Open Thread

I just had the dumbest argument with my mother ever. She was watching PTI, and Kornheiser and Wilbon were discussing which Harbaugh brother the Harbaugh parents would root for, and before she could finish her story I blurted out “If Seth and I were both coaches in the Super Bowl, I know damned well you would root for him over me.”

It went downhill from there, until I realized that this phone conversation reminded me of the conversation in Chuck v. the Sandworm where Morgan and Chuck were under surveillance by Casey, who wanted to kill himself after listening to them debate what sandwich they would take with them to a desert island:

Morgan: So what’d (Sarah) say?
Chuck: She said… if she were stranded on an island, she would definitely take roast beef!
Morgan: No way!
Chuck: It’s true man! (Shows Casey listening, who rolls his eyes)

Chuck: Do you have any idea how violated I feel right now!?!
Casey: You feel violated?!? No, no, no. My ears feel violated, ‘cuz they have to listen to you and that moron Morgan yammering on for four hours about what sandwich you’re gonna take if you’re stranded on a desert island!
Chuck: What are you, nuts? Nobody was talking about sandwiches for four hours, come on!
(Casey hits the play button on his console)
Chuck: (On tape) Think about it: this is a desert island, Morgan. Mayonnaise simply doesn’t fare well in the tropics.
Morgan: Yeah, but define sandwich, ‘cuz technically you could put anything between two slices of bread. For instance, could I bring a Jessica Alba sandwich to said desert island?
Chuck: Well, I suppose-
(Casey stops the recording)
Chuck: Well, I’ll have, you know, I stand by my mayonnaise theory.

Am I the only one who has these conversations with his mom?

*** Update ***

I called my brother Seth, Walt, and both sisters, and without missing a beat they all agreed mom would root for Seth’s team in the Super Bowl. Two minutes after getting off the phone with my sister Annie, she texted me and said her fiancee, without hesitation, said mom would root for Seth. When confronted with this overwhelming evidence, my mom told me to go to hell and hung up. Not for long, because she called back two minutes later to ask me how I felt now that my Super Bowl team had lost.

I don’t think I like her.






68 replies
  1. 1
    Comrade Mary says:

    Conversations about smearing Jessica Alba with mayo?

    Oh wait, I skimmed, let me try again …

  2. 2
    Josie says:

    Actually my youngest son and I have some really funny arguments, and we call them our Larry David conversations (shades of Curb Your Enthusiasm).

  3. 3
    CaseyL says:

    I’m pretty sure I’ve never had a convo with my mom about smearing mayonnaise on a Jessica Alba sandwich. It would certainly be an interesting one, though. Maybe I should try it.

    ETA: Nor have I ever talked to her about my brother being her favorite child. Even *as* a child, I knew that one was a no-win.

  4. 4

    My mom e-mailed me to tell me and my siblings that the Harbaugh brothers grew up and went to high school in Perrysburg, Ohio. That’s the town where we grew up and where my parents still live.

    So I came away with the feeling that she would root for them over me because we all left town.

  5. 5
    Neutron Flux says:

    KU vs K-State on shortly.

    Leave your Mom aloooone!

  6. 6
    FridayNext says:

    No, but then my brother is a deadbeat.

  7. 7
    SatanicPanic says:

    Near constant absurdist bickering is a feature of my house.

  8. 8
    zoej says:

    Actually, it was my mother and daughter having the fight over why my mother favored my son over my daughter. It went on for a bit with them both getting furious. And finally my mom said yes, she did favor boys over girls because they were boys. She had been raised in the depression when sons for the farm were a blessing and girls were just a drag. We had all known it for sometime but there was something vindicating and very upsetting to hear her say it. It must have sucked to be her and to have been raised as an annoyance, not a useful part of the family. Something, I didn’t realize at the time, and now, something I wish I could go back and tell her I understand.

