What better way to watch a show about a Mother hunting down her son than watching it with your own mother, a first grade teacher, who most certainly would hunt me down and leave threatening notes sketched in crayon (Granny Apple Smith Green) to my captives (Mom corrects my word choice: “No not your captives, your kidnappers.”)
I interviewed her after watching it, what follows is her responses.
How would you try to find me?
We talked about that, I would get Liam Nelson (Neeson), (Her edit: “At least say that guy from Taken. I don’t think I said Nelson). When your brother went, the whole time, we were watching Taken, we were like “why did we let him go to Europe?” Or your Dad’s FBI friend.
How many texts before you decided I wasn’t just ignoring you and was actually kidnapped?
With you normally pretty often, you don’t answer calls or pick up. I try to give you a little space. If I didn’t hear from you for a week, I would probably worry. But I would call and say, “Call your mother.” But we didn’t hear from your brother every week when he went.
SO you like me better?
Well we understood, cause he would tell me, “ we will be here, and I can’t call, and then I’ll be there.”
Do you think I could make it after I was sold into sexual slavery?
I think that’s horrible. I wouldn’t want to think about that.
If Dad exploded in a car and I was young, how long before you explained what happened to me?
I would wait until you asked questions about it. And try to give you as much information as I could to satisfy you. Who was trying to kill the dad? Why did they want to kill the dad in the show?
How would you do it?
I would answer your questions and not go into more detail than I needed. I can remember one time when I was pregnant, and a little kid asked me, “how was I going to get that baby out of there?” I said, “A doctor’s going to help me.” … But you have to hear the whole thing. The kid was riding a bike around, and he padded my stomach, and he said, “What’s in there?” And I said, “a baby.” And he said, “No it’s a basketball.” And I said, “No it’s a baby.” So he took another lap around and then said, “I don’t care what anyone says, I think it’s a basketball.” But no it wasn’t, it was your brother. You have to give them enough info to satisfy their curiosity, but not too many details.
Do you know what a helicopter Mom is?
Yes…Am I one? No? Ok, maybe a little. (time passes) I think I give you space. Don’t you think I give you space? Why are you laughing at me?
Sean Bean gives his kid great hugs, why doesn’t dad give me great hugs?
Dad’s not very good at displays of affection.
How would you describe Dad’s hugs?
Forced. But he like hugs you goodbye, when you go back to Berkeley. He does the pats on the back, they are brief.
What would your CIA covert name be?
What’s hers? I don’t have one. I’d be too scared to death to be in the CIA. I’d probably talk to the guy and say, “You don’t really want to kill me, what benefit would there be for you? Mind your manners.” I’d probably try to talk him through, like, “use your words.” I’ve been teaching 1st grade too long… OH! My E-bay name is MamaMia__________. I chose Monica for my confirmation name. When I studied her, I found out she was an alcoholic, but she prayed and that’s how she was cured.
Mom in show didn’t know who the best soccer player in the world are, can you name any of the best players in the world in any sports?
Yes. I can. Now do I have to do it? Brett Favre was a great quarterback, so is Aaron Rodgers, so was John Elway, Dan Marino. Pelé for soccer. Football: Joe Namath, Terry Bradshaw, Bart Starr, Paul Horning, he was a crook, he bet on the games.Kareem Abdul Jabaar, Magic Johnson, but he couldn’t guard a door. That Love guy that played tonight, is a very good basketball player. Wayne Gretzky. Babe Ruth. I’m trying to think of different sports and cover them all. See do I know my sports or do I know my sports?
Sidenote: Mom’s eyes bulged when Sean Bean exploded in the car.
Does every mother long to hear the words “I’ve got something to tell you?”
That was sarcastic.
What’s the farthest I could live from you without you worrying?
You just always worry as a Mom. You know you’re in my own household, and I worry about you being stressed, people being mean to you, wondering if your hair will ever grow back in.
Ashley Judd says “I always protect you, it’s my job” is that straight from the Mom Bible?
Covered in motherhood 101. It’s the mother bear imagery. Anybody lashes out. I can remember when I broke up with my boyfriend in college, and my mom put her arms around me. It’s you would rather have it happen to you than your kid. You know? Once you’re a mom you just, would do, accept any pain so that your child wouldn’t have to endure it. If you could just hug it away or take it away.
