Deven McKay

Deven McKay
Seattle, Washington,
July 01
I've changed a lot in the last five years, some good, some bad, some things are just different. I'm trying to find a way back to me, but I'm pretty sure that my GPS has dementia.


Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 9, 2009 12:44AM

If the creek rises, we're invited to Mom's for jambalaya

Rate: 66 Flag

(WARNING:  Save yourself, very long post ahead)


"I want to go to K-Mart."

"Why Mom?"

"It's part of my New Year's resolution."

"You made a resolution to go to K-Mart?  That's one of the saddest things I've ever heard."

"No, not a K-Mart specific resolution.  I resolved to trying new things and doing regular things a little differently if I can.  So I was going to ask you to go to Walmart today, but I'm saying I want to go to K-Mart instead."

"I don't know where a K-Mart is Mom.  They closed around here years ago."

"Oh.  Well I guess that Walmart will do then, but I'll go to departments that I don't usually go to."


"Why are you looking at me like that?"

"Mom, this is going to be an exhausting day, isn't it?"

"Oh loosen up!  Besides, I need to go to the garden or the sports department anyway.  I need a sandbag."

"A sandbag?  What do you need sand for?"

"They're predicting floods.  The radio said for everyone to get some sandbags.  Seattle is suppose to be an island by tomorrow."

"We don't live in a flood plain Mom, and what are you going to do with a sandbag?  You live in an interior entrance apartment."

"I'll prop it outside my door in the hall."

"Mom, since you moved to the first floor they don't even let you keep your howdy door mat out anymore, do you think that they're going to approve of a big bag of sand slumping at your door?"

"I'll put it on the inside of my door then."

"You don't need a sandbag."

"Young people always think the disaster will bypass them.  I'm getting a sandbag."

"Mom, Walmart doesn't sell sandbags."

"Of course Walmart sells sandbags.  They sale everything."

"It doesn't matter, you don't need a sandbag."

"I'm getting a sandbag."

"Okay, get a sandbag."

"I will."



"Hello, this is your mother."

"Hi Mom.  We've been in the store an hour and you haven't called me.  No hurry, but I just want to make sure you're okay."

"We're in Walmart.  How could I not be okay?"

"Just checking.  Where are you?"

"I'm looking at bicycles."

"Why are you looking at bicycles?"

"It's a department that I've never been in before.  Remember?  I'm going to go to new places.  That's my resolution.  I'm still looking for a sandbag too."

"Mom, Walmart doesn't sale sandbags."

"Walmart sales everything.  Anyway, I'm fine.  I'll call you when I'm done."



"Hello, this is your mother."

"Mom, we've been in the store for almost two hours.  Where are you?"

"I'm looking at baby clothes."


"Boy, you're having a menopausal morning, aren't you?  Remember, I'm looking at things I don't usually look at.  These clothes are so darling.  You should have another baby."

"::gasp:: NO.  Besides, just like you said, I'm menopausal.  Mom, I don't want to rush you or anything, but really, this is sort of dragging on.  Will you be ready to go soon?"

"As soon as I find a sandbag."

"Mom, really, I'm not teasing you.  They don't sale sandbags.  I don't think they even have sand for sale right now.  The garden department is closed for a couple more weeks."

"I'm going to go to the camping department.  I bet they have sandbags there."

"Mom, they don't sale sandbags here."

"I'll call you when I get my sandbag."

"We're going to die here, aren't we?"

"Quit being dramatic.  I'll call you in a few minutes."



"Hello, this is your daughter."

"They don't sale sandbags here."

"I'm shocked."

"Don't be sassy.  The gun man told me that they don't sale sandbags.  He says that you have to go get them from an emergency zone or something.  Take me to an emergency zone."

"Mom, I don't want to be disrespectful, but I'm not driving into a flood zone to pick you up a sandbag."

".... Okay, I guess that makes sense.”

"Are you ready to go then?"

"I'll be ready to go as soon as I buy some things to make my own sandbag."

"Mom, I just told you that they don't have sand right now."

"You know I have an imagination!  I can put together something."

"I'm too tired to ask.  Call me when you're ready or if you need help."

"I won't need help."



"Hello this is your daughter."

"I need some help."

"Okay, where are you?"

"I'm at the grocery area.  I can't reach the rice, and everyone around here looks as short as me."

"Okay, I'll be there in a sec."


"Okay, got your rice.  Can we go now?"

