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Mum was only going to be living with me for six weeks, maybe two months.  That was nine, long months ago.  I love my Mum.  She is sweet and well-intentioned.  She is much sweeter than I am.  I would do anything for her.  I am now, however, on the verge of losing my mind.  Patience . . . I’m not sure when that deserted me but I think it was somewhere between the Chubby Checker debate and the blog debacle.  Maybe I’m just crazy.  That is Mum’s opinion anyway.  It is an art form . . . caring for your parent . . . a highly underrated art form.

Remember the Twist . . . the song and dance that became a worldwide phenomenon in 1960 when Cubby Checker’s cover of the song hit the Billboard Hot 100.  That’s how it happened in my reality.  Mum, she remembers doing the twist at her high school dances.  The only problem is that she graduated from high school in 1954.  “No, Mum, you couldn’t have.  The song wasn’t out yet.”  “I did too.  You can’t remember that, you weren’t even born.”  “Look Mum.  See Wikipedia says . . .” “Wiki-whatever-ia wasn’t there either.” “Okay, Mum.  You did the Twist in high school.”  Divergent time streams, that’s all I can come up with.

I know each generation has their own particular style and I’m no fashionista, but come on.  “Mum, that shirt doesn’t go with those pants.”  “They’re the same color.” “But the shirt is plaid and the pants are striped.  Besides those pants are too big.”  “I like these pants.”  “Mum, they are falling off!”  “I thought that was the style now days.”  “For teenage, rapper dudes, Mum, not women in their 70’s.” “Are you saying I’m too old to be trendy?”   “Fine, let’s just go to the store.”  I try hard not to notice the stares from people thinking I’m some kind of elder abuse offender.

We also speak different languages.  “I forgot my water in the bedroom” means “Please get my water from the bedroom.”  “I need to do laundry today” means “Please do my laundry today.”  I have learned to focus on keywords like a computer search engine . . . water bedroom . . . laundry today . . . then I’m able to extrapolate the most likely meaning.  It works most of the time.  Just like a search engine, sometimes I need more information.  “What are you doing?”  Now, that can mean “I’m bored” or “I’m hungry” or “I don’t feel well” or any number of other things.  What I finally figured out is she doesn’t want to know what I’m doing and more input is needed for proper translation.

I made the mistake of actually telling her what I was doing recently and that lead to the blog incident.  Now I know Mum thinks my writing is a huge waste of time.  This is nothing new.  It started when I was in grade school.  Back then it was . . . “What are you doing?”  “Writing a story.”  “Is it homework?” “No.”  “Is your homework done?” “Yes.” “Then go outside and play.”  I fully accepted long ago that she thinks anything is a better use of my talents than writing.  I don’t know why I thought the current event would be any different.

I was merrily doing my happy dance around the house earlier this month in celebration of a huge blog accomplishment.  I had written a post about a local celebrity . . . Phoenix Jones, the real life superhero.  Anyway, he and his wife saw it, liked it and posted a link on his Facebook page.  I mean how cool is that?  They liked it enough to share it with his fans at a time when the media spotlight had focused on him like a laser beam.  It was as good as being “Freshly Pressed.”  More people than I ever dreamed were reading my blog!

Enter Mum.  “What are you doing?”  In my excitement I forgot the training of a lifetime and told her about my blog (first time in four years).  “Can I read it?”  I should have known this was a trap, but I walked right into it.  “You wrote this?”  “I did.”  “I don’t get it.  Aren’t you supposed to be looking for work?” “Yes, Mum.  I’m doing that right now.”  Yeah, my feelings were hurt, but hey, what did I expect?  I know she loves me and wants what is best for me.  She’s 100% right.  What I need more than anything is a job.  The bottom line is that Mum and I are very different people.   It doesn’t diminish our love and caring for one another.  Mum’s from Venus and I’m from Alpha Centauri.

