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August 28, 2014

My Mom is the Best in the Universe

I’m well-noted for being an optimist, but sometimes it’s pretty hard.  That’s to be expected, sadly.  Negativity is part and parcel of the World Wide Web these days, and with good reason: it’s a place where fans -- where those who care deeply about the things they love -- find out on a regular basis that something bad is about to go down.  I try to counteract that here, but the woes of the video game industry and its mounting failures means that a lot of times, I have to get negative, too. 

So you know what?  It’s time to do something different.  I want this to be a happy place, and I can think of one surefire way to do that: paying tribute to my mom.  Today’s her birthday, after all, and she’s such a great person that I HAVE to give her the praise she deserves.  I don’t do that enough, but that’s to be expected when you’re about as good with people as trying to spell the alphabet backwards…while on fire.  (As evidenced by that curiously-morbid joke.)  And seeing as how I have yet to encounter a greeting card that can cram several thousand words onto a folded piece of paper, this will have to do.

So gather ‘round.  Have a seat.  Because I’m going to wish my mom a happy birthday the only way anyone can: by giving 100% irrefutable proof that she’s the best in the universe. 

It would be 110%, but doing that would require making the post’s title in all caps.  And as per The Rules of the Internet, that would put the post's credibility in danger.

So let's start with an artist’s rendition of my mom.  Remember it for later.

I don’t know why the artist would give her white hair.  Stylistic choice, maybe? 

All right, let’s be real here.  There are plenty of people out there who think that their mom is the best.  They’re convinced that their mom is unbeatable on all accounts -- the smartest, or the prettiest, or just the best chef (if you want to pare mothers down to basic stereotypes).  And okay, mothers in general are -- to borrow a phrase from the fighting game community -- so godlike.  If you’re reading this, then chances are you think your mom’s pretty great.  Chances are high that that’s very true.  I’m not about to discount anyone’s mom.

It’s just that your mom would lose super-hard to my mom, that’s all.  Don’t feel too bad about it.  Just accept your defeat with dignity and grace -- as you should.  It’ll be fun.

What, you think your mom has skills?  Please.  Your mom may have some skills, but my mom has all of the skills.  She can do anything, and the only reason she doesn’t is because she'd prefer not to make every other mom look bad…all the time, at least.  Everything she touches comes out perfectly, and cleaner, and so shiny you could use it to light up a city block.  One shot is all she needs to turn the everyday item into modern art.  Understand?  You wouldn’t stand in Picasso’s way, so don’t ever stand in hers.  Or, you know, go ahead and do it anyway.  She’ll make you beautiful before you can even say "hyperbole".

Or just let her cook for you.  That’ll do the trick -- because I guarantee you that her food will send you to heaven so fast, you’ll reach escape velocity before you even finish the first bite.  Her technique?  Flawless.  Her knowledge, practical or otherwise?  Well near infinite.  Whatever she wants to cook, she’ll cook -- from the finest meats to the most dazzling of salads.  Yes, that’s right -- salad.  Can you think of another person out there who can make a simple salad fantastic?  No?  I expected as much -- because there’s only one mom worthy of being the best in the universe.  And it’s the one who could probably make a stunning bowl of sauerkraut if she wanted to.

Wait, do you eat sauerkraut in a bowl?  Or is it a plate?  A mug, maybe? 

Why do I always default to sauerkraut when I need to end on a joke?

But don’t think for a second that my mom is only THE GREATEST EVER by way of her high-end motherly skills.  No, she can do way more than that -- by which I mean everything, obviously, but for convenience’s sake I’ll run you through a few of them.  Be amazed!  (Well, as amazed as one can be from words alone -- even if they are 100% irrefutable.)

See, my mom is what you’d call a musical ace.  Singing?  Unbeatable.  Piano?  Unrivaled.  Just plain snapping her fingers?  Unstoppable -- and “unstoppable” isn’t even a word that’s used to describe snapping fingers.  That’s just how good she is.  She’s got the spirits of all the great musicians -- Beethoven, Mozart, Freddie Mercury -- running through her veins.  And it’s not even all that surprising; she’s got the perfect fingers to play any instrument.  How do I know this?  Because I inherited a man-ified version of her hands -- and thus, I have the supreme fingers for typing millions and millions of words.  Thanks, Mom!  I wouldn’t trade these hands of mine for anything -- not even cool robot hands.

Because that would just be impractical.  And more than a little dangerous.

