Slack Off Gets The Brush Off. I told Mother Dear I'd drop in on Christmas Day, What I neglected to say is 'Ma, I'm home to stay,' Would she welcome a son broke, busted, divorced and thirty Whose spouse has locked him out 'cause he'd done the dirty? She listened silently to my sad well-worn tribulatory tale, It's my Christmas tradition, regular as the Sears Roebuck sale, And I expect she understands I've arrived here empty-handed- She'd get her present when my unemployment cheque landed. Mother knows her misbegotten son is a low-down louse So she laid down the heavy ground rules of the house, 'You better keep more than just your nose clean, Buster,' I guess her once Golden boy has lost his old lustre. When the whole family came over I enjoyed Ma's fine meal, Those many brandy and port toasts I savoured, a great deal, I farewelled the family with air kisses and best wishes Then went for a power nap while Ma did the dishes. I lay abed, my heavy head dizzied by all the drink But ears not dulled enough to not hear the distant clink As Mother stacked up the multitude of dishes to dry, Then hear 'Oh my son, my son,' and she began to cry. Staying sat at home with Ma proved tryingly hard, She said I'd best sweep up the shed, out in the back yard Since she won't open the door should I invite in the guys Nor if I should try staggering in sometime after sunrise . Ma's nagging kept dragging on all through New Year's day, 'My son, my son, get up and haul that dry old tree away,' She'd taken down the old fading blinking lights That had lit up a litany of past Christmas nights. She'd unwound the twisted tinselled trappings of old, The fraying strands of tarnished silver and dusty gold, Boxed up the tree top angel, so well past her prime- She's seen in far too many parties o'er Christmas time. 'Place those precious decorations in the Santa sack, Put it up in your wardrobe, in place of your backpack,' I'd say she made her New Year resolution perfectly clear, 'My son, my son, come Valentines Day, you're outta here.' I drugged out the tree, both of us destined for the chop; Did the carpet of needles make her sorrowful eyes drop? Sighing, she began to run around the littered living room Muttering over her venerable over-the-hill whining vacuum. My burning ears faintly discerned 'Oh my son, oh my son, Next Christmas please just present me with a nice new Dyson, Or a Hoover, Electrolux, Roomba or Miele, I really don't care- My son, who don't pick up a thing, just sucks and blows hot air.'
(Based NOT on myself but very loosely on the Stephen King ‘character’ Larry Underwood in ‘The Stand,’ which I’m gamely re-reading after the Covid year?!?)