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April 9, 2023

Zetty made me get a speeding ticket!

Zetty made me get a speeding ticket!
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J Smiles and Zetty, Thelma and Louise or Cleo and Frankie, it is hard to separate classic chicks being chased by cops. 

What happens when your mom directs you to "have fun" with the horsepower in a 5speed while belting out rock tunes? Take a ride down memory lane with J Smiles as she figures out why National Institutes of Health suggests positive reminiscing for mental health. 

Join Alzheimer's favorite duo for another journey of heavy reality sprinkled with love and laugher.

Catch J's signature SNUGGLE UP ending for provocative take aways.

"Alzheimer's is heavy but we ain't gotta be!"
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INTRO - J Smiles:  0:00  
"Left a good job in the city. Working for the man every night and day." "That's right, J.G., sing it." "And I never lost one minute of sleeping... working for the man every night and day." One voice is Zetty, one voice is me. Not going to tell you which one is which. But it was after midnight, I was driving. We were on the highway. It's a five speed sports car. We both prefer speed over anything large and luxurious. Give us a roadster any day. Tinted windows. Mama daughter time. I'm so busy trying to do my Tina Turner arms, "Rolling, rolling." Okay. That I'm not paying a whole bunch of attention to my speed. We are going up a hill. Zetty says, "Come on, J.G., show me what you got." Now, that does not mean sing louder or dance harder. When you're driving and Zetty is in the passenger seat, that means floor it! Let me see what's up under the engine. So I obliged. I hit it. Boom! We crest that hill, airborne. We are both Catholic and howling like a bunch of three year olds, high fiving. Tina Turner is blasting. We're winning. "Big wheels keep on rolling." And we're rolling. WEE-oww-WEE-oww. "Flashing lights, lights, lights..." on the left. On my side, flashing lights. We were jamming so hard, nobody noticed a police siren, or lights, or nothing. On the left, here comes something that feels like a UFO. I stand on the brake. Do you hear me? If zero to 60 is what they tell you on the commercial, I go 60 to zero in a millo-second. I'm on some Benjamin Button, Brad Pitt... "Reverse, reverse..." Okay, "cha cha slide, real smooth right now." That's what we're doing. Zetty, "Ah dammit, J.G. No, don't break! Don't ever break once they caught you. Oh damn it, pull over! Pull over! Pull over! 

INTRO - J Smiles:  3:05  
Parenting Up, Caregiving Adventures with comedian J Smiles is the intense journey of unexpectedly being fully responsible for the well being of my mama. For almost a decade, I've been chipping away at the unknown, advocating for her, and pushing Alzheimer's awareness on anyone and anything with a heartbeat. Spoiler Alert- I started comedy because this stuff is so heavy. Be ready for the jokes! Caregiver newbies, OGs, village members trying to just prop up a caregiver, you are in the right place. 

INTRO - Zetty:  3:37  
Hi, this is Zetty. I hope you enjoy my daughter's podcast. Is that okay?

INTRO - J Smiles:  4:13  
Today's episode -  Zetty Made Me Get a Speeding Ticket.

INTRO - J Smiles:  4:52  
Our global community is expanding. I want your feedback. Let's snuggle up. Send a Purple Heart, the little emoji, to plus 1-404-737-1449. Parenting Up family, I'm in real tears. No joke, real tears. This is a true story. Zetty is, "Oh, baby, don't cry. Mama didn't mean to yell, but you never slam on your breaks. You should know better than that." "Mama, how am I supposed to know better than that? I just turned sixteen. I've had this car less than a month. You said to show me what it got, to gun it. That's what I did. And we were singing Tina Turner. And we were rolling, and the car was rolling, and then the police rolled up on us. Am I going to jail?" "No, J.G., no, J.G., no. No, J.G., just be quiet. Just hand him your license, and insurance card. Don't say anything else. Let mama talk." "Okay." I cannot stress the adrenaline carfunckle... carfoopoole...blah blah of this moment. I mean, I feel like I'm on some NASCAR run, and then here the police. We are Thelma and Louise, as far as I can tell. Or Cleo and Frankie, or Mini and Daisy. Yawl know that Minnie and Daisy dated Mickey and Donald for way too long. Kissing in public way too often without ever meeting their parents, or getting married or getting engaged. So I'm not gonna get into all that, but anyway, all of them probably were on the lamb too. And when those lights popped out, I felt for a minute that me and Zetty were on the lamb, and I started going a little faster. And then I slammed on the brakes, and she said, "What are you doing? Pull over!"  And I was like, "Ah! Okay" Whew. Mess. We were living on the edge in the 1900s. Anybody remember that? Anywho Zetty, keep saying, "J.G., calm down. Mama's here. The officers approaching, roll down the window, take a deep breath. Keep your hands on the steering wheel." This is decades before anything like Black Lives Matter. Or Trayvon Martin. But we're in Alabama. Write it down.