Would you let me go to Rome to study architecture after my Dad exploded there? What would I have to do to convince you?
No!!! I am not sure you could ever convince me. And if I was paying for it, you wouldn’t be going. I don’t care how old you are. I mean how did she ever let that happen, because she knew it was related to their jobs, and CIA work, is there a statute of limitations there? You know like, after you can’t file charges in the law, so did she think there was a statute of limitations? It seems very personal, they must want her for something. Besides her being very good at punching them, strangling them, and being good at all that. She should have never have let him go. She even says she didn’t protect him. She wouldn’t have let him go. But right now you don’t see that in her personality that she’s taking blame for it, a real mom would feel guilt-ridden about it. Doesn’t seem like she is, maybe she’s too angry.
How often do you adjust your purse on your shoulder, this seems like a Mom thing?
I don’t put my purse on my shoulder so much. I just have it on my elbow. I try to put it down as often as possible because it’s so heavy.
Mom frustrated that Ashley Judd wasn’t crying enough after son left. How long did you cry that after brother and I left for college?
I cried the night before and half way home and couldn’t believe that your dad called them. But I’m really bad at goodbyes. And then you set me up, you had us drop you off at the sportscenter at Cal, at a stoplight, we dropped you off at a light in the middle of the street so I couldn’t. And I know you did that on purpose.
But I wasn’t as bad as some moms. I didn’t go sleep in your bed so I could smell you. In the show she grabs the soccer uniform and smells it, yuck, soccer uniforms are as stinky as can be.
How far do you have to hold your cellphone away from you in order to see it?
Well she must not have been wearing her bifocals. I don’t have to hold it very far. I don’t know how far. Some people have good vision, but then when you get older there’s an actual physical thing about it, I can’t remember what it’s called though. And you have to hold it farther away, even if you have perfect eyes, you’re reading up close. I still read without my glasses, at night ands stuff. I always take mine off. I remember the doctor said to me, “Aren’t you glad you have long arms?” so you could hold it farther away.
We could do video chat on our Iphones.- Mom, (I’m now regretting this show)
If something happened to me, would you go to Rome to find me?
I would have called the American Embassy first.
Mom points out that Ashley Judd starts to clean son’s room in Europe, even though he’s missing. –Mom Gold
Do you smell my clothes when you miss me like Ashley Judd does?
(Shakes her head, thinking it is really weird).
Ashley Judd uses a coat hanger and an electrical chord, hypothetically what household item do you pick in a jam when you have to knock a robber out?
I don’t knock people out. If I had a baseball bat. Do you think my knitting needles? I don’t know what you are looking for kiddo. Let me think… in the kitchen. Probably a fry pan. Or you pick up a big knife.
If you hadn’t told me she wasn’t in the CIA, you’d think she was a housewife, kind of like Long Kiss Goodnight with Gena Davis.
Would you get distracted in searching for me in Europe because you would want to go sightseeing since you’ve never been to Europe?
No, First of all there, you’re forgetting that I would send people, I would be a wreck, they would have to sedate me and put me in a padded cell. I used to wake up in the middle of the night, when you guys were sick, or had the flu, when you would throw up. I could never take something like that. I don’t even like to go to scary movies, cause I wouldn’t want to subject myself to that.
You’re a member of the PTA right, but not the CIA?
Yes, and ours is the PTA not the PFA like in the show, the PFA is not real. They don’t have PTA’s in high school, they said that in the show. It’s inaccurate. And she had all those bruises and she’s up and at them the next day. And then in that place she had quiet feet, but later her shoes were loud.
Have you ever interrogated one of mine or my brother’s girlfriends?
No. But I’ve interrogated 1st graders, though.
If you had been in the CIA at any point, would you have told me by now?
Can you? Do they have some kind of… I mean, maybe there’s some kind of code or something. If it wasn’t something that I couldn’t share, obviously I would have.
Hypothetically, how many men or women do you think an average CIA agent kills?
