Daughters of the Dirt / Sarah Higdon

Two Rules
by Diane Fleming

There are only two rules: Donít drink and drive, and wear condoms. Everyone should wear condoms, all the time. At circumcision time, doctors should surgically attach condoms that are programmed to pop off only when the world population dips.

Iíve been telling my son Andrew these rules for five years, five long years because I anticipate the inevitableóI imagine he brings home a new grandson who was secretly brought to term inside the belly of a fifteen-year-old girl whose retainer gives her a lisp. And my dreams of financial freedom are pushed out another twenty years.

Or worse, I imagine his car wrapped around a tree, and when the first witness opens the door, she will exclaim, "Oh my God, the fumes!" The aroma of Lone Star beer will linger in her memory for years.

Or I picture, ten years into the future, a woman with straight teeth visits me. She is 25 and is accompanied by her ten-year-old son, Morgan Caleb Noah Eternal Sunshine Che Guevara-hyphen-Brownstein and she asks, "Do you know where I can find Andrew?"

I say, "Well he died years ago. After testing positive for HIV and Asian bird flu during his draft physical, he tied one on in his despair, and wrapped his car around a tree."

And she says, "Well Morgan Caleb Noah Eternal Sunshine Che has serious medical problems, you know, a rare dyslexic form of ADHD called DADH, complicated by a severe Attachment to Detachment Syndrome and he canít write his name, at least not all his names. And the Army Reserves has called me to serve in Toronto, you know, to help end World War III and find Osama Bin Laden and the deported Donald Rumsfeld, and I was thinking, can you raise your grandson?"

I wonder why Andrew didnít listen to me, his mother, his only mother. I rarely told him that he had to take out the garbage, or finish his homework. Are condoms that complicated? Maybe the ribbed ones Ė okay Ė I can unpack that concept. But is it so hard to understand that you canít unpack a six-pack and then motor down the access road talking on your cell phone to your 15-year-old girlfriend, Amanda Chastity Britney Moonbeam Guevara-hyphen-Brownstein?

There are only two rules: Wear condoms and do not motor down the access road drinking Old Milwaukee, wrapping your car around a tree, only to hear the first witness yell,

"Oh my God, the fumes!"
Diane Fleming is an award-winning writer and poet in Austin, and one of AustinMama.com's all-time favorites.  She brought the house down at both Screamin' in the Freezer 1 & 2.  We don't hear from her nearly enough.