My Mother’s best friend, Blanche, was marrying a quintessential Irish cop, and Mom was in the wedding party. On the night of the wedding, I stayed at the house of the woman who made the pink and white polyester bridesmaid dresses, and was left in the care of her 15-year old daughter.
The daughter was tall and skinny with long, frizzy hair (when I saw Lorraine Newman on Saturday Night Live a few years later, she reminded me of the daughter) and a dark brown suede vest with beaded fringe, which I thought was pretty cool because it constantly made a quiet clinking noise.
I thought it was even cooler when she me took upstairs to her attic bedroom and started sharing her stuff with me. She put on a record by a group called Deep Purple (turns out it was Machine Head) and explained what “Smoke on the Water” was all about. I nodded my head as if I understood, and then said that one of the guys (Ian Gillan) was really cute, which set her off into a spasm of excitement.
She yanked out her high school yearbook to show me that the guy she had the biggest crush on looked “just like” Ian Gillan. It was confusing, because the cute guy in the tiny black and white photo had long blonde hair, but she was a high school girl, so obviously she knew better than me, right?
After turning her back to me for a few minutes, she got all animated. I asked what that smell was.
“It smells like burnt Pop Tarts.”
She giggled wildly, interspersing it with the phrase, “Pot Tarts!”
There was that word again: pot. Just what in the hell is pot?
Somehow, I became her Mother Confessor, as she told a fast string of stories about pot, and booze and boys that made no sense, but because I was listening intently, she kept rambling on while slapping a rotation of vinyl onto the stereo. I was perfectly content absorbing all this new data (I really dug the beads hanging in the doorways), and was really liking the circular keyboard squawking of a song she told me was called “Frankenstein.” But then she handed me the album to look at, and on the cover was a really creepy looking white guy – really, really white – with makeup and ladies’ jewelry. And even though there were some cute guys in other photos on the album cover, the creepy white freak was in all of them, too!
All of a sudden, “Frankenstein” started sounding as creepy as that freak looked, and the daughter’s non-stop yammering became grating, and I’d hit my limit. I tossed the record on the bed and bolted out of the room and down the stairs. The daughter came running after me, asking what was wrong. I now stood in the kitchen, and simply said, “I want a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.”
She made me the sandwich, and asked if I wanted to bring it upstairs to eat. I simply took the sandwich into the living room, sat on the couch and stared at the TV. Daughter finally got the hint and left me alone.
See "the freak" doing "Frankenstein."