Freudian Slips: From Russia With Love

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Location: Irony, New Jersey, United States

Life takes us many places. It's a box of chocolates and a Hansel and Gretal trail of candy wrappers. I have filmed as an actor in The Happening, Invincible, The Lovely Bones, The Bounty Hunter, The Greek American, Bazookas, Limitless, TV's Its Always Sunny in Philly, Outlaw, New York, The Warrior, The Nail, Game Change, Cold Case, & commercial work includes The Philadelphia Eagles, Septa, Coors, Turbo Tax & Carnival Cruises. Freudian Slips spotlights irony in short story format.

May 23, 2008

From Russia With Love

I once had a high functioning developmentally disabled client on my caseload who owned a magnetic personality. His name was Austin and he had blinders about his mild disability and the reason for his social services registry. What I did not know until after the fact was that Austin’s parents signed up for a Foreign Exchange Program during the summer of 1994. Between the time the family was approved as an official sponsor and before the students actually arrived, Austin’s dad died from a heart attack and widowhood caused his mother to sink into a depression that she hid behind a plastic smile glued together with pride.
As the legend goes, two young Pre-Med students arrived from Russia speaking very little English. There was no Welcome Wagon. There was no cohesive family unit. There were no beds made or clean bath towels folded. With mom wilting by the wayside, there was really only Austin. Each of his three hundred pounds was eager to show off the land, language, and our customs. If these students weren’t wide-eyed about the new country they entered, meeting Austin for the first time must have been an eye opening experience in and of itself.
“I welcomed them to America.” He later told me in an interview.
I cringed asking the logical follow-up question. “How?”
“I nuked Franco American Spaghetti-O’s in the microwave." he bragged. "I promised to show them around afterwards.”
Austin dragged the mattress from their guest bedroom down the dusty staircase and out the front door. He put it in the flatbed of the family’s pickup truck for no other reason than to offer the first real clue to his mental retardation. Acting like a tour guide, Austin told his visitors to climb in the back. Not knowing any better, the Foreign Exchange students climbed in the back of the pickup sitting on the mattress that came from their intended guest bedroom. Operating a newly issued driving license, Austin fired up the engine. He told them to not pay any mind to the bags of manure stacked in the truck and that before sightseeing he had to go on an important "terlet paper run." This was the land of the brave and sparing no pothole nor obeying all of the rules of the road, Austin showed them America.



Blogger mommanator said...

I love these stories, but I know aren't just thought up by you, they are actuality! How funny!

9:01 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

You probably have your own stories. Weren't you and your husband sponsors one summer?

4:00 PM  

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