  9. 9
    HelloRochester says:

    I have dumb arguments with my mom all the time. It’s akin to doing a controlled burn of understory plants in a forest- if it doesn’t happen occasionally, then you’re left with the risk of real forest fires.

  10. 10
    JWL says:

    I once worked with a guy whose brother-in-law and a mutual friend got into an argument during the first half of a 49er game about how many miles long is the San Mateo Bridge (that spans San Francisco Bay). It escalated to the point that they actually got into a car at halftime and drove it. It took them the better part of two hours, and the game was over by the time they returned. I distinctly recall he referred to the two somewhere in the story as “those fucking idiots”.

  11. 11
    Roger Moore says:

    @Comrade Mary:

    Conversations about smearing Jessica Alba with mayo?

    How about pouring hot grits down petrified Natalie Portman’s pants?

  12. 12
    Gozer says:

    @Neutron Flux:

    Rock Chalk baby!

    (Dr. Mrs. went to K-State, but I’ll forgive her for that. At least she didn’t go to Mizzou.)

    I have no biological siblings to speak of, but two step-siblings. I’m the oldest and most together of the three so I guess that gives me some points. I don’t ask for money and generally try to stay above family bullshit.

  13. 13
    ulee says:

    I always liked Tommy Smothers better but as I’ve grown older, Dick Smothers has grown in my esteem. I think their mother hated both of them.

  14. 14
    Raven says:

    There comes a time when you miss those crazy arguments with them, believe me.

  15. 15
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I think it’s awesome yer ma watches PTI, not so much that she has a clingy, insecure son interrupting a great show for nonsense talk. This is why she likes Seth more, right here.

  16. 16
    YellowJournalism says:

    Weird coincidence, but as I read that Chuck bit, Cake started playing on the radio. The world misses that show.

  17. 17
    Brachiator says:

    For instance, could I bring a Jessica Alba sandwich to said desert island?

    I’d order this sandwich, but hold the Mayo.

    It’s too bad that the Harbaugh parents apparently will stay home during the Super Bowl. I can just imagine a camera trained on them throughout the game, looking for telltale signs of favoritism.

    Oh, yeah, first born and my mother’s favorite. She still calls me and leaves encouraging messages on my answering machine/voicemail.

  18. 18
    Suffern ACE says:

    @zoej: my grandmother had the opposite reaction and clearly favored the girls.

    /stillbitteraboutthat

  19. 19
    SFAW says:

    Am I the only one who has these conversations with his mom?

    Not with my own mom. But I have talked with your mom, John, and she told me that, yes, she’d root for Seth 11 times out of 10. Something about you using too much profanity, I think it was.

  20. 20
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    @Raven:

    There comes a time when you miss those crazy arguments with them, believe me.

    Ain’t it the truth. I have two sons, both wonderful human beings. Long ago, I pulled each aside privately to tell them, “You are my favorite – but you must never tell your brother.”

  21. 21
    Raven says:

    @The Fat Kate Middleton: Yea, I was the oldest and ended up with my old man from the age of 11. She and I had a pretty contentious relationship for many years but managed to get it together pretty well in the decade or so before she died. There was so much of him in me and it wasn’t easy for her. Like to pick up the phone and call. . .

  22. 22
    cathyx says:

    Every child thinks that mom loves another sibling more. But in my case it was true.

  23. 23
    Barnyard Hex says:

    “Seth”? “John”? As if you haven’t known since birth.

  24. 24
    Roger Moore says:

    @Brachiator:

    I’d order this sandwich, but hold the Mayo.

    Are you sure? I’d think licking the mayo off might be enjoyable.

  25. 25
  26. 26
    cathyx says:

    @Raven: Yeah, before the other ones came along.

  27. 27
    Raven says:

    @cathyx: And me and the old man headed for the Nevada border!

  28. 28
    Raven says:

    Here’s the score on the Michelle eye roll:

    So what was said? We asked expert lip reader Larry Wenig. Wenig believes John Boehner is asking President Obama whether he had a chance to have a cigarette before the luncheon.

