My mother calls often. She always has, probably always will. In the two minutes following any given phone call there's a 70% possibility that she'll call back; "I forgot to tell you about the grasshoppers," (it's very dry this year) or "I ran into the high school janitor at the grocery store. Ground beef was on sale." Between grunting 'uh-huh' and rolling my eyes I hear a lot of things about drugs (they're bad), the people who are on them (also bad), what they can do to you (hint: it's bad), and how my brother may be on them (he's a bad kid).
Sometimes she tells me about the news, as if the five major cities I've lived in are somehow less in touch with the goings on than she is. She loves, or hates (or some measure of both) horrible tragedies. Did you hear about the boy that microwaved his arm? The family that drowned in a glass of milk? They were trying to get those mustaches, you know, the milk ones. Then she shudders audibly and I say 'uh-huh.'
Last week my mother called to inform me about the situation in North Korea. Because 300 kilometres south of the border we might be out of the loop.
"Did you hear that North Korea sent a missile to South Korea?"
"What the fuck are you talking about?"
"They sent a missile, didn't you hear? It killed 40 people."
Back me up here: when someone says they 'sent' something, you think 'in the mail,' right? Not fired out of a fucking rocket launcher. I pictured some poor minion who got the shite job of delivering the pacakge, marked 'FRAGILE', in his regulation khaki mailman shorts, saying "Uh, excuse me? I have a package for South Korea? Could you please sign here? Oh, and uh, don't open it until I'm gone, okay?"
I think my mom should have a segment called Not Quite the News, Not Entirely Fiction.