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Jewish World Review May 14, 2001/ 21 Iyar 5761

Kathleen Parker

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Consumer Reports

Mother's Day mayhem --
MILLIONS of moms took to the streets on Mother's Day, marching in cities across the nation to protest just about everything, while creating gridlock on America's highways and panic in Hallmark's executive boardrooms.

President George W. Bush, meanwhile, declared a national emergency, calling out the National Guard in some areas and ordering thousands of hotlines to field calls from children needing counseling. Apparently, the White House telephone lines had been tied up for hours as distressed children called, looking for their moms.

According to a White House spokesperson, child callers said their mommies had told them they were going to see Mr. Bush.

Dr. Laura even decided to broadcast live in order to help children get through this painful day when, it seems, mothers left home en masse to draw attention to a laundry list of alleged mother's issues. The tough-love radio phenomenon, who describes herself only as "my kid's mom," was quick to note that her son was with her.

The once-nostalgic day, when children paid tribute to their mothers by giving them flowers and handmade cards with doilies and hearts, began with a sobering 25-car pileup on Interstate 95 near the capitol when a vanload of Mothers Against Drunk Driving plowed into the rear of a bus packed with Mothers Against Narcotics. Though no one was seriously injured, police donned riot gear in anticipation of explosive behavior not uncommon among such groups when heat, stress and estrogen-depletion combine.

"This just ruins Mother's Day for us," lamented one of the anti-narc moms. "We had a big rally planned and now we'll miss our time slot. It took us months to get all our baby sitters organized so we could make this trip."

In some areas, frustration turned violent.

Mothers' Against Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy Allegations, meeting in Austin, Texas, attacked Mothers Against Misuse and Abuse, a non-profit group that seeks to educate communities on the use, misuse and abuse of drugs. The Munchausen mothers, attacking without any apparent provocation, bit, kicked and in some cases burned their victims with cigarettes.

When arresting officers asked the Munchausen members why they had attacked the other women, their spokesperson said: "I don't know what you're talking about. I was trying to help them."

Finally, Mothers Supporting Daughters With Breast Cancer, meeting in Las Vegas, were booed and taunted by Mothers Against Circumcision when the first group called for increases in breast-cancer research. The circumcision mothers told reporters they were sick and tired of hearing about breasts and wanted more government funding to fight male mutilation.

Back in Washington, President Bush responded to the day's events by appearing before a throng of one of his strongest constituent groups -- Mothers At Home. The stay-home moms group, numbering in the thousands, cheered as Bush urged mothers to stay home on Mother's Day.

"Today of all days is a time for mommies to be at home with their little ones, who, after all, won't be little for long. Soon they'll be grown and in bars, I mean college, and these precious moments will be lost forever."

LIVE NEWS BULLETIN, and this is no fantasy:

We interrupt the president's message for this important news: Mother's Day was abolished at Manhattan's prestigious Rodeph Sholom Day School. The day was eliminated to protect the feelings of children of gay couples and single parents. Cultural observers predict that this is but the first in a trend that will see the end of such sentimental but meaningless calendar days as well as the institutions they purport to celebrate.

JWR contributor Kathleen Parker can be reached by clicking here.

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© 2001, Tribune Media Services