Necessity, they say, is the mother of invention. And necessity (my looming deadline) has forced me to invent a connection between Mother’s Day and Red Buttons.
You remember Red Buttons, don’t you? The amiable comedian was a regular on the “Dean Martin Celebrity Roast” specials in the Seventies. His shtick involved questioning the selection of the “Man of the Hour” and lamenting all the worthies who (wait for it) “never got a dinner!”
Buttons passed away in 2006; but if he were alive today, he might be helping me publicize all the MOTHERS who never got their proper due. For instance, Marie Antoinette’s mother, who said, “No, it’s not ‘let them eat cake’-it’s ‘let them lick the spoon!’” NEVER GOT A COLUMN.
I’ve cobbled together a list of several other mothers who never got a column:
Davy Crockett’s mom, who said, “You wouldn’t believe how hard it is to find a bumper sticker that says, ‘My child is an honor student at killing him a bar when he was only three.’”
Alfred Hitchcock’s mother, who said, “Time to graduate from your rubber duckie, Alfie. What’s the worst that could happen in a shower?”
Harry S Truman’s mother, who insisted, “Maybe the buck stops here, but the quarter you swallowed doesn’t. Now take your laxative!”
Col. William Prescott’s mother, who explained, “But you’ll put an eye out if you tell them not to fire until they see the whites of their eyes.”
Marcel Marceau’s mother, who said, “It’s impolite to speak with your mouth full - or empty, for that matter.”
Walt Disney’s mother, who lectured, “Yes, it’s a small world after all, but you’re still not going past the end of the street without your brother.”
The mother of the captain of the Exxon Valdez, who reassured, “A little spit and a handkerchief should clean that right up.”
William Shakespeare’s mother, who ordered, “I don’t care WHAT broke through yonder window. You’re marching in there and paying for it, young man.”
Thomas Jefferson’s mother, who fussed, “So you went and made your Louisiana Purchase knowing full well that I have a friend of a friend who could’ve gotten it for you wholesale!”
King Tut’s mother, who insisted, “In case of an accident, have clean underwear...and clean bandages...and clean servants for the afterlife...”
Tarzan actor Johnny Weissmuller’s mother, who confided, “Yes, I want him to call me, but not if it’s always going to be a call of ‘Aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh’!”
Larry King’s mother, who insisted, “You write your nana a thank you note, just as soon as writing has been invented.”
Abraham Lincoln’s mother, who cajoled, “If you’re really into this ‘with malice toward none’ stuff, how about letting your brother out of the cedar chest before he suffocates?”
Joseph Lister’s mother, who wondered, “Why are you always so happy when you say a bad word and I wash your mouth out?”
Vin Diesel’s mother, who said, “Vin, the umbilical cord is not for rappelling down a cliff!”
I dedicate this Mother’s Day column to ALL the hardworking, self-sacrificing mothers who’ve made the world a better place. Your tradition goes all the way back to Mother Eve, who said, “NOW who’s going to give me grandchildren - whatever THOSE are????”
Danny welcomes reader e-mail responses at firstname.lastname@example.org and visits to his Facebook fan page “Tyree’s Tyrades”.