Your Mama

Illustration by Bob AulLast week, my 80-year-old mom and I had business at the social security office on the fifth floor of an impressive green tower off the Santa Ana Freeway on First Street. Afterward, I suggested we go up a few floors, find a window and maybe get a birds-eye view of the county. Mi mama hesitated, saying in Spanish, "Won't we get into trouble?" I said, "It's just for a little look." We found ourselves on the 15th floor, at the palace gates of an investment firm. We inhaled deeply the rarified air, and I thought, "Esto es suave." The reception desk was vacant, and behind a glass partition, we saw an immense window with a spectacular view of Santiago Peak and all points north to south. Mi mama gasped uncharacteristically; she has seen a lot in life, but she was impressed by the view. I knew she would never consent to pass the doorway, so we stood there like two scared mice. That's when you entered—immense belly first—and announced, "Yes, my office does have a wonderful view" and then, "GET OFF THIS FLOOR!" and then, in case we didn't hear you, "GET OUT!" Mi mama was startled. Back in the first-floor lobby, as I explained to the nice man at the reception desk what happened, you showed up again, telling him, "These must be controlled." You then scurried to the security guard's office and pointed us out. What were you offended by? An 80-year-old mama? My cholo appearance? Our Spanish? Or maybe the conclusion you made—right on the proverbial money—that we were no fellow investors or potential clients? Well, our disappointment in all this is for YOUR mother: she obviously failed miserably in instilling in her wretched son the importance of simple courtesies. My mom said she will pray for you. That's her way. Mine is to suspect it won't help.

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