The Suspicious Banana Leaf T-shirt

Look at all the lovely leaves…

When greeted at the door with the statement, ‘look what your stupid mother did,’ I knew something was up. This statement wasn’t what a kid wanted to hear from a parent who should be old enough to know better.

My parents had resumed their nomadic ways after a health scare hiatus. Their first trip out took the bluegrass groupies to see a band that had something to do with slopping hogs. I kid you not.

Mom is the ultimate fan. She purchased CD’s, t-shirts and had her photo taken with a growing number of bands. Mom held up her recent shirt that was signed by the band members.

“That’s nice, but what did you do?” For the briefest of moments, my mind went to Grand Funk Railroad’s song, American Band, with the reference to sweet, sweet Connie. Ick, this was my mom. Besides, she had Dad with her at all times. Knowing my parents, I braced myself for bizarre.

Mom turned the shirt around. Thank you Jesus I wasn’t drinking or eating anything. I would’ve snorted it out of my nose.

“Mom, you know those aren’t banana leaves, right?”

“Well, I do now.” She said.

On the front of her t-shirt, along with the band’s name, stood three marijuana leaves, LARGE marijuana leaves. My aunt Mim, who was with Mom at the show, called to enlighten Mom. Why Mim didn’t stage an intervention at the time of purchase could’ve been any number of reasons, regressed sibling rivalry, less band mementoes, or cluelessness until a kid set her straight.


“What were you thinking? “Oh, look, nice pansies. I’ll buy that shirt.”” I said.

“No smarty pants, more like white shirt or red. I asked your dad what color he liked better. You know how he is. He said get what you want. I figured the white shirt would stain easily.”

“So you picked the red shirt and never noticed the huge pot leaves?”

A pot shirt, was this why my parents traveled frequently? Could they have a secret life with hookah pipes and “special” brownies? Naw, Mom would probably think a hookah pipe was a nice decorative accessory that needed occasional dusting. The shirt explained why I got away with certain activities in my youth.

Mom was rather embarrassed. “I could wear the shirt inside out so you can’t see the leaves.”

“Then you can’t see the band’s signatures. You’re seventy-nine years old. Who cares what anyone thinks?” With that statement, I realized I’d turned into my mom.

To try to make Mom feel better, I explained that I used CBD oil derived from the cannabis plant. CBD oil didn’t have the side effects of steroids such as rash, infection, high blood pressure, or worse which would require more remedies and more pharmaceuticals and on and on.

CBD oil didn’t stone me either. Any delirium I experienced was caused by too much caffeine, sugar, work, and maybe occasionally, legal alcohol. Plant medicine was real medicine mostly without side effects. You could reap health benefits and season your food.

Mom put on her t-shirt and proudly posed for photos which my sister instantly posted to Facebook.

My hubby said, “We should get your mom a tie-dyed Grateful Dead shirt for her birthday.”

Except mom wouldn’t have a clue who the Grateful Dead was or get the reference to pot. I did see candles for sale that looked like doobies. Mom’s so getting the candles on her birthday cake this year.

What do your mothers wear on their t-shirts, puppies or maybe kittens? Ha! My mom wears t-shirts with marijuana leaves. She’s so cool.

Published in Funny Times-June 2020

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