Last week I called my mother, who grew up on the Gisland, not far from Brooklyn.
"Say Muddah, it looks like I may have a ty-roid problem."
"Djoo been getting angry and trowing a tirade? Dey been taking good care of youz in dat office der for a decade now, but you always worry me working on international tirade issues! You want to go back to being on welfare — excuuz me, a "Diplomat" with the Department of State? I'll State-of-mind you!"
"Patience Duchess, I mean my thyroid gland down there at the bottom of my neck. Actually my parathyroid gland down there too."
"I always told you to watch your neck growing up! Now how are my grandchildren."
"Mahvelous, dey're back in school and Camp Granada is over for the summah. (For Allan Sherman's original classic lyrics see http://www.jacquedee63.com/hellomudda.html). Now Mom, The blood test results came back from my recent physical and they said my calcium level appears too high. Dat means something may be wrong with my thyroid. Wasn't der some ding about yoars?"
"Yeah, a few years ago dey found a grouwt and chopped off 90% of da ding. Now I take some prescription and all is well."
"Gee, I'm glad you remembered me dat. They're going give me a nuclear test in a few days, and now I got an explanation."
"A nuclear test! You told me you were working on something called the U.S.-India Civilian Nuclear Agreement, but I didn't dink it would come ta dis!"
"No Mom, not dat kind of test. They just inject some stuff into me and then a few hours later take a look inside…"
"Sonny, are you hanging out with the right kind of people? Should I send Uncle Louie down? (Editor's note: He doesn't have an Uncle Louie – that was his school bus driver – but at this point we just want him to finish this blog post and enter into the Witness Protection Program.) Maybe you should come visit your Momma. Dere's plenty of specialists' back home."
"That's OK, I think I got it figured out now. And besides, NEMA members make all the latest nuclear medical equipment, you know. When those guys in the hospital ask me to lie down and point that thing at my neck, I'll know to keep quiet and be content."
"Content, shmontent! You let me know what happens! And kindly don't disregard to send me another lettah."
"Of course Darling Muddah. Danks to you, I'm nevva at a loss for woids."