Oh, wait.  What’s that I hear?  You think that your mom has a better personality?  Ridiculous.  Don’t even bother -- because in the time it took you to come up with one positive trait, I’ve already come up with one trillion.  You didn’t even know there were that many, did you?  Well, I do -- precisely because I have a mom that showed me the light.  In addition to the spaghetti.

You’ll never meet a person who’s kinder than my mom.  Know why?  Because there isn’t one.  She’s made enough friends over the course of her life to fill multiple rooms.  And with good reason; there’s no beating her good spirits, her resilience, and her loyalty.  In fact, it stops being loyalty and becomes something far greater: super loyalty.  Call on her, and she’ll do more than just help you; she’ll make you feel like your face belongs on Mount Rushmore. 

So yeah.  She’s a nice person, too.  How about giving her a space, South Dakota?  No one deserves it more.  Besides, Lincoln's been up there long enough.

Now, I know what you’re thinking.  “Aha!  If she’s such a kind and noble person, then it must be easy to take advantage of her!  Now my nefarious plans will come to fruition!”  But that’s where you’d be wrong, and I’d start questioning your villainous potential if you’re the type to announce his plans.  You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone as brave or as tough as my mom.  I’m convinced that the only one who can begin to rival her is my similarly-galactic dad -- itself a possibility partially bestowed by his righteous mustache. 

Those who dare to cross my mom come to regret it; backing down isn’t something she does.  Ever.  Customer service, principals, lizards, you name it -- if there’s a battle to be won, you’d better believe that my mom will come out on top.  You push her, she pushes back.  It’s almost as if my mom was some sort of superhero. 

Oh, wait.  She totally is.

See?  I told you to remember that art.

Now let’s get serious here.  Here on this blog, the subject of heroes tends to come up a whole lot.  Setting aside the fact that nearly every character I think up is based around a set of superpowers (and/or fighting game archetypes, if that’s your jam), I’m convinced that being a hero is the optimal state of a character.  There’s just something special about a good guy embodying certain virtues -- fighting their hardest, day after day, to make the world just a little bit brighter. 

There’s also the simple fact that, well, I like heroes.  Batman may be the go-to guy for DC Comics right now, but I’ll always contend that Superman is the cooler of the two.  But even then, they both lose out to Captain America -- a guy so cool that he’s got a country named after him (don’t ever let anyone tell you that it’s the opposite).  And of course, there’s probably a pretty good reason as to why there have been more than forty years’ worth of masked Riders.  That's just my hunch, though.

But you know what?  Every single one of those heroes loses out to my mom. 

Setting aside the fact that she’s…you know, REAL…she’s a bright enough star to show what’s right.  And she has shown me what’s right, again and again.  She’s the one who helped convince me that, no matter how bad things get -- no matter how negative people, circumstances, and the world itself might be -- there’ll always be heroes that can make things better.  For themselves, and for others.  You just to be willing and able to put in the work.

I’m not even close to being “the best in the universe”, despite my blessed lineage.  But that’s fine.  My mom is my hero.  I want to be a hero in turn.  And I believe that I can be one -- because for one reason or another, she believes that I can be one.  She’s given me plenty of virtues and values to hold dear, and the opportunity to even be alive.  So even if you take the whole “I like her because I needed her to exist” factor out, she’d still be THE BEST, PERIOD, because she’s willing to be there.  She could have conquered the planet a dozen times over by now if she wanted to, but instead she decided to be my mom -- and to give me the first push I needed to be the best.  To be my best.

I owe my mom a lot.  So is it any wonder that I’d wish her a happy birthday?

And there you have it, people.  100% irrefutable, undeniable, and -- dare I say it -- delectable proof that my mom is the best in the universe.  With this post, there can be no doubt about who’s the greatest; every last platform for dispute has been cast into the abyss.  Or something like that.  Whatever the case, I love my mom, and I want to make that known as clearly as possible…even if that means I have to go full ham to express that fact. 

But that’s fine.  I like going full ham when I write -- and I vastly prefer writing about positive things than take part in the doom-and-gloom parade.  And I don’t even have to move to find those positive things.  I just have to look to the most obvious place possible: right here in my heart.

Happy birthday, Mom.  
(I hope you like blue text.  And also, tulips.)

…Ah, nuts.    I just realized that I’ll have to do one of these for my dad’s next birthday.  I’ll have to research ways to double the ham-factor by then.

…Ah, double-nuts.  I just realized that I’ll have to find a way to top this for my mom’s next birthday.  What to do, what to do.

Got it.  I’ll make her a song.  I do have the technology, after all.  Now, if I can just learn how to play the ukulele, I’ll be set.

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