Mi madre loves to laugh. She has a loud, deep from the belly laugh that puts you in a good mood. When she finds something funny, you can hear it three blocks down the street.
She has a very good sense of humor, not like mine, a motherly sense of humor. She can still appreciate things that most find funny, but if something is crude, she presses her lips together in a half-smile and shakes her head.
One thing, ay, one thing that she doesn’t laugh at is anything to do with Jesus. Me, I can make Jesus jokes. I’m ok with that. I figure that Jesus would have a good sense of humor about himself. If I were hanging out with Jesus, I may make a joke about the holes in his hands. Not making fun of him, but more like a friendly poke. Not a poke in his side, but you know what I’m talking about. Just kidding around. Kind of like you would make fun of a cowlick.
I asked mi madre who she thought would win in a slap war, Jesus or Abraham Lincoln. I thought it was a good question. She didn’t. I got a lecture about making silly jokes.
“El Guapo, I didn’t raise you to say things like that. How can you have a slappy war with the man who died for you?”
So, you think Jesus would win?
“I’m not going to answer that question. You shouldn’t ask me questions like that. It’s not right.”
Mi madre likes Jesus. One time, I dated a Jewish girl. When I came home, she had so many candles lit that the Russian cosmonauts could see her house from space. Then mi madre told her neighbors and they all had candles. The fire marshall had to speak to me about my dating habits because it was turning into a fire hazard.
Mama, Jesus wasn’t a Christian. What if his name was Bob? Would we then just be Bobbish?
“El Guapo, what a thing to say! How can you say that?”
I’m just saying, if his name were Bob, then you would be Bobbish. He was Bob AND Jewish. So, you would be Bobbish. Makes sense.
“El Guapo, sometimes I wonder what I did wrong with you. I don’t know what goes on in that head of yours. I’m going to light a candle.”
So many candles… The candle makers are sending their kids through Harvard, many times over, because of mi madre.