Anything For Ratings

Boyleing Points

Lots of readers sent me very generous comments about last week’s column regarding my mother, Helen.  (Online at

Of course, she couldn’t take the praise and went into hiding hoping everyone would forget the whole thing by the next time she ventured out.  But she’s cautious. If you see some woman walking around with one of those Groucho Marx masks it’s probably Helen trying to stay hidden.  And here’s a tip to the ladies at the Arts & Craft or the Sea Breeze raves  – I can’t keep track of all afterhours hangouts she has – don’t believe her when she says she’s not related to me.

I gotta say, you want high ratings just write something about your mother.  Last time one of my columns had this much reaction I accused my mother of trying to kill me with pork chops.  It had to be 20 years ago and people still come up to me, “how could you say that about your mother?”

All I said was that I didn’t know pork chops were meat until I was an adult.  I thought pork chops were bones and applesauce.  And these bones were burnt to a crisp so there’d be no danger of catching something called trichinosis.

We were like kids in school practicing what to do in the event of a nuclear attack.  All of us ducked under the dining room table and grabbed our ankles when the pork chops made their way from the smoky kitchen.

My siblings now swear she’s a good enough cook to be on the Food Channel.  I think of her cooking when I see the History Channel (when flamethrowers were introduced).

Anyway, the picture I put on the front page last week, presented here again, was like Peak Art – everything would be downhill after that, so I never drew anything ever again. 

Of course, some art critics emerged.  Including Helen.  She said, what’s with the rouge?  I never wore rouge. 

You went pretty heavy on the lipstick, I said.  And forget about the rouge.  You’re lucky we didn’t call you Crazy Eyes Helen if this picture captured you then.

And the eyelashes look like spiders, she added.  You knew when to stop drawing. 

See what I have to put up with?  I draw a picture when I’m six years old and she’s still taking shots at me. 

I started a newspaper just to make it a fair fight. So watch out, Helen. I’m just a typical media guy.  I build you up just to tear you down.  Oh, and what’s for dinner?

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