My mother-in-law isn't even Italian. She's got Canadian genes, and you know Canadians never get angry enough to break someone's bones. Canadians are mellow. If they feel violent, they drink another beer and wait for the feeling to pass. If the feeling doesn't pass, they move to the U.S. and play in the National Hockey League.
No, I think I have the best mother-in-law in the world. She's funny and generous and loving. And smart. She was a registered nurse for about 150 years, and you know that your average buffoon doesn't get to be a nurse. Hubster says that his mom was the kind of nurse that if she had to give a kid a shot, and the kid was pitching a royal fit, she'd give the kid a look that said, "Keep it up and I'll go get the needle that's the size of your bicycle spokes. And I'll sterilize it over an open flame until it's red-hot." And then the kid would shut up and later need therapy for his phobia of white shoes.
In fact, it was my smart mother-in-law who educated me about service monkeys. There's this facility that raises guide dogs near her home, and in the course of talking about it, I found out that some disabled people have monkeys that help around the house. Really! I guess a service monkey can be trained to do things that a Golden Retriever can't, like butter your toast, tie your shoes, roll your Yahtzee dice, that kind of thing. Who knew? Man, if they can teach monkeys to cook and clean toilets, it would be worth having my kneecaps broken just to get one of those little dudes for myself.
Anyway. Back to the kneecap story.
We decided to take the kids for a full day at Sea World, and my mother-in-law rented herself one of those electric carts. Now, as I said, she's usually a very bright, capable woman, but for some reason she had a lot of trouble with this cart. First she rammed the thing (and her knee) into a metal pole. Then she plowed into a bench, whacking the same knee again. She already has two artificial hips, so maybe the electric cart generated some kind of weird magnetic attraction between her leg and whatever upright metal object was nearby. I don't know.
It got to where my kids started warning strangers around us, "Look out, my grandma's coming through. You might want to get out your insurance card." When they'd hear the beep, beep of the cart backing up, they'd begin searching the Sea World map for the closest first aid station. You could be across the park and know when the dolphin show, or the shark show, or whatever show, was over, because you could hear the WHAM of my mother-in-law backing her cart into a trash can as she prepared to leave the stadium.
Hubster and I talked about it later, and we decided that if his mom ever becomes unable to walk well within her own home, we're not going to let her get one of those Hoveround things. Absolutely not. She'd run that thing straight into the bridge table, knock over the peanut bowl, and her bridge buddies would pelt her with rocks and garbage. The entire retirement community would be in an uproar, and she'd be relegated to playing Yahtzee with her service monkey.
Nope, if she ever needs ambulatory assistance, we've got a solution. We're gonna get her a service donkey. One of those little miniature donkeys that she can ride around the house and down to the community hall for morning coffee.
And the best part of this plan is this. If my kids ever get in a bragging match with an Italian mafia kid about their grandmas, my kids can say, "Yeah? Well, my grandma's ass can kick your grandma."