industries.”

I paid for tuition at  my community college with the job she helped create with a $100  loan.  She had no income beyond SS disability.  She was a 47%’er.

Thanks Mom, you helped me out a lot.

Fuck you, Mitt Romney.  I know what a job creator looks like.


PS Mom died about a year later, before I got my 2-year degree.  Dad died not much later, but I can’t write about that now.  Missing details.

The Thinking Viking was maybe 16 or 17 at the time.  I was sitting there, in my bedroom, reading, and I recall I had just cleaned my room – a rare thing for me…still.  On the wall behind my bed I had also hung a STOP sign that I now cannot recall how I came to have.  It had been leaning against the wall for months, and I really didn’t think much about it.  I didn’t take it, but somehow, this bit of contraband signage wound up at my place. I vaguely recall a poker game?  So – rare clean room, and a good book, little redecorating.  Read, read, read….

So there I was, when Mom knocks on the door.  I open up, ready for her to be surprised that I actually had cleaned my room.


I didn’t realize that, until I hung the sign on the wall, it was pretty much hidden from the doorway.  Mom hadn’t seen  my piece of road system infrastructure yet. But to me it was no longer novel.

She looked at me, raised an eyebrow.

Dramatic pause.

“If you are trying to get any action with the girls, you really should have stolen a “YIELD” sign.”

And she left. I facepalmed.  She was right.

Think about it, and good night.


PS -the STOP sign didn’t actually make the girls stop. OK so there were only a couple while I lived with Mom, on and off.  OK, four.  I wasn’t promiscuous but I wasn’t a saint either  🙂  Miss you Mom.  Cancer sucks.