Ma was born in 1931, making her a Depression Baby. A Depression Baby uses the same paper napkin for multiple meals. Depression Baby re-use and use and use  mania can last years. Ma’s default shoes are plastic, 20 years old, spookily wearable considering how they look.

Cigarette filter polishes silver

Ma took up smoking fulltime about two years ago. She smokes with convert gusto. We’re bummed because her singled-minded passion used to be embroidery. We have cats-wearing-aprons kitchen towels, and floral pillow cases. In our opinion, second place goes to second-hand smoke, but what the hell. Of course it’s bad for lots of sound reasons.

Thousands of cigarettes she’s burned to cinder except for the filters, fiber-rich perfect for something cylinders.

Smokes/polishers in ashtray

“Guess what?”

“I dunno, Ma. Lay it on me.”

“Cigarette filters shine up silver!” Her turquoise and silver jewelry blinds me with industrial-strength shine.

“Good gawd, Ma! HOW did you come up with that?” Says Straight Woman.

With Vaudeville perfection she delivers: “I’m a Depression Baby. That’s what we do.”