"I want another five boxes."


"Yes, I'm going to put the rice in a trash bag and make my own sandbag."


"Why are you looking at me like that?  It's a good idea."

"You're going to put instant rice in a trash bag.  Of course.  That's a great idea."

"You sound sarcastic.  It is a good idea."

"You know, it's your business.  If it makes you happy, it's a good idea.  Are you ready to go now?"

"Yes.  I met my resolution goals for Walmart.  Let's go."

"Where do you want to go eat?"


"Oh Mom.  I know what that look means.  Why do you want to go there?"

"It's part of my resolution."

"I don't like the sound of this."


 OCB receipt

"Where do you want to sit?"

"I don't care.  We'll figure it out after you do your buffet drive by."

"I don't need to do that today.   Part of my resolution is to try new things.  I'll go sit and you just get me stuff."

"That's a really bad idea Mom."

"No it's not!  Be adventurous!  Whatever you see that you know that I usually wouldn't eat, get it for me."

"That's a really, really bad idea Mom."

"When did you get so stodgy?  You need to open yourself up to new things.  Now do what your mother tells you to do."


 "What's that?"

"That's Boston Seafood Salad.  That's something I know I've never seen you eat."

"You know I don't eat imitation crab meat!"

"Open yourself up to new things Mother."

"Don't be a smarty pants!  What's that?"

"That's Bourbon Street Chicken."

"What makes it Bourbon Street Chicken?  Did a drunk person make it?  It looks terrible."

"Well we lived in New Orleans for years and I never saw chicken like that.  I'm not even certain if that's chicken."

"It looks like intestine.  What's that?"

"That's German Cabbage."

"Oh.  That's going to make me gassy.  Why are there tomatoes in it?  I didn't know that tomatoes were German."

"I told you this was not a great idea Mom.  Just don't eat it.  I'll go get the usual stuff."

"I have to at least taste this stuff to stay with my resolution."

"Mom, don't eat that if you don't want... well too late I see."

"Dis is hor-able."


"Dis is awwfull.  Uck away."

Mom pretending to wipe her nose as she spits out food

"Did you just pretend to blow your nose and spit stuff into that napkin?"

"Shhhhhhh.... go get me some more napkins.  We'll hide the food under them."

"Mom, I'll just push these plates to the side.  She'll come by and get them.  I'll get you a new plate of food."

"NO!  We can't do that.  Then she'll know we wasted all this food!  We have to hide it somehow.  Go get some more plates and we'll spread it around and them stack them."

"I'm not going to do that Mom.  That's just making more dirty plates.  She'd rather we just push it to the side."

"Wait, wait.  I'll watch her.  When she turns her back, put those plates on the other table."

"If that will make you feel better, I'll do that, but it's silly."

"I don't want to look ungrateful."

"Trust me Mom, Old Country Buffet doesn't expect you to be grateful.  After I ditch the plates, do you want the usual?"

"Yes.  But this still counts toward my resolution."

"Yes Mom.  I agree that it counts toward your resolution.  I'm proud of you."

"I am too."






(Mom will have a movie review over the weekend) web counter

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hee hee hee

First, I'm glad you posted. I was the teensiest bit worried about you guys. Second, I love your mother. Would she adopt me? Would you like a sister? ;)
awwww... we're fine. There would be a problem if we needed to drive to Tacoma or something. Seattle is sort of locked in for a couple of days. We're in no danger (and Mom isn't either) of any flooding. We live on top of a huge hill. That's why we had trouble in the snow.
This made me chortle: Trust me Mom, Old Country Buffet doesn't expect you to be grateful.

Just sent you an email, expressing hope for your safety.
Sounds like you are, at the top of a hill and all. Still, if
you have to drive somewhere, be careful!!!!!
Your mom continues to be hysterical and your patience continues to be impeccable. Thanks for letting me live vicariously through you. Rated.
I really like Mom's sense of adventure and her resolve. "I resolved to trying new things and doing regular things a little differently if I can." Good resolution for any of us who are a tad OCD or, as my Granny used to say, stick-in-the-muds.
Did your mom buy a bike? I see one behind her with a tag on it...

Glad it was long!
Oh, god, that's not a bike that's a walker-seat thingy! I say we cover it in stickers and attach a large horn that plays 'Dixie.'
Your Mum is a real devil. And you're a very funny writer.
The longer the better. I would love to read a whole book full of mom posts, personally.
This wasn't long at all.
Thanks for allowing me to eavesdrop.
sorry...laughing too hard to type straight.

