Look at these loving parents! Look at the way they hold their children close to them and shield them from all harm! Look at the way that they are not ABSOLUTELY AND REPREHENSIBLY INSANE.

My parents are so crazy! You see, black people drive like this, but white people drive like this! No, seriously, folks, I'll be here all week. My mother and father are very possibly the most "hello-there-my-pillow-is-named-Friendly-Pete" insane (we are talking certifiably, lock-em-up crazy here) people in the greater Hobart, Wisconsin area. I know that I am making a very large claim here to say the least, but I will explain why I believe this in the course of today's novel update (and the following two) and when you are done reading them you will believe what I say. You believe me so much that you will be very glad that you don't know them in any way whatsoever (no matter how tangentially), let alone have them for parents. You will believe me so much that you will immediately want to pay me large sums of money, perhaps even all of the money, for me to guarantee you that I will do everything within my power to make sure that you never do know them.

This update will establish the insanity of the people who bred me, one at a time, and my last of the three will delve into the horrible world of lies and law enforcement that has been mine to bear since I moved from Wisconsin to Seattle in April of this past year. Hopefully by the time I get to the part about the police coming to the house (part three) there will already be a substantial basis for my story and so I will not have to explain how anyone in their right mind could ever make choices in the way that my mother and father have. HINT: THEY ARE NOT IN THEIR RIGHT MINDS BECAUSE THEY ARE LOOPY LIKE "BATMAN: THE RIDE." I will also not have to explain why I have some problems dealing with certain issues or why I find solace in staying up until all hours of the morning playing "Warcraft 3" rather than think about my weirdo upbringing or the fact that I was exposed to some rather interesting (read: &quotbonkers") people for long periods of time. I think I was pretty lucky to have not been scarred more obviously, now that I think about it. It's a fortunate thing that I can hide all of my pain inside, like a suicidal clown.

Most people have had fairly typical childhoods, I've found. Maybe their parents got divorced or something shitty like that but not many people have had to deal with problems more extreme than occasionally not being allowed to watch certain television programs, a curfew, or no good snack foods in the house when they bring friends over to play "Contra." My childhood was a little different because of my mom and dad and their behavior, but suffice it to say that I couldn't watch most TV, I had to be home by 10:00 PM all through high school (because "nothing good ever happens after 10:00 PM"), we didn't have snack foods ever, and I couldn't usually bring friends over because it "wasn't part of the game plan." Oh yeah, and my family bought into Apple computers (oh no). In all candor though, THESE FACTS ARE TRIVIAL COMPARED TO THE OVERALL PICTURE HERE. Maybe I wasn't abused or anything horrible like that, but my mother and father by all appearances grew up in space or perhaps on the moon and only recently decided to move part of their brains from there to their home in Wisconsin. I'm not sure which parts of them ever decided that it would be a good idea to procreate but I with that a giant dinosaur would discover a time machine and zoom into whenever that was to crush them with its useless forelimbs.

I will just say right now that I am not making any of this up. Not a bit of it, although I truly wish that I were more than I will ever be able to communicate to anyone, ever.

Mom

Dear old Mum.

I know that in past updates I have touched lightly on various things that make my mother easily labeled "crazy," such as her creepily massive animal teapot collection, staying out of a three-mile radius of microwaves due to the fear of brain / death waves, or perhaps her ritualistic consumption of aspirin, but I have never really delved into the pain that it was to live and grow up with a crazy woman as a female role model. For example, on a nightly basis after my Mom came home from work, she would misplace something and then begin to rant and yell about how either my brother or myself put it someplace on purpose or stole it from her. Keep in mind I SWEAR TO GOD I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP.

Mom: Where are my glasses? Have you seen my glasses?
Me: No, I haven't.
Mom: Are you sure you haven't seen them? My glasses. Have you?
Me: No, I haven't seen your glasses anyplace, sorry Mom.
Mom: I think you have. I put them right here. You took them, didn't you?
Me: What? No, why would I want to take your glasses?
Mom: You did! I know you did. I left them right here and you took them. Give them back!
Me: I don't have them! I never saw them!
Mom: Liar! You're lying. YOU ARE A LIAR!
Me: I'm not lying! I swear, I didn't see them and I didn't take them!
Mom: GIVE THEM BACK! YOU TOOK THEM!!

Her face would grow a livid red and she'd start throwing things all over the place in a futile attempt to locate her missing item. This sort of encounter almost always ended with me storming off to my room to read "The Lord of the Rings" for the 30th time and drown my sorrows in the sweet and subtle faggotry of Legolas and Gimli. If that plan failed due to my mother pounding on my door and screaming, "You are lying to me! I can't believe it! You are a liar! Where are they, Emma?!?" I would get out of my room and run tirelessly around the house, overturning every pillow and checking each nook until I found my mom's dumb glasses. She invariably put them somewhere and forgot about it, as she has a memory like a paper towel which has been moistened and then used to clean the floor of a movie theater after a sneak-preview midnight showing of the second Harry Potter movie. In addition to this, those glasses were extra-strength double-duty army trifocals or something. There was no way she could see anything at all without those things, let alone find them after she intentionally put them down in some dark hole.

Unfortunately, it wasn't always her glasses that she lost. Sometimes she would leave her purse in the car and when she later realized that she didn't have it, she would repeatedly accuse my brother or I of taking it until we cried or she found it in the car. That was great because we would be accused of stealing her money even if she found her purse in the car, where she herself left it. This sort of stuff lasted my whole life, from my earliest memories to college. It still happened when I go home to see them, but since I moved out it has gotten a bit easier to say, "Uhhh, you are being crazy, mother."Of course then she gets angry and won't talk to me until I apologize and tell her that I was only kidding.