    Wenig told “Inside Edition” that Boehner — a known smoker — tapped the first lady on the arm before telling the president that “somebody won’t let you do it,” referring to Michelle Obama.

  29. 29
    JPL says:

    @Raven: Bad lip reading again?

  30. 30
    Ruckus says:

    Had some crazy conversations but can not remember an argument as mom was the best control freak person I’ve ever met. She never seemed to get mad but she never gave in. Sweetness and light with a habanero kicker if you will. You had to walk away early or run screaming. If you were not related to her you would have found her to be one of the nicest people you ever met. All in all not a bad mom.

  31. 31
    Raven says:

    @JPL: I figured it was something like that. Last night I said I thought it would turn out to be funny, not sure about that.

  32. 32
    Raven says:

    @JPL: I started my bug project yesterday!

  33. 33
    JPL says:

    @Raven: Are you going to take lots of pictures?

  34. 34
    FridayNext says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Are you sure? I’d think licking the mayo off might be enjoyable.

    I’ll do it if I can have Miracle Whip.

  35. 35

    No, John.

    Like any healthy WASP family we avoid arguments, repress our feelings and let them leak out in small passive aggressive ways.

  36. 36
    FridayNext says:

    I am a huge Ravens fan, but I am sick of this whole Harbowel thing already.

  37. 37
    Raven says:

    @JPL: Yea, I started with the colony and then the initial introduction of the fish. It’s across town in a deserted house so I have to run back and forth.

  38. 38
    Culture of Truth says:

    I just had the dumbest argument with my mother ever. She was watching PTI

    Quoi?

  39. 39
    schrodinger's cat says:

    I have these conversations with my mom all the time, and yes does favor my brother. He is the youngest and can do no wrong.

  40. 40
    Raven says:

    @Culture of Truth: Pardon the Interruption. Sports.

  41. 41
    smike says:

    “Am I the only one who has these conversations with his mom?”

    Yes.

  42. 42

    A few years ago I was talking with my elderly mother in front of my daughter over breakfast. (We were back east visiting.) We were talking about Social Security and how to save it. I said that they just needed to extend the payroll tax to all those folks making over a hundred thousand.

    She turned to me and snapped, “So you’re a Red, eh?”

    I figured she’d figured that out already. My sister, by the way, is a Daughter of the Confederacy, so I’m sure if we were both coaching in the Super Bowl that my mom would be rooting for my sister.

    So buck up, John, and listen to “Bastards of Young”.

  43. 43
    Culture of Truth says:

    If she would root for him, why is she hanging out with you?

  44. 44
    pattonbt says:

    I have that conversation with my mom all the time. She won’t say who is her favorite (me, the younger, sillier son, or my brother, the sensible, but still silly son) no matter how hard I press. My brother and I both know that it’s me, but I just love making my mom squirm.

    So we have asked her that in her will to leave $1 more to her favorite to prove once and for all who it is. We don’t think she will, but we’ve told her it will make us hold her in higher esteem after she is gone and if she doesnt we wont have a funeral service for her.

  45. 45
    Culture of Truth says:

    “Am I the only one who has these conversations with his mom?”

    No. Seth has them too, only better.

  46. 46
    Culture of Truth says:

    @Raven: You’re welcome. Badminton.

  47. 47
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Raven: Your mom was a very pretty lady. I love that look women had in the early 1950s.

  48. 48
    Felonious Wench says:

    Few things drive me crazier than one of my boys saying I prefer one over the other. They’re 8 and 10. So I can imagine how tired I’m going to be in 20+ years.

    Although the last time one of them did it, I said “You know, I’ve never really thought about it, but you’re right. I do like your brother better.” I’ll be paying for the therapy, I know, but at least it stopped the whining for a few minutes.

  49. 49
    Raven says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Yea, small town coal miners daughter from Southern Illinois off to the big University. Damn shame she didn’t finish, it cost her dearly.

