The torture never stops (to quote Frank Zappa)

Before I launch, like one of those nighttime slingshot kind of helicopter looking deals with LED lights ablaze, (can you picture this or not...), I must say that this is an original column. Hello, are you still there? I know this is shocking data but there is really no need for collective fainting.

Have you noticed a change in the barometric pressure as of late? Have you witnessed various wild animals dashing for cover? Don't panic. These acts of nature are only unfolding due to the fact that my siblings have arrived in the greater Crawford County region.

The last time we were together as one would have been several years ago and I did pen a piece about such goings on.

In order to fill up space, which is always my goal, and to clue new readers into the Houserman insanity, I shall impart some history or facts pertaining to the dynamics involved.

Brother Blaine is best described as a whirling dervish as he flits and flings himself to and fro. One can enter the aerobic state just by attempting to walk and talk with him. When he is stationary, he is literally on a laptop and a phone simultaneously.

Sister Jill is the total opposite as her high heels, which are worn for every occasion from parade attendance to movie dates, prevent her from rolling at a rapid pace. She is also more inclined to go along with whatever sick demands Mother puts on her. The demands in question usually pertain to a meal of some sort. (More about that later, as that IS the thesis of this piece, believe it or not.) Jill's nickname is Pumpkin, for obvious reasons which I shall not dissect in detail.

Mother's main focus in life is food. The woman weighs about six pounds and yet, she is always thinking ahead in terms of when and where to partake in sustenance ingestion.

Pumpkin and Dervish arrived several evenings ago and I was summoned to the big house, from the servant's quarters, mind you, to meet and greet. When I arrived, after making the hundred yard journey next door, I was struck with the aroma of some kind of meat product. Mother, in true form, had whipped up a last second roast and was force-feeding all in her path.

After that evening of eating and imbibing, the rest of the itinerary was discussed with Mother prattling on about this or that area eating establishment.

Nothing, and I mean, NOTHING, stops that woman from inhaling food like a hyena after a kill. Case in point:

The other afternoon, Dervish, my kid and I were visiting on my cluttered, yet welcoming, porch, when suddenly Pumpkin flew into the driveway. Actually, “flew” might be a slight exaggeration as the rental car is a VW Bug but just pretend that she maneuvered like a race car driver, if you would.

She shouted something about Mother, a sore jaw and an emergency room. With that, Dervish leaped, like the FDT man, as is his custom, into said driveway and entered the passenger side of the vehicle.

It turned out that our dearest mom was suffering from a jaw condition and her doc thought she might be having a heart episode, as the saying goes. The woman was working at Stitch Art when this all went down.

I called to ascertain exactly what was going on and this is what she said, “Lisa, there is absolutely nothing wrong with me other than my jaw hurts. I'm NOT having a heart attack. I'm working for crying out loud...”

Turns out she was correct but she still had the problem with her jaw not closing or opening or functioning as a jaw should. The orders were to eat soft food for a week.

Guess what happened right after her release from the emergency center? Come on, try. What did Mother plan next?? You got it. She actually said, “Don't forget we are going to Such and Such for dinner tonight.”

Her JAW was unhinged, or whatever, and yet, she still refused to cancel the evening meal arrangements. I am simply amazed at this woman.

Moving along, Pumpkin, Mother and Co-Worker of Mother went to have lunch the other day. Pumpkin indulged in something heavy and rich, not knowing about Mother's evil plot for later in the day. As they were in the parking lot, (picture Pumpkin clutching her tummy from overindulging), Mother casually mentioned that they'd be going to dinner later that day. Pumpkin begged me to go along and said we could simply partake in cocktails whilst everyone else feverishly inhaled solids.

This has reached levels of absurdity. Pumpkin said she has not once been offered the opportunity to have an actual human hunger pang since she landed in Pittsburgh. Dervish is forced to move like a hummingbird in heat, (a little quicker than his normal stride), in order to burn calories and I, well, I simply don't give into these disgusting requests of being in a perpetual state of stuffedness. I know that “stuffedness” is not a word but it's the only way to describe the situation.

In closing, I have to mention that when we all did go to dinner the other night, Mother, in sticking with the soft food deal, ordered this concoction that can only be described as, well, odd. Since mashed potatoes are soft, I guess she thought that ordering a huge meatball slathered with potatoes, deep fried and then served on a bed (?) of veggies with gravy o plenty would be fine. Her “soft meal” was literally the size of a newborn baby's head.

Well, I have to abruptly end this bloviating session. The phone is ringing.... Wait! It was Mother. She asked if I could go into the Market House for some sort of brunch. I told her that I was pounding out this column, which is only overdue by about 20 hours. I dodged that one, didn't I?

There is simply no cute way in which to end this incessant blathering session. Plus, all Houserman energy must be geared toward the act of digesting massive amounts of food. The torture never stops.