(She shrugs). 72. Cause that’s the year I graduated from high school. It’s not that many, is it that many? It’s either that or 5. Cause 5 is my lucky number.
Maybe 26. That’s my anniversary. What was the right number? You ask me questions you’re going to get answer.
I want you to google that and find out the right amount. I guess 72 is probably too many. How many years are you a CIA agent? Cause then you could break it down per year. Cause look in Bourne Supremacy, is that the name of the movie? With Matt Damon? Look, he kills that many in an afternoon. So if a CIA had a 20 year career, I don’t know, maybe what? 3.5 per.
I know what can determine it! Did the CIA agent work in the office or the field? Cause if it was in the office they didn’t kill that many. Now you got me thinking, I’m mathematically powerful, maybe I can figure this out. Ask how many they kill? (Me: They can’t tell you that). So why did you ask me? So CIA agents aren’t the killers, so FBI then? Why did you come up with that question?
Spy Car of choice?
(she laughs) Probably a Jaguar. But I like those little… yeah a Jaguar. I always said when I grew up I would get one. I was going to tell you a PT Cruiser, but I decided that was too goofy.
Would you feel bad about breaking the speed limit in a car chase?
No, if I was a CIA agent… I broke the speed limit taking you guys to soccer practice. If I could do it safely, I’d be Ok.
Were you concerned Ashley Judd wasn’t wearing a helmet when she was on her mo-ped?
No. This show is entertaining, but maybe a little too much shoot em up for me.
Response to Ashley Judd bruises after a fight:
Like Ashley Judd, when I’m not around how often do you stare at pictures of me?
Well that’s cause she found them, but I have pictures of you in the laundry room, so when I do laundry I stare at them, or on the fridge. Well if you were gone, absolutely, and when you send them to me, I put them right up on the fridge. Remember the one of Joe on the Bus? I used to worry about you taking the BART cause they’re weirdos. I would worry about you walking home from classes unescorted, when you did that crazy shift at the radio station, when you were Dr. G? Or your name was? Mr. Gazzolo? Was that it? Don’t be writing this down too. I used to worry about you going there.
They can track you with an Iphone?- Mom comment. Definitely has the makings of a spy.
If I was kidnapped, was there be anyway you could possibly use a computer to help find me?
Yeah you could. I could probably look up the police’s phone number. Maybe the CIA. On the computer. But you won’t let me be your friend on facebook.
Which programs on a computer do you know how to use?
The word processor, I can email, I can google. I can do mapquest! If they told me where you were maybe I could drive there. Cause I’d have a mapquest.
And how much would you pay for my ransom?
Oh, as much as I could possibly gather? I’d cash out every option, kiddo.
Even Kohl’s giftcards?
(She looks at me disappointed as if I’m very silly)
The Show kept you from knitting for more than half of it, so you liked it?
Well ,I was afraid you were going to ask me a question I couldn’t answer, so I paid attention. Kind of violent, far fetched, but entertaining.
How many guys do you think she’ll kill before the season is over?
How many has she killed so far? 3? Wait, wait let’s see, let’s figure this out, we have to figure this out. One right away, and then she did one in the wear house, she only did 2 right? If you don’t remember why are you asking me? You take two and then you figure out how many episodes are going to be in the season? I personally think this isn’t going to last because you can’t have the kid be gone for that long. So we’ll give them 10 shows. Do I have to guess 72 again? I’ll say she’ll average between 2-5 every show, maybe 2-3. If the season is 10 shows long, 2 per show, that would be 20 son, in case you didn’t follow my logic.
Favorite Spy movie?
Oooo…favorite spy movie…well that’s not really spy, it’s terrorists, Well, I was thinking of Air Force One. Well I like the Bourne Supremacy one, well that was more like Hitmen, they send people out to kill people. I guess James Bond…wait is he a spy? I guess… Bond, James Bond (in British accent). I like James Bond ones. But think about it Son, Air Force One, they weren’t spies they were terrorists, would you consider that a spy movie?
Would you watch the show again?
Will I watch the next episode? Aren’t I going to watch it with you Thursday night? Isn’t it a date?
Yes Mom. Yes it is.
The Hollywood Defender