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It’s A Tough Bridge To Cross, But She Did It!

, , , , , , , | Related | October 11, 2021

My mother suffered a terrible crash in the early 1990s that should have killed her but, for whatever reason, didn’t. It was off a low-water bridge and as a result, she went through a phase for over a decade of being terrified of driving over bridges. It lessened with time, but the one bridge that still terrifies her to this day is the bridge over the Mississippi River from Arkansas to Tennessee, which is unfortunate because she would have to drive over it to take me to visit my father as a child.

As I grew up, she refused to let me drive the trip because it was best for her to remain in control of the car while going over the bridge. But when my father died, we had to bring home several antiques in a moving van, which one of us had to drive, so she agreed to let me drive the trip for the first and only time.

On the way to the funeral, about a half-hour from the bridge, Mom is on her phone, reading an article about the history of the area, and she starts reading it aloud to me. I figure she’s doing this to distract and calm herself, so I tune her out and focus on driving. I get over the bridge and get to the eastern outskirts of Memphis when she finally looks up again.

Mom: “Uh… where are we?!”

Me: “We are [miles] from Nashville.”

Mom: “Did you cross the bridge?”

Me: “Kinda had to, yes. You were reading to distract yourself; I didn’t want to bother you.”

Mom: “I was just enjoying the article; I had no idea we even crossed the bridge!”

And then, on the way back, we’re trying to make the trip in one go because I have to be at work the next afternoon. Mom is driving the moving van, and we’re coordinating through our phones. About two hours east of Memphis, she calls me and asks me to pull over at the next gas station.

Mom: “You’ll have to call in to work; we need to stop for the night.”

Me: “Why?”

Mom: “The bridge is coming up and I just need a night’s rest. It’s dark and I’d rather it be daylight when we try.”

Me: “No, we’re going on, and we’re crossing tonight.”

Mom: “What?!”

Me: “It’s two in the morning. It’ll be four when we get there. There’s going to be no one driving. The bridge is lit up. We can get on the inside lane and go as slow as you need, because there will be no traffic to slow down. If you can’t see the water, you can tell yourself you’re driving on solid land. It’s going to actually be easier. If we stop, we stop in Arkansas.”

Mom: “I don’t know…”

Me: “Look, you can get a motel room for the night. I’ll see you at home.”

We cross the river, on the phone with each other the entire way, and we finally pull over at a large truck stop in West Memphis.

Mom: “I can’t believe I never thought of that before! That’s the easiest I have ever made that trip!”

Me: “Yeah, I have a lot of anxieties and phobias, and that’s how I always force myself past them.”

Keep Your Mitts Off My Mitzi!

, , , , , , | Related | October 10, 2021

When I was growing up, my mother regularly talked about how she hated Pomeranians — “little yappy things,” she called them — and how she hated dogs named Mitzi and would never own one, ever. She had a neighbor when she was young with a vicious little dog that matched this description.

One day when I was about fourteen, I was at a mall with my parents and my mother had gone into a fabric store. My father and I walked into a pet store to kill time, and while we were there, someone brought in a sweet-tempered little dog she wanted to sell.

My father started interacting with the dog and liked it.

Father: “What sort of dog is this?”

Owner: “She’s a Pomeranian.”

Father: “What’s her name?”

Owner: “Mitzi.”

My father lit up like a Christmas tree.

Father: “[My Name], go tell your mother I’m buying a Pomeranian named Mitzi.”

I thought it would be funny to tell her that, so I found her.

Me: “Dad’s buying a Pomeranian named Mitzi.”

I’d never seen my mother look so horrified in her life. She dropped her shopping and stormed off to the pet store. However, by the time we got back, my father had actually bought the dog. My mother stared daggers at him all the way home and said she wanted nothing to do with the dog. 

But within about three days, that dog had my mother totally smitten. She was gentle and mischievous and not at all happy — except when moose came into the yard. The only remainder of her previous insistence was that we were not allowed to call the dog Mitzi but instead called her Mits.

She ended up becoming my mother’s dog until the day she died while out chasing a moose — her favorite activity. My mother ended up with her favorite dog all because it was a breed and name she despised.

Be Glad You’re Not The PRINCIPAL’S Kid

, , , , , , , | Learning | October 10, 2021

I’m substitute teaching at a high school. As most high schoolers do, they are testing me. While it is annoying, it’s nothing I can’t handle. I know the staff and routine well so I know what to do and who to call if things get out of control. The class I’m working in for the day is a bit rowdy and led by one student in particular who just happens to be the secretary’s daughter. Instead of sending her to the disciplinary room and having that on her record, I decide to call her mother.

Me: “Hi. [Student] is giving me a rough time in class. I don’t want to send her to [room] unless I absolutely have to. Would you mind if I send her down to you?”

I can hear the smile in the mother’s voice.

Mother: “No need. I’ll handle it. Just give me one minute.”

Me: “Okay?”

She hangs up. I hear the entire schoolwide intercom system click on. The entire school hears the secretary’s voice. 

Mother: “[Student’s First, Middle, And Last Name]! Get it together or you’re grounded!”

The girl’s face goes white and her friends burst into laughter. 

My phone rings. 

Me: “Hello?”

Mother: “Just let me know if she gives you any more