I CANT MAKE THIS SHIT UP…….Some old/Some new stories

We were in Center City doing all the tourist sites with family visiting from Ireland. After a long day of historic sites we headed back to the parking garage. It was one of those high rise garages where you pull a ticket and pay on the way out. At this particular garage, you also need that ticket to access the elevator lobby from the street. When we got there I realized I had left the ticket on the dash of the car. Shit.

I didn’t want the whole gang to have to walk up for my mistake, so I told them to wait while I walked up the ramps to get back to the car. Of course Mom saw this as a dangerous plan. Mom, I’m just going to walk along the side of the ramps, I’ll be fine. She decided to come with me. Really Mom? It’s 5 floors and you have asthma. No, she just had to come with me.

So up we went. Around and around until we found the car. I opened the passenger door and she flopped into the seat. I put the air conditioning on for her and she was huffing and puffing. I told her to just settle down and catch her breath.

She was talking in short gasps and using her asthma rescue inhaler.

She said, Oh my God, That was too much!! I can barely breathe!

I’m totally exhausted! I think I am going to need ARTIFICIAL……….INSEMINATION!

Uh, Mom..Do you mean Artificial “Respiration” ?

Oh, Yeah..That’s it. Same thing.

No Mom, definitely not the same thing.


My parents drove an 8 year old Chevy Malibu. (Mom still does) It’s not fancy but since they only drive around town, it is perfect for them. Well, it was perfect until the Malibu became French.

When we went out, I usually drove them and I prefer my own car. I didn’t ride in their car very often. That day I was in the back seat and Dad was driving. I asked Mommy what was the temperature reading on the dash. She said 26 degrees.
Mom, that can’t be right. It’s a warm day..
She said casually, Oh it’s in Celsius.

And why are you giving me the temperature in Celsius Mom?

Well, Daddy was pushing the buttons on the dash when I was in the bank and now the car is French. The speedometer is even in kilometers.
I tried to stay calm. But how do you know how fast you are going?

Oh, we don’t. We just use our judgment.
OMG. As soon as we get home, I’ll try to figure it out how to change it back.

And……..how long ago did the car become…… French?

Mom was getting bored with this subject. .

She yawned. It’s been that way for months. We’re used to it.
I can’t make this shit up.

It was about 10 years ago. I picked Jolene up at the speed line station and met my parents for dinner at the local diner. We decided to have coffee at my parents’ house after dinner. I told my them that I was going to drive Jolene over to the train station to get her car and then we would meet at their house. On the way to the train we passed Target. Jolene needed a little something for a bridal shower at work and I needed some cleaning stuff, so we made a quick stop on our way. It made us about a half hour longer than we should have been.

We all know my mother. Worry is her way of life. When I pulled up at her house, she was standing on the front step with her hands on her hips. Dad’s car was gone. Not a good sign.
Mom approached the car. Where have you been? I‘ve been worried sick!

Mom, Relax. We stopped at Target.

She was totally worked up. I have your father out searching for you!…….. And I called the Police!


Yes! Your father went to the train and back already. I sent him back out to keep searching.

No, Mom! Go back to the part about the Police. You called the Police? OMG, Mom! I can’t believe you!

Just then Dad pulled up. He as totally annoyed. We all headed into the house and I made the coffee.
Mom, I can’t believe you called the Police! What did you say to them?

She was still in panic mode. I told them you were missing. What else would I say?

I cringed. Mom, tell me exactly what you said.

Mom getting annoyed that she had to state the obvious. I called and told them my Daughter was missing! They asked my name and address.
OK, Then what?

Then they asked how old my daughter was and how long she was missing.
I told them 46 years old and almost 45 minutes!
Oh Ma, they probably think you are a nut! What did they say after that?

They told me maybe I should give you a little more time before they made an official report.

