Viva La Mama!

Greetings, Chan-fans! I have a treat to make up for my month-long disappearance: a visit from Mama Channypants.

So, my cute lil nugget of a mom dropped by last weekend. She started from Connecticut on a Chinatown bus which broke down about 1 hour away from the city, and called me to say that she might be a few hours late since they were waiting for a replacement bus to come pick them up. I could hear a siren in the background, and she explained that the highway patrol was trying to decide whether he was protecting them from oncoming traffic or giving the driver a ticket. The passengers all yelled in confused Chinese and rustled their bright red plastic bags full of chicken bones until he backed off. Smart man. In a fit of defiance, however, he warned them not to get off the bus or he’d be back to give them a ticket. Then he drove off.

My mom shrugged (yes, I heard her) and hung up without saying goodbye. Normally, I’d still be speaking to empty air for another minute before noticing, but this time I needed to maximize every extra moment I got. See, I was panic-cleaning my apartment to prepare for the judgement-eyes. My mom is so good at cleaning that all the surfaces sparkle like in those bleach commercials. I knew I wouldn’t impress her, but I wanted to at least get the place up to a level that wouldn’t, you know, make her worried about what I was doing with my life. Anyhoo, I felt guilty about thinking of the bus breakdown as a minor deus ex machina in the very boring drama of my life, but I assuaged it slightly by using big words.

After another hour, I’d dusted everything I could think of, swept, done dishes and succeeded in coaxing sparkles out of two very small surfaces. The rest stayed stubbornly matte no matter how hard I scrubbed. It’s a mystery. The phone rang again, and again it was my mom. The replacement bus was nowhere to be found, the passengers had mostly fallen into naps of despair, yet she had somehow located a friend who just happened to be driving into the city along the same exact highway on which she was stranded (I have never met anybody else with the kind of amazing luck that both my parents exhibit on a regular basis). Meanwhile, the bus driver tried to stop her from exiting the bus because he had taken the patrolman’s instructions to stay very literally. I guess he didn’t expect her to bum rush him, jump into a getaway vehicle and immediate begin speeding towards Chinatown (allegedly). Laughing about her escapade, she informed me that we could meet in 40 minutes. Of course, she hung up before I could explain how the subway worked in Brooklyn on a Sunday.

After we met, the rest of the day was uneventful. We bought a ton of veggies, salmon and steak and went back to my place to cook. Dinner with my mom was undoubtedly the highlight of the day. She has this amazing recipe for salmon that blows people away. We just chatted, made fun of my dad, prank-called him (don’t worry, he’s a good sport), then hung up without saying goodbye (it IS fun being on the other side of that), and ate for hours. You want to know what came a close second to dinner though? When my mom looked around, nodded slowly, and said, “Not bad.” I think one of the surfaces that agreed to sparkle was in her line of sight. Yesss!

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