Though I'm genetically unqualified, the part that made me spew tea was the 'menopausal morning'....
A woman ready to make her own sandbags....gotta love it!
Did she make the sandbag with a trash bag and instant rice? If she used a burlap sack, she might be able to eat the stuff when the flood subsided. Just saying.

Love Mom, you have a good one.
I have laughed until I'm actually choking ... tears and snot running down my face. I can't say which part is my favorite ... someplace between the sandbag and imitation crab meat!

You are spectacular!!!

But ~ you have to call it "the" Kmart ... my grandmother always told my mom, "let's go to THE Kmart".

(My grandmother still calls K-Mart "Kresge.")
I know WalMart doesn't sell porn, but they don't sell sandbags, either? What good are they, anyway?
"Mom, I don't want to be disrespectful, but I'm not driving into a flood zone to pick you up a sandbag."

deven - you and your mom are a riot! we readers can & do learn so much from you. stay dry!

for a real change of pace, take her to an Asian grocery store - there she can buy huge sacks of rice & experiment with all sorts of exotic vegetables and animal parts.
This just made my day. So funny!

Your mom rocks. I hope I'm as cool as her when I grow up!
I think you should pitch a sitcom to Hollywood based on your columns about your mother.
I'm new around here and happy to "meet" another Seattleite. Hope you don't mind that I put you on my friends list so I can keep up with your entries... this was very entertaining, and it sure beat working, which is what I'm supposed to be doing!
Back for seconds.
Meant to say how sad it makes me that they will not allow her cute Doxie Howdy mat. Just cause folks can't pick up their feet.Makes me feel akin to her.
Mmmm. Trash bag jambalaya.
Love it! Good for your mom for wanting to try new things!
Long but worth the time!! Your mom is a hoot.
So, I was supposed to be heading out the door and like a good energy conservationist I came over to put the computer to sleep before I left. But I had my browser open and saw there was a "Mom" post so I'm still here. Albeit happier and glad you are both ok. I contacted all my "back home" friends and relatives to make sure they were not swimming but ended up in a conversation about the importance of distinguishing between doggy paddle and doggy style when describing your abilities in the water.
Not... long..... enough.

My father has been a widower for 4 months. He's 74. This week he emailed his resolutions to me: "exercise, Church, socialize, and read. Get busy living or get busy dying, is my motto." I'm so proud I could burst. Because I still feel like crawling under a rock.
Actually I think "Old Country Buffet" should be grateful to you guys. The way you depict it, I would so love to go there; it's on my life list of places I must visit before I die. (I guess that puts it on the "feed bucket" list.)
it's a good resolution
I forget, is that the flat wig or the happy wig? She looks pretty spiffy. And thanks much for not taking the second picture... of her spitting out the chicken.

So glad you're back. I bet Freaky would've found sandbags!
"We're going to die here, aren't we?"

I've had that feeling a time or two as well.

Do you need a care package or something? Maybe some sandbags.....

Thumbed. Karma and Magenta said to say Hi to Freaky. They're overjoyed because we're well-stocked with beer and booze now. Maybe there's a post in that......
Now you know what to get mom for her birthday!
Why don'cha just get a doggie bag and take it home to Freaky?
Fun read!
i'm so glad you posted, OS isn't half as fun without a T & D mom post! (what about craft felt sheets glued together with dried tapioca for filler? at least that would most likely puff up! and i'm pretty sure you could get it at walmart!) :)
Thanks for all the comments guys. Sorry I wasn't around today. I went to the dentist yesterday and had some.. ah.. issues. My head feels like it's popping off.

I called and Mom hasn't made the sandbag yet. Though she thought about it last night before she went to bed.

(susanmihalic, a sandbag is made out of burlap or canvas and filled with sand. People use it to block off entrances to their homes to hold back the water.)
Boy that comment was pitiful. I should log off and just hand the computer off to Freaky.
This is a hoot! I love your mom's resolutions. ,I'm amazed that you could spend two hours in Wal-Mart. What on earth do you do while she's looking at baby clothes (ha! She wants you to have another baby!) and bicycles for all that time? Then you go to Old Country Buffet afterward? You are a good, good, GOOD daughter.
This line made me laugh outloud at work: "Trust me Mom, Old Country Buffet doesn't expect you to be grateful. "

Yep, I just started laughing again.

