Tuesday, April 5, 2016

False Accusations

Growing up with a  paranoid schizophrenic mother can be interesting. In our case, we kids could do no right, while others could do no wrong in her eyes. This led to many disruptive patterns, including frequent false accusations.

Like the time she said my dad drove three hours one way just to take the koi out of her pond.

One such false accusation that I always found humorous was the time I was accused of knocking over the propane tank at my dad's farm house. Not your common 2 - 5 gallon tank, but one of the heavy duty 500 gallon tanks used for heating a house through the winter. Those tanks weigh close to 1000 pounds unfilled (this one was filled at the time). A gallon of propane weighs 4.24 pounds. So even if this tank were only half full (250 gallons), the combined weight of the tank and the fuel would be about 2000 pounds.

It would be quite the task for one man to knock one over.

What did knock the tank over was something I was privy to... some friends of hers. My mother had once owned a Winnebago. When she decided to sell it several years after buying it, the motor would not crank and the tires were all flat. The buyer used a large farm tractor to tow the Winnebago away. In the process, the towed Winnebago ran into to the propane tank and knocked it over.

I advised my mom of what happened when she came back to the farm house. (Yes, I was actually at the farm house at the time). She asked me to push the tank back upright. I'd tried already, but was unable to budge it. So she called her friend - the one with the tractor - and asked if he would come help. Of course, there was much ridicule in how she asked: "oh, my son is such a child - he can't even pick this up."

When the friend got there, he couldn't budge the tank, either. So he called a few more friends over. Five of them together, plus me, and it still wouldn't budge. I'd been saying he needed to go back and get his tractor, but he didn't want to. My mom had been defending him, saying it was me who had knocked the tank over, and not the friend on his tractor with the Winnebago in tow.

At last, the man conceded and got his tractor, and we were able to pull the tank back upright. No apologies, of course. I doubt my mom was actually intelligent enough to realize that she had been mistaken about not only her accusation of me knocking the tank over, but also of being "too weak" to pick it back up.

Sorry, I don't bench 2000 pounds yet.

Funnier yet... a few days later, in Chattanooga, my mom told my dad that she thinks I knocked the tank over. She wouldn't consider that the vehicles might have done it.

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