What did you inherit from your mother?

Subscribers Only Content

High resolution image downloads are available to subscribers only.

Not a subscriber? Try one of the following options:



Get A Free 30 Day Trial.

No Obligation. No Automatic Rebilling. No Risk.

Tyrades! by Danny Tyree

As Mother’s Day approaches, it is appropriate that we discuss the physical characteristics, personality traits, coping mechanisms, etiquette rules, life ambitions, etcetera that we inherited from our mothers.

Let’s discuss it in hushed tones, though. We don’t want Uncle Sam salivating over a new type of inheritance tax. (“Who needs Chinese loans? We’ve got dimples, lasagna recipes and heirloom Tupperware! KA-CHING!”)

I inherited my soft spot for stray animals from my mother. And when confronted with her clutter, she takes a perverse pride in confessing, “I’m a packrat – like Danny!”; but in many ways, we are complete opposites.

As my bookshelves will attest, I did not inherit her aversion to reading. If she possessed a time machine (a FLIP time machine, not one of those newfangled smart time machines!), she would go back and snatch Johannes Gutenberg from his crib and train him for a life of lawnmowing.

Okay, I admit I did inherit my mother’s fashion sense (or lack of same). She’s an industrious woman, beloved by many; but she is not renowned for matching colors, patterns and fabrics. I was oblivious to the teasing at school until the time she sent me off wearing the purple mohair vest with the red loincloth. (We’ll talk later about the clean pair of corduroy underwear I had to wear in case I was struck by a car.)

I dutifully attend my share of funerals, but I did not inherit my mother’s morbid fascination with final arrangements. If I make the mistake of mentioning the obituary of some minor acquaintance, the topic keeps resurfacing like a game of Whac-A-Mole.

It’s especially bad if the surviving family members schedule the funeral several days after the “kicking off” phase. Even when my mother has no intentions of attending, sending a sympathy card or sharing thoughts and prayers, she embarks on day after day of pointless speculation about possible attendees, embalming versus cremation, estimated income for the florist…

“Will there be an open casket?” passes my mother’s lips more often than an entire alcoholic family asks, “Will there be an open bar?” about a wedding reception.

Finally, the day after the funeral, Mom inevitably asks, “Well, I wonder if they ever got ol’ what’s-his-name buried?”

“They tried – they really tried. But the ground rejected him! I understand they’re going to try irrigating the cemetery with holy water.”

I know I was temperamental as a child, but I would like to think introspection has made me more thick-skinned than my mother. She grew up poor, so to her, everything is a perceived slur or disparagement.

“I wonder what he meant by that. I think that was a slur. I know when I’ve been slurred.”

“Mom, I don’t think the Supreme Court would consider ‘N-37, who has N-37?’ to be fighting words.”

I do hope that I have inherited my mother’s longevity gene. (Well, it’s a gene or so many people saying, “Bless her heart” through gritted teeth.) She has seen better days, but she is still serving as the family matriarch at age 96.

If I do make it to such a ripe old age, I hope the IRS agents whom Uncle Sam tries to sic on me had good mothers.

“Darn! We can’t make a raid until an hour after we’ve eaten! And, Sam, why are you wearing red, white and orange horizontal stripes???”

Copyright 2023 Danny Tyree, distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Danny Tyree welcomes email responses at tyreetyrade[email protected] and visits to his Facebook fan page “Tyree’s Tyrades.”