Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Herself's Fanabala*

Ma had been telling me about the latest shopping trip. A friend of Dad’s had taken them in the middle of a nor’easter to Revere. I implored the heavens as I imagined the car careening around Revere Beach Boulevard with the waves crashing over the sea wall. I thought the expedition was a pretty dumbass idea, but as I long as I didn’t have to make the trip no skin off my nose. Ma wasn’t happy about going all the way to Revere. It was a long trip for her.

In the next breath, she excitedly told me that Roche Bros. opened up a “beautiful new store” in Westboro and after coming home from Revere they went there. Now, I’m not really sure if this trip was done all in one day. As I mentioned, this might have been one of the game show conversations, To Tell the Truth or The Price is Right. The stores are 100 miles away from each other. Ma gushed about the store and the manager’s specials.

I was just getting my jacket on when she said, “Will you be able to come back this week?”

My radar kicked in. “Not this week, why?”

“Well, paper towels are on sale for $9.99 and the Carapelli olive oil is a good price for the gallon. I have some paper towels downstairs, but we’re running out of oil.”

“If you have paper towels, why do you need more?”

“I have to lay stores in for winter!”

“What are you ants?”

“Well, I can’t get to the stores and if the weather turns bad...” She let out an ominous sigh.

“Ma, if the weather turns bad and you’re really desperate for items, I can put an order in with Peapod and have it delivered.” I whispered it several more times in the hope it would become a subliminal message.

“Oh no! Those prices are too high! I can’t afford to shop like that.”

Well, if you stopped sending money to Nostradumbass and the phony lotteries, you’d have enough money to shop Peapod. I bit back the thought. “Well, you wouldn’t do your whole shopping there, just what you needed to get through the storm.”

Her little trolley wasn’t about to be sidetracked. “Can you pick up the paper towels and the oil?”

“But, you went to two stores. Why didn’t you buy those things there?”

“Because I could get them cheaper and save money.”

Yeah, you’d save money. Gas just hit $3.00 a gallon. This new store is a half an hour away from my house and then another half hour from Ma’s. I couldn’t see the savings.

“You don’t have to get them this week,” she said brightly. “The sale will run for two weeks.”

“I’ll see what I can do” and I ran out the door.

“Make sure you get the 15 roll Bounty, because those big rolls don’t fit on the holder,” she shouted after me as I burned rubber pulling out of the driveway.

When Himself came home, I whined about the problem.

“Price Chopper has the paper towels for the same price," he said calmly. Price Chopper is where Himself does our shopping.

“And the olive oil? It’s not the Phillipo Berrio that she usually buys. Some other brand that begins with a C.”

“I know the one.”

Himself went shopping, and picked up the items for Ma. The price tags were removed and on the way to school, Himself dropped the items off. Mission accomplished.

It was pouring buckets the day Himself dropped the items off. I called Ma to let her know the paper towels and olive oil were on the front stoop. She was less than happy.

“What’s the matter? I asked.

“You didn’t get these from Market Basket,” she fumed.

Busted by the Price Chopper bags. “Market Basket? I thought you told me they were on sale at the new Roche Bros.”

“No, I told you Market Basket.”

The game shows again. The items could have been on sale on the moon and I still wouldn’t have had Himself go to Market Basket to get two, lousy items. Look at the map of the Toonerville Trolley essay and you’ll understand.

“You didn’t get these!” she scolded.

“No, Himself went.”

“But I didn’t want them from Price Chopper.”
Now, I attended parochial school and I’ve lied to professionals, the nuns. I have no problem whatsoever lying to Ma. “What the hell difference does it matter what store they came from? They were the same price as what you saw in the flyer,” I said smoothly. I had no clue if they were the same price or not, and didn’t give a horse’s patoot if they were more. It would still be cheaper than driving around the countryside for two items.

“But I didn’t want him to go shopping.”

“Well, shopping ain’t my monkey so he picked them up for the same price at Price Chopper when he went to do our shopping.

“You shouldn’t have made him go.”

“I can't make him do anything he doesn’t want to,” I laughed.

“But I didn’t want HIM to go! Well, I can see I can’t ask you to do anything for me anymore.” I could see her raise her wrist to her forehead and strike a martyred pose.

Ah, the crux of the problem. Remember OPD is all about control.

“Fa nabala. Well, if you don’t want the paper towels or the olive oil. Throw them away. Or send Dad to the Senior Center with them. I’m sure one of the ladies would be more than happy to have those items.” My comment was reminiscent of the starving children in China speech.

“No, I’ll use them.”

I thought so.

*The title comes from an Italian expression (in the dialect my parents speak). It’s a term used in exasperation such as dropping a pencil on the floor (well, I say $%#@%), and means “darn” or “for heaven’s sakes”. It literary means “Go to Naples” and can also mean "Go to Hell". I was just tickled with the fact that it was a pun on “fable.” I just slay me.


Erica Vetsch said...

I love the labels on this one! LOLOL

Alesia said...

What a freakin' riot!

Nutterone said...

I had to read this one out loud to BB. We were both laughing!