  50. 50
    Brachiator says:

    @Felonious Wench:

    Few things drive me crazier than one of my boys saying I prefer one over the other.

    So parents do have preferences, and kids know it.

    And sometimes kids misread the signals. You really can’t win.

    I go out of my way to pay equal amounts of attention to my niece and nephew. And my sister tries to show no preference. But who knows how they perceive things.

  51. 51
    ruviana says:

    @Comrade Dread: In some forgotten sitcom years ago, one of the protagonists said to her friend, “I come from Connecticut. When we get angry we purse our lips.”

  52. 52
    mainmati says:

    My academically-oriented, Catholic high school that didn’t even have a practice field much less an actual football field managed to yield two well-known NFL quarterbacks (Dan Marino and Marc Bolger) not to mention any number of other NFL players – but that’s Pittsburgh for you.

    And my Mom who is one of the funniest people I know would never choose between her six kids because she often regarded herself as one of the kids.

  53. 53
    mainmati says:

    @ruviana: Another joke from CT: When people from CT need to take a pee they step out of the shower and use the toilet.

  54. 54
  55. 55
    Culture of Truth says:

    Few things drive me crazier than one of my boys saying I prefer one over the other.

    “I love you both, but right now I don’t like either one of you.”

  56. 56
    horatius says:

    YOUR FEE FEES!!!!!!!!!!! THEY ARE HURT!!!!!!!!

  57. 57

    @Comrade Dread:

    Like any healthy WASP family we avoid arguments, repress our feelings and let them leak out in small passive aggressive ways.

    We ain’t WASPs but this is exactly how we hand things. Also too, we plot revenge.

  58. 58
    LeftCoastTom says:

    I don’t think I like her.

    OK, as long as you listen to her when she tells you to fix something on the blog.

  59. 59
    Violet says:

    @Comrade Dread: Does this WASP tendency come from the English? My English relatives have these tendencies turned up to eleven.

  60. 60
    wuzzat says:

    My grandmother has always been very unsubtle about playing favorites with the grandchildren. (My grandfather was equally disappointed in all of us for not being boys.) It’s still fun to call up a sister or cousin and tell them that if they don’t show up to a family function, they’re gonna knock so-and-so out of the Unfavorite slot.

  61. 61

    @Brachiator:

    So parents do have preferences, and kids know it.
    And sometimes kids misread the signals. You really can’t win.

    I was nearly 30 before I realized that the reason my old man was so hard on me was that I was his favorite.

  62. 62
    MikeJ says:

    PTI, Kornheiser, Wilbon, Harbaugh

    I don’t know what any of these are.

  63. 63
    Quaker in a Basement says:

    Well, of course she’d root for your brother. You’d have one coach running a football team versus the other coach who would be telling all the players how much he loves his dog.

  64. 64
    Cermet says:

    @FridayNext: Ditto but I was sick of it before either won just from people talking about the possibility of it happening so f’ing much already; as a result, I was rooting for the Falcons to win just so this wouldn’t be the case but no, Matty Ice choked .. ok, he got hurt and that really sucked. At least it wasn’t like poor RGIII – first time I was rooting aginst the Ravens. That guy is one really nice person – hope he fully recovers and stop’s running and just throws more perfect games.

  65. 65

    […] Balloon Juice comes in for a fair amount of criticism around here (no politics!); regardless, John Cole is one of the world’s best bloggers.  As evidence, the start of a recent post: […]

  66. 66
    p says:

    it’s a hard thing sometimes when one’s mother (family member, friend) starts “jumping the shark”, veils start lifting…

  67. 67
    Stentor says:

    Do like Pickles did when his mother told him to stop being a successful real estate agent & go back to being the drummer for Dethklok, “Mom, go fuck yourself!

  68. 68

    So… how do you feel now that your team has lost?

    This is the best post on the Internet, for the day.

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