Ma! You’re killing me! I can’t believe you called the police! Now they are going to think you’re a crackpot!
Mom said, No, really, they were very nice. They even took down your car description and said they would alert all the other police and they would all be looking for you. They said if they found you, they would tell you to go home because your mother was looking for you.

Great Mom, just great. Thanks.


The news was full of another story of a gunman shooting random people. We were having dinner and talking about the sad story. Then we started to discuss what we would do if we were caught in the mall and there was a gunman shooting people. We all had strong opinions on what wold be the best thing to do.
Dad said he doesn’t do to malls, so he had no worries. Jolene said she had been trained in Emergency Management and the only appropriate plan was to first try to escape, then hide and if nothing else was available, you had to fight. I said I would hide in one of those dark clothing stores with loud music that the teenagers like so much. It would be hard to find me in there.
Mom was confident of her plan too. She said couldn’t run because she needs her cane and she didn’t think she would have time to find a good spot to hide. But with her idea, none of this would be a problem. She would simply stand really really still and the shooter would think she was a mannequin.
But Mom, you’re a 75 year old, 5 foot nothing, round little Italian lady with a leopard cane and way too many sequins on your clothing. You think he’ll believe you’re a mannequin?
Of course! The trick get into a good mannequin pose and be totally still. I really should start practicing my mannequin moves so I am ready, just in case. And with that, she struck her first mannequin pose.
Geez, Mom I’m not too sure about your plan. She was surprised by my doubt but thought about it and came up with her backup plan. Well, if that doesn’t work ……..I’ll just hide behind Karri.
Thanks Mom, you’re always thinking of me.



Dad had just diagnosed with lung cancer. They scheduled him for surgery to remove his left lung. The morning of the surgery we were all on edge. Mom, Kim and I were at the bedside as the prepped him for surgery. The surgeon came into the holding area to talk to us before they brought him back into the OR. He went over the entire procedure and things we should expect. Mom asked how long he might be in the hospital. Kim asked about getting the biopsy results. The surgeon explained they had staff in the OR to analyze the tissue. We talked about how long he might be in the OR and how risky the surgery would be. There was so much information, we were a little overwhelmed.


It was going to be a long surgery. We were already exhausted and the day had only begun. I worried about Mom and Kim. They weren’t used to hospitals and just being there added to their stress. We headed down to the cafeteria. We discussed everything the doctor said to us step by step. Then Mom said, What about what the doctor said about Dad having 2 psychologists in the OR with him? What is that about? Mom said, I know Dad can be a pain in the ass, but they need for two psychologists in the OR? I mean, he’ll be asleep, right? All her stress turned into anger. Are they going to wake him up and ask him how he feels about having cancer? I am going to speak to the doctor and give him a piece of my mind. Do they think Daddy’s crazy?
This was getting out of control. What? I was shocked. What are you talking about? The doctor never said that!She kept repeating over and over, the doctor said there would be two psychologists in the OR. How could you have missed it?
I racked my brain. What the hell was she talking about?

Wait a minute……..The doctor didn’t say two psychologists…….he said two cytologists! People who study cells!
Mom blinked and looked at me.

Mom said Oh, ok. Is that different?

Yeah Ma, that’s different.

A few years ago I took my parents to Disney World. Dad rented a motorized scooter. Mom was walking much better than she does these days but after a couple parks she was really struggling. I rented a wheelchair and we just pushed her around. Paula and I had fun spinning her in circles and pretending to lose control of the chair on steep inclines. She swore revenge but it was obvious the really liked the wheelchair. After the first day she never wanted to get out of it. Even when we went to the pool that day, she sunbathed……in the wheelchair.

After dinner we headed back to our rooms. It was a pretty big wheelchair and when I tried to push it through the hotel room door, it was too wide to go through.

Me: Damn, Mom! This chair is too big for the door.

Mom: OMG what should we do? She started to panic.

Me: Uh, Mom…..Get up and walk into the room? You’re not paralyzed.

Mom: Oh yeah. I forgot.

Me: ????????