INTRO - Zetty:  7:24  
Zetty ain't new to this, she is true to this. A child of the civil rights movement. It's something she knew all too well, and I'd been taught from before I had a car when, from when I was even just a person with a learner's permit. Here's the officer, "License and registration please." I have an awful voice for impersonations. Me, "Yes, sir." If I could explain how much I want it to rat my mama out and point and say 'she made me do it.'" Citizens arrest, citizens arrest. Anyways, I didn't. The officer, "Young lady, you were driving 40 miles over the speed limit?" Me, "I was? Officer, I... I had no idea. Are you sure? What? What? What? How fas.. What?" "I clocked you, young lady, at 98 or... it was really 100 miles per hour, but it was really 100, I would have to arrest you. So, I'm willing to say 98." Guess what, family, at that point Zetty pipes up and jumps in. "Sir, I'm her mother. I give you my word it will never happen again. If you could just allow us a moment or a period of grace and give her a ticket. But potentially not that high, such that it would not irrevocably affect or harm her driving record. Blah, blah, blah." And zetty said a whole lot of other five syllable words, some kind of major SAT mental type thing. And I was bewildered and continuing to cry. The officer, "Ma'am, you're her mother? Are you telling me you're this young lady's legal guardian? You're her mother. Well, if you're the mother of this sixteen year old girl, I gotta right mind to really put you both in jail because you are endangering the entire highway of this great state of Alabama. And I definitely cannot let you slide, ma'am, because now I really got to teach you a lesson. What woman would let her child drive 100 miles per hour after midnight?" On the inside, I'm thinking wooooo, officer, you might want to calm down. This is not going to go good. I already know what she's going to do. But she is not going like this. Family, I have to tell you, this is when Zetty was fully healthy. Her brain was not broke yet. I know broken was correct right there, but I needed the emphasis. She wasn't forty years old yet. And, baby, ohhwee, what she did not allow was someone trying to check her or question her mothering abilities. She said, "Officer, I understand your concern. It is registered and duly noted. I am a CPA. I have my own firm. We had crest the hill, and my daughter picked up speed. She is a young driver, it got a little bit out of her control. It is not something that I encourage. It will never happen again. Any leeway you can give us will be greatly appreciated. I have court tomorrow because I'm an expert witness. Going to jail this evening is really not an option. Thank you, sir." He walked back to his car, and then returned a few moments later, and the ticket was written for maybe 93 miles per hour. Something that meant we did not have to go to jail. My license was not revoked,  and my insurance didn't get canceled. The best part is, that cop pissed my mama off so much, the remaining drive all the way home, she was in her feelings. And we got to play music and sing even louder. Now, I had to drive the speed limit. She made me put it on cruise control, and whatever the limit was... I think it was 55 or maybe 60. And we... I could not go above it. And hell, I didn't want to, I wanted to drive like 30. And she said, "Silly girl, we will never get home going 30." I also asked her to drive. I was like, "Mom, I am scared. I don't want to drive anymore, please drive." Guess what Zetty said, "No, I don't want you to be afraid of driving. You didn't do anything wrong. Mommy encouraged you to gun it. You did what I said. You're not in trouble. But you are going to shake off this bit of anxiety right now. Let's keep going. And let me tell you one thing about that beep beep.... and he better...beep...and he better be happy that you were in the car and not yo daddy cause I would have gave him a piece of my...beep beep....cause he don't know who he beep beep." Oohh wee, she was so mad that she didn't tell daddy or her mama and daddy, nothing about what happened. So I didn't get chastised or reprimanded. I wasn't on punishment. I didn't have to do any extra chores. It was amazing.