Thank you!
Another great, funny episode with your wonderful mom! I get the feeling the Old Country Buffet is like a recurring weekly curse that you'll never shake off!
this is brilliant. you have a wonderful way with dialogue. i would love a mom who was funny and exasperating and not criminally evil, but what can you do? Please please please, can i have the Howdy door mat if your mother can't use it???? one of my wonderpups is mostly dachshund and loves clothes. Or can you tell me where mom got it? i'm new here but i rated you and will include you in my friend's list. Can't wait for the next one.
My mom has the mat on the inside of the door. I don't think she'll part with it because it reminds her of Texas. She can't remember where she got it - she thinks it might have been a thrift store.

I did a google search trying to find one. Turned up a result CLICK HERE. Unfortunately no boots one, but there are lots of cute mats.
Oh my!

Your mother reminds me of my grandmother, who resolved never to get old by always taking a different route whenever she needed to go somewhere. This was called "exploring."

Although I don't wish to add to your burdens, I should add that exploring is kinda fun, and might satisfy your mom's resolution without requiring additional purchases. The way it works is this: you go to Walmart as usual, but instead of getting on the interstate, you drive cross town. Next week instead of driving cross town you take that little side street that looks as if it might shave off a corner. Side street turns out to dead end, so you turn around and find your way back to the usual thoroughfare. Next week you try the one the next block over. And so on. No fair cheating and using mapquest.
I have the same reaction I always have to Mom stories:

::laughing helplessly::
Some of my (sort of rare) happy childhood memories were playing "Getting Lost" on Sunday drives. My dad would drive out to the country and try to get as lost as he could. Then we would find our way out. All of us, except Mom, were blessed with an excellent sense of direction.

Mom and I sometime still play that game. I'll go to a neighborhood we don't know and we "Get Lost."
I just love your mom posts, you stodgy little sassy pants you. Also, your mom is pretty wise: "Young people always think the disaster will bypass them."
Come sale away, come sale away, come sale away with meeeee...
Terrific! "Mom and Me" would be a bestseller.....
You're patience is incredible. I probably would have lost it way back at Walmart. Good job! You're a good daughter, lol. What medications are you on?

Seriously, your mom and my mom sound a lot a like. It ain't easy!
"Did you just pretend to blow your nose and spit stuff into that napkin?"

Aw. Hee hee. Happy New Year T&D!
This is bloody delicious. I love that you both have phones to keep in touch in Walmart (you must be the author of the "my mom in Whole Foods" post too? I loved that one...). I've spent many the hour trudging the malls with my nan, and getting hopelessly separated, so I think we both need phones or at least a set of Goin' Shopping Walkie Talkies.
(By the sounds of it, your mom and my nan could form a decent tag-team in some nutty geriatric wrestling federation.)
Hahahahaha. Your mother and my mother should get together and play cards. Or go to Old Country Buffet and torture the staff. Great post.
Your mom is wonderful! She sounds like the old women in my family. I refuse to take either of them to Walmart.
that picture is priceless :D
This is fun. I love your interactions with your Mom. My Mom turned me on to OCB when they first came to our area, and I would give anything to be there with her again. Your posts make me feel almost like I am. Thanks.
Why did I know you were going to Old Country when she asked what you all were going to eat? I have this love/hate relationship with that place. I enjoyed the post.
Sandbags with instant rice! I will carry that image with me today. Thanks for sharing your hysterical mom!
This gives me such a pain in my ass (because I don't know how to spell the Yiddish) but it sounds so familiar. Connectivitiedness between departments - an archetype for our age! Was going to rate but, 65? Really? (I'll just agree with the editors.)
My mom is more eccentric than your mom!!! Nah, nah, nah, ne, nah, nah. If you don't believe me go to I swear every word is true.

Great post! I love the dialogue. You are very good at it. You mom sounds like a handful. I had my mom read the article and then I said, “See what I have to go through.” She laughed. I swear I think they do it on purpose to pay us back for our teenage years.
The picture of your mom ditching her chewed food is quite adorable. Is that a wig? I mean, what a lovely head of hair she has. And what an enjoyable story you two created while she kept her New Years resolutions. ( will she hate you for this?)
Mom the opposite of hates me for this. She's all invested in becoming well known now.

That's a wig. She has three. I can tell her mood by what wig she has on.