The other day I realized I had violated my in-home safety policy. I never even thought about such things until my friend Renny ran downstairs in her sock feet, slipped on the carpeted stairs, and shattered her ankle so badly that it subsequently took pins and plates to put it back together. Then there was the incident when my poor brother fell off the bed while changing a lightbulb in a ceiling fixture, hung his foot in the box spring, and was stranded for two days with a broken leg before he could get help.
Now that I’ve thoroughly frightened everyone, I should explain that the in-home safety policy applies only to people who live alone or perhaps spend all day or all night alone at home. Number one rule: Don’t run around in socks. Either go barefoot or wear shoes that fit. Rule number two: Always have your cellphone in your pocket. Make sure it’s charged. Rule number three: Teach your cat to dial 911 (joke.)
Anyway, my violation did not result in an injury, but I realized I’d done it while staring at a sink full of dirty dishes. Immediately one of Mother’s immortal sayings popped into my head: “If I get sick in the night, don’t call the ambulance until you clean up this kitchen.”
Another favorite behavior was how she hoarded her nice nightgowns and robes in case she had to go to the hospital. I guess she was concerned about looking well-dressed in her hospital bed.
Then I smelled my garbage, realizing it needed to be carried out, and thought, “There’s something kyarny in there.” That was a favorite word of Mother’s. I just found it online in the Urban Dictionary. I knew it meant “smells like something dead.” According to that website, kyarn is a Southern derivative of the word “carrion,” meaning dead or decaying flesh.
Another of Mother’s expressions was often aimed at me: “Get off your high horse.” That meant, “Stop being so arrogant and superior,” or as phrases.org.uk says, “A request to stop behaving in a haughty and self-righteous manner.”
Well, I have to get off my high horse and go get my cellphone. That way if I should get drunk as Cootie’s goose (i.e., dizzy) I can always call for help!