It’s almost over.  I should be sleeping in my own bed very soon.  My aching back!  The peddler of futon sleep preeminence swore the mattress he sold me – memory foam and all – was as good as any I have ever slept on.  May he writhe in a lumpy, back-breaking innerspring purgatory to atone for his transgressions against the spines of trusting customers like moi’.  In other words, he lied or mislead at the very least.  Curse him.  I just had to get that out of my system.  Anyway, Mum will be returning to her home in the next couple of weeks.  It’s a good thing for both of us.

Phoenix Jones, the Guardian of Seattle . . . Honest!

There is today an underground movement sweeping the globe.  Real life superheroes are taking to the streets around the world.  Ordinary people are donning masks and costumes to perform “heroic deeds” of every sort.  France has Captain Ozone crusading to save the environment.  Mexico’s Superbarrio organizes labor rallies, protests and files petitions.  Angle-Grinder Man in England is using his super powers to remove wheel clamps from illegally parked cars in London.  The list goes on.  Here in the Northwest US, we have the preeminent Real Life Superhero (RLSH) . . . Phoenix Jones, the Guardian of Seattle and here’s why.

  1. The Handle – According to the man himself, he selected Phoenix because it rises from the ashes and Jones because it is one of the most common surnames.  Ergo, he is the common man rising from the ashes of society.  Pretty clever and you have to respect the analogy. It makes for one formidable, superhero identity.  But it doesn’t stop there.  All the really awesome superheroes have a descriptive phrase after their monikers, i.e., Superman, the Man of Steel and Batman, the Dark Knight.  There’s no slacking on that either . . . the Guardian of Seattle.  Come on and admit it, the name rocks! 
  2. The Outfit – Any really hip superhero has a bitchin’ suit.  My RLSH has a costume which consists of a bulletproof vest, stab plating, full head mask, even a codpiece and it’s sculpted with muscles, a six pack and everything.  This is serious superhero stuff here.  You can’t overlook the kickin’ black with gold design either.  My man doesn’t run around the city in some painted ski mask and a trench coat.  Hell, he fights crime in full superhero regalia.  Just take a look at the picture.  Spiderman and Green Lantern ain’t got nothing on him.
  3. The Posse – Superman has the Justice League.  Mr. Fantastic has the Fantastic Four.  Phoenix Jones, the Guardian of Seattle has the Rain City Superhero Movement.  Yeah, that’s right.  Man’s got a crew.  He’s not out on the streets alone.  Thorn, Buster Doe, Green Reaper, Gemini, No Name, Catastrophe, Thunder 88, Troop, Pitch Black, Red Dragon, Blue Sparrow, and Penelope have my crusader’s back.  That’s not all.  There is, of course, a sidekick . . . Purple Reign.  And get this, she’s his wife in real life.  Now, beat that!  I dare you.
  4. The Secret Lair – We all know about the Fortress of Solitude, the Bat Cave and Xavier’s Combat Room.  In true superhero-style, Phoenix Jones, the Guardian of Seattle readies himself each night in a secret room in an unnamed comic book store somewhere in the Puget Sound.  That’s right . . . a comic book store.  Really!  I can’t make this stuff up.  I can only imagine all the nifty superhero gear stashed in this clandestine hideout.  I sure hope my man has a spare costume in reserve as the Seattle Police reportedly confiscated the super suit recently.  How could they?
  5. The Crusade – Phoenix Jones, the Guardian of Seattle doesn’t condone just anyone doing what he and his posse do.  All the members of the Rain City Superhero Movement are said to have special, superhero skills.  My RLSH has been stabbed with a knife, shot with a gun and even had a thug break his nose, but as any good superhero will tell ya . . . it’s all in a day’s work.  He claims to have stopped car thieves, foiled the theft of a bus, and prevented a drug dealer from shooting a man all between breaking up bar brawls and generally keeping the streets safe(r?).  As he says himself, he’s not handing out sandwiches, he’s fighting crime.  Evil-doers better beware! 

I’ll put Phoenix Jones, the Guardian of Seattle up against any real life superhero out there.  That is as soon as he gets out of jail.

Disclaimer:  The author does not encourage this behavior and would have the reader note that such conduct has been known to result not only in jail time, but the possibility of a visit from men in white coats.

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December 2022