Chittlin's and Chopsticks

Writer and mother, Terris McMahan Grimes, the Mother From Another Continent, an her friends share their slighty off kilter parenting views and their takes on a whole lot of other things.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Love and Science

When I was a nerdy lil thing some 50 years ago, I was madly in love with George Washington Carver.

I imaged myself as Mrs. Terris Mae Washington Carver, cooking up sweet potatoes and reading books together with my hubbie in the shade of a big ole pecan tree.

I found out about George Washington Carver in one of my sweeps of the school library at Thompkins Elementary School where I went to hunt down books about “Negroes.” I discovered Harriet Tubman on one of those sweeps, and Langston Hughes, too.

In a book of black and white photos whose placement in an elementary school library full of little negroes could only have been an act of terrorism, I also discovered the ungodly practice of lynching.

But back to my first love, George. I learned that George Washington Carver discovered about a million things that could be made out of peanuts, and about a million more that could be made out of sweet potatoes. I learned that he practically, singlehandedly, saved southern agriculture after the great boll weevil infestation of the early 1920s.

I learned all of this without once thinking of him as a scientist. Somehow the books I read fifty years ago didn’t emphasize that.

“Of course he was a scientist," says my daughter. "Didn’t you see all those test tubes in the background of his pictures?” Maybe I didn’t know what a test tube was in those days, but it never dawned on me that he was a scientist.

I knew he was smart, but I pictured him holding a peanut to his forehead and saying, “Hummm.”

I wish I had known Carver was a scientist. That would have meant a lot to me. I think I would have viewed science from a different perspective. It would have made science more accessible.

I could have been a contender.

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It's In the Eyes

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Saturday, January 03, 2009

You Are Cordially Invited...

You Are Cordially Invited

What: Going Away Party

Who: W

When: Now Until Twelve Noon, January 20, 2009

Where: Right Here at Mother's Place



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Sunday, October 14, 2007

Viagra Anyone?

Me to my ten-year-old: "Sweetie, will you go upstairs and get my medicine?"

He to me: "You mean the Viagra?"

Me: "No, Sweetie, the Vicodin."

Wow! What a teachable moment.

Naturally, I had to explain erectile dysfunction to him. It was so much fun, especially when he screamed "Ugh!" and ran from the room.

Later on I took a Xanax.

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Monday, September 24, 2007

Get Your Head From Under My Dress!

I came across this chilling disclosure while reading the section on medical records privacy in the CalPers "Health Program Guide" brochure:

Protective Services for the President and Others
We may disclose medical information about you to authorized federal or state officials so they may provide protection to the President, other authorized persons or foreign heads of state or conduct special investigations.

What I Want to Know Is:

  • How will my pap smear results help protect the president?
  • Who is this “other authorized person"?Does that include my ex-husband?
  • And, can these “special investigations” find their way to YouTube?

Let me save y’all Homeland Security folk a little work:

Yes, Mr. President, I’ve found that Cymbalta is much more effective than Zoloft for treating depression.

However, for psychopathic, mass murders, nothing short of lobotomy seems to work.

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Monday, September 10, 2007


I am writing this from a secure, protected, secret location.

Until now I’ve been afraid to contact any of my friends. Afraid of detection. Afraid one of them would find me and it would start all over.

I am in the Negro Kinfolk Protection Program. I have been given a new name and a new identity—I am now a former exotic dancer with a PhD in physics. I am safe. Some days I’m even happy. If you love me, do not try to find me. You may inadvertently lead them to me and I’ve had enough of kinfolk to last a lifetime.

From time to time, when I feel it is safe, I will send you a message. Wait. Be patient. And remember, Mother loves you.


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

...and the Winner Is!

Mother asked for a moral for her fable, "Slurs." Five brave and creative people
responded (private comments to me were disqualified.)

  • Villager--you nailed it, besides you gifted me with a story about your grandfather.
  • Credo--because it was hard, but you did it anyway
  • Firefly--the classics always work
  • Pearl--we all need to try your way more often
  • Dan Harlow--I liked your twist and wisdom
You are all winners!

Please contact me at and give me your mailing addresses, and I'll send you an autographed copy of Shades of Black.

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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Paris, Texas--Its Your Turn to Laugh

West Sacramento Gang injunction voided

Police serve only one gang member wanna-be whom they expected to notify all 350 Broderick Boys gang members

Read full story: Published 12:00 am PDT Wednesday, April 25, 2007, Sacramento Bee

A three-judge panel for California's 3rd District Court of Appeal unanimously and rightly struck down a court order that imposed an overly broad injunction against a West Sacramento gang known as the Broderick Boys.

The sweeping injunction, first imposed in 2005, had been criticized by law-abiding citizens and even members of the West Sacramento City Council. It barred some 350 unnamed gang members from "standing, sitting, walking, driving, gathering or appearing" together in a 3-square-mile area that police designated as a "safety zone." It also imposed a curfew that prohibited gang members from being on the streets after 10 p.m. or before sunrise.

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The Bigger the Bra--The Badder We Are

She has to be an Air Mom! Check out her lesson: How to put on a bra.
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Pay as you go jails

Anyone convicted of a crime knows a debt to society often must be paid in jail. But a slice of Californians willing to supplement that debt with cash (no personal checks, please) are finding that the time can be almost bearable.

For offenders whose crimes are usually relatively minor (carjackers should not bother) and whose bank accounts remain lofty, a dozen or so city jails across the state offer pay-to-stay upgrades. Theirs are a clean, quiet, if not exactly recherché alternative to the standard county jails, where the walls are bars, the fellow inmates are hardened and privileges are few.

How long until we offer rich people nicer courts too? Or let them buy their way out of their sentence?

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