My mother has been in the hospital. For five months now. What started out as a simple (!) open heart surgery has turned into Bedpanpalooza 2011, a festival for which I did not purchase a ticket.

And quite frankly, this does not bode well for our planet.

Those of you who’ve read my first memoir Where’s My Wand know that Mother – who I referred to as General Patton in pedal pushers, and a woman who Lemon Pledged the paneling weekly – is a dynamo of epic proportions. She’s like the Energizer Bunny with a crystal meth issue.  Her work ethic is more impressive than a hooker’s during fleet week. Her zest for life would make a host of Disney characters want to put a bullet in their heads. Bossy, opinionated and brilliant, she has never been the type to be sidelined by anything.

But she has been sidelined by this. Which means that the Earth has clearly tilted on its axis.

And that makes me wonder: what other horrifying, unforeseen events could occur?

Guess I’d better refresh my dodge ball skills before that asteroid headed for Earth hits me in the crotch. Guess I should learn to appreciate the title “President Kardashian”. Guess it’s time to start hoarding hotel shampoo bottles so I have something to sell when the dollar is devalued and martial law takes effect.

Sure, there are those naysayers who would contend that the earth hasn’t tilted on its axis, that nothing terrible is going to happen. They would claim that my mother is simply getting older. And that human bodies don’t last forever.

But that is patently ridiculous. Some people never slow down. Some people outlive us all. Some people are there for us, through thick and thin, in perfect health and mind, to bask in the glow of our accomplishments and comfort us in times of sorrow.  Some people are such good friends, parents and life teachers that they’re far too important and valuable, and needed to be sidelined.

Aren’t they?

I mean, I’m sure I can learn to live with a dumb slut in the White House. After all, with that asteroid headed this way, how long can it last?