INTRO - J Smiles:  15:30  
Let me back up a little bit. My mom has always been a Maverick, a renegade. She was never rambunctious or militant. Typically, she was simply strategic with her strikes. More like a snake, like a snake is not going to run away, it doesn't have any feet. But that venom, it could kill you. But the snake knows it has a limited amount of venom, so it's going to decide when to use it. Sometimes it'll just hiss or rattle to frighten its prey. Or sometimes they will hide so you can't even see it. You get what I'm saying. Zetty will use stillness or camouflage to decide when to strike, when to chill, or which one of her weapons to employ. But what she's not about to do is lose. Zetty had a really silly side, bordering on adolescent. Giggly and competitive where she would close the car door right when we were walking into the grocery store, and just say, "Last one to the store is a rotten egg." I mean, when I'm a teenager, and she's almost forty. And she really made that. And if I was last, she would call me a rotten egg all the way through the grocery store. Or last one to finish their food, big fat butterball turkey. And then she would call you that for the remainder of the day. In the instance with the car and driving, she wanted to see if I had the nerve to floor it. Because she's a speedster. She wanted to see if her child was a driving punk. Or if on this wide open, straight stretch of highway with no cars, if I had the nerve to see what that engine would do. Silly, crazy, maybe stupid, but, ah, let's do it. Riding the tea cups at Disney World, one of her faves. Just make her dizzy til she almost couldn't walk. Loved it. Roller coasters. Loved it. And her favorite thing was to buy the picture at the end to see who didn't keep their hands up and their eyes open. And then she would call them a chump for the remainder of the vacation. And she would say, "Who's a champ? And who's a chump?" If you didn't keep your hands held high, eyes open the entire time while the thing is darting down. It didn't matter if you were four or forty, she would call you a... "Mama, I'm seven, I'm not supposed to..." And she was like, "A, you're a chump though." It didn't matter your age. If we're playing a game and you lost, then you just lost. Participation trophies did not work in our house. 

INTRO - Zetty:  19:44  
That is something that I miss so very much about pre Alzheimer's Zetty. The silly, impromptu games that she would play or make up out of no where. Maybe it had something to do with a dessert she would make, a card game, a board game. Zetty would absolutely add rules to any board game she bought in the store. And she would tell us all of the rules at the start. She wouldn't just do it in the middle, cause that's cheating according to Zetty. But it would be so much fun. Or a joke she would make, or how she would catch me and start tickling me. But if I started tickling her, she would turn to run away. And then she would like start closing all the doors or throwing pillows at me trying to get away like I really couldn't catch her. By the time I was seven, I could catch her, and I could beat her in arm wrestling. I could really beat her. She would try it. I could just... I was better than her at those things. I miss that so very much. Even in the beginning of the disease  when her technical mind was still evident, her humorous, playful mind started to go first. But reminiscing about things like that crazy night with Tina Turner, and almost outrunning the police, helps. It helps a ton. My mom wasn't always the straight laced rules follower that the world knew her to be. There were some things that she reserved for me. A completely unraveled, on the edge version of Zetty. That my dad got a little bit, I got the most of, and she would say, "J.G., don't you tell anybody I did this, or said this or ate this or drank this." After I turned twenty-one, and I would drink alcohol around her, she would say, "Just give me a little sip. Don't tell anybody I tasted it." And then she would say, "Yuck... how do you like that? Oh, that is so awful." But she wanted to taste it because I'm her baby, and if I liked it, she at least wanted to know what it was. My mom taught me to swallow fear and to frolic whenever I could. Even if I was alone in the dark, chasing the speed of light.

THE SNUGGLE UP:  23:05  
The snuggle up. Number one, today stop and recall a silly memory of decades ago when your LO was healthy, like healthy as a robot. And the two of you did something silly, really silly, maybe even stupid. Perhaps off putting to some people. A secret. Maybe it was a secret that was hilarious, a bonding moment. Reminisce over something like that. Number two, psychologytoday.com and theNationalInstitutesofhealth.gov agree that we should recall or evoke positive memories. Here are a few reasons why: they are free, requires zero training, help us calm down, combat depression, improve our mood immediately, and promote better well being. Family, if they do all of that, why the hell wouldn't we use positive recollections of our LO's from yesteryear? We can do that. Number three, lisen. No 't' is in it, lisen, you are an amazing human doing what many cannot conceive of. Some others in your family couldn't handle it. There is something about you though. Something about you, you, you, you, you, you, you, hahaha, you are special. You, you, you, you, you are a caregiver A F. Look up A F on the internet, I don't want to say it. You are caregiver as F... the F word. Take it as a big ol hug from J smiles.

OUTRO:  25:35  
That's it for now. Thank you for listening. Please subscribe for continuous caregiving tips, tricks, trends, and truth. Pretty pretty please with sugar on top share and review it too. I'm a comedian. Alzheimer's is heavy, but we ain't got to be.