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My Mother Left Me No Choice But To Sue

Editor’s Letter

My Mother Left Me No Choice But To Sue

I t’s official. I’m suing my 81-year-old mother. I’m also naming my 99-year-old grandmother in the suit. Don’t shake your head. They deserve it.
You’d understand if you were with me at their house recently for dinner. My mother, acting all innocent, served her famous lasagna, which I’ve been eating since I was a toddler. This is lasagna you’d never find in Italy or Sicily, from where my family hails. This is some crazy Italian/American version that includes three cheeses and an enormous amount of chuck that’s been slowly cooked in
tomato sauce for hours and then shredded and tucked between sheets of pasta swimming in sauce.

The concept of center of the plate doesn’t apply here. There is very little plate visible under the six-inch-thick slab of lasagna my mother serves to each of us, including my four-foot-eleven grandmother. It’s a wedge the size of your head. If I could sneak a piece out of the house (suspiciously there are never leftovers), a nutritional analysis would surely conclude that there are a billion calories in each serving.

My grandmother does not protest this huge portion, you see, because she was the culprit who taught my mother that size does matter. She mocks the fast-food feeders and their so-called biggie and super-size portions. "That ain’t no stinkin’ super-size portion," she once said to me with her Sicilian accent.

"Mangia, mangia"she would implore when Ihad the audacity to take a breath during the Heartbreak Hill portion of this pasta-eating marathon. AND, once finished, my mother would jump in with, "How about another small piece? Come on, just another small piece." Small?She doesn’t know what small means.

You know where I’m going with this, don’t you? Yeah, my mother’s lasagna has made me fat and bald. She blames it on heredity and points to my late father, who died in his eighties carrying too much weight and too little hair. My lawyers, of course, will argue successfully that he also ate her devilish lasagna while my grandmother sat idly by.

Oh, they’ll pay, my friends, they’ll pay!

A class-action suit?I thought about that. Those two have ruined a lot of lives over the years with their lasagna. My brothers have rejected any suggestion, saying I’m crazy. They mock me, those two, with their full heads of hair and slim figures. "How about a little exercise and a comb-over?"they chide. Jerks.

I also get no sympathy from the lovely and slim Mrs. Sanson, my wife. "Take responsibility for the consequences of your desires," she scolds. "Nobody is forcing you to eat all that lasagna!" I laugh, of course. She does not have an Italian mother.

I will concede that the food my mother makes is filled with love. She’s certainly not malicious and means no harm. She, like you, fulfills one of the world’s great gifts, the joy of eating. Her sin, and maybe yours, is that what you offer is irresistible.

Did Imention what she made for dessert?Cannoli. She makes them from scratch. Takes her most of a day to do so. I’ve never had better. I ate two of them shortly after eating a mound of the best lasagna I’ve ever had. It should have been humanly impossible, but Iate them both. I had to unbuckle my pants. She and my grandmother smiled. I called my lawyer.


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