EVIL DRUGS!

Another fun aspect of my loving mother was her tendency to fear and despise any and all things that she would put into the category of "drugs." This will be of vital importance in part two of this update when it comes time to explain my recent encounter with the police. Until then, I will explain that my mother's drug phobia began with cigarettes and ended with whatever fantasy chemicals she created in her cavernous, crazy mind, and my brother and I were brought up to believe the following:

1. People who smoke are bad people.

2. People who "do drugs" are bad people."

3. We should never talk to or associate with people who smoke and / or "do drugs."

Unfortunately for us, part of what fell into the "drug" category were over-the-counter remedies for things like headaches, colds, the flu, and various other childhood ailments, which I was fortunate to escape for the most part. I did get colds and have a fever a few times but was given nothing to ease my symptoms or the like because my mom would say, "it's better not to drug yourself all up. You don't want to get better with the help of drugs." As a consequence of this, I remember several very vivid fever-dreams encountered at young ages after which I woke up screaming and drenched in sweat. I never looked at Goofy the same way again.

I also remember the time when my throat was so sore that I couldn't eat or swallow anything and yet my parents wouldn't buy me any cough or throat medication, instead giving me seven gallons of broth to drink four days after I said that I was sick. I finally had to ask a friend's mom to take me to the store so that I could buy medicine myself because my throat hurt so much that I began to hallucinate. It took me a long time to come to the conclusion for myself that people who smoked or used over-the-counter cold medications were not necessarily bad people, but I think that I finally got that nailed down around my 21st birthday somewhere or other. Except for those people with allergies. Those people are bad news.

Oh no, it's cancer!

With all of her fear that "drugs" will destroy the world and her family along with it, my mother is also a neurotic hypochondriac and is at the doctor every three weeks or so for repeated batteries of tests. I'll never forget the time that she ate a nectarine and then was convinced that she had colon cancer because the peel was a bright red and she had thought that there was blood in her stool. I had come home from school for a few days to visit and she cornered me on a Saturday evening outside of her bathroom.

Mom: Emma, there's something I have to show you. I'm really worried. Can I show you?
Me: Uhhmm, what's going on, Mom?
Mom: I am so worried. I think that I have colon cancer. Come and look at this. (she led me over to the toilet)
Me: Ok, what am I looking at here? (I was looking at a giant turd with a big red streak in the side of it)
Mom: I made that a few hours ago. I think that it's blood.
Me: (leaning closer to inspect the poop) It's not blood. What did you eat earlier today?
Mom: I had a nectarine for breakfast and a turkey sandwich for lunch.
Me: These nectarines? (indicating some that were very ripe and red on the kitchen counter) That's what that is. It's nectarine, not blood.
Mom: It's... It's blood! I know it's blood. I'm going to take this in to the doctor on Monday morning and have them run tests.

SHE THEN SAVED THE POOP IN A BAGGIE AND TOOK IT IN TO THE DOCTOR FOR TESTS. It was a Saturday evening so we had that turd sitting out on the counter top for almost two days before she could finally take it to the office personally on Monday morning, early. WHAT THE HELL? The doctor politely told her to stop coming in to the office so often and recommended some stress-therapy. I think that she might have benefited from some other sort of therapy altogether.

When the doctor finds anything wrong with her (which is practically never) and he prescribes something, she will always take roughly half of the prescription, assuming that he gave her twice what he really had meant to and that she would be just fine without the second half. This included antibiotic prescriptions and knowing what I know now about bacterial infections, it is a wonder that my mother was not single handedly responsible for creating horrible and deadly strains of bacteria that killed millions of people and then took over the planet.

That ugly man was Jesus! Never make fun of him or you will get hit by a bus.

With all of her neuroses, my Mom somehow missed the charm boat that most Jewish mothers tend to have. They nag and they're batshit crazy, but somehow it tends to be endearing and annoying at the same time. Maybe it was when she married my Christian dad that she stopped being allowed to act so nutty, but I wish that Jesus hadn't made my mom a wacko. Every time I say something even slightly negative about Jesus, she gets really defensive and tells me the same warning story. It goes a little something like this:

You should never make fun of Jesus, Emma, you know why? I'll tell you why. When I was a young woman I remember being at a department store and I saw a picture on the wall. I looked at the picture and I thought that it was the ugliest thing that I had ever seen and the man that was painted in it was ugly too. I thought to myself, "who is that ugly man in that painting? He sure is ugly." Right after that I realized that the painting was supposed to be of Jesus! I felt so bad because I had made fun of Him, and sure enough, right after I left the store I ALMOST GOT HIT BY A BUS. I felt that I had deserved it after what I had thought about the painting of Jesus.

Oh boy oh boy, thanks for the advice, mom! I have heard that story so many times now I could recite it by heart while having my nipples gouged out with a red-hot melon-baller. Let us hope that it never comes to that, but it strikes me as especially ridiculous that my mom is repeating this garbage over and over again because I know for a fact that she didn't"buy into Jesus" until she married my "own a lot of stock in Jesus" father. But then again, I suppose that I should watch what I say because there is a bus route close to the house.

I really could go on at length about the many ways in which my mother is nuttier than a fruitcake. She is one of the most interesting people I know but it was absolute hell growing up with her, and her behavior in the past eight or so months has not added to that feeling. I wish that I could elaborate on that in this update but I fear that first I must do my part to cover my father's tale in next week's update before I get to the law enforcement-filled climax concerning my move away from home. I at least hope I have convinced you that my mom is a headcase and look forward to cathartically yet necessarily reviewing the insanity of my father next Saturday. In the meantime I will continue to spend all of my time living in various fantasy worlds in a futile attempt to forget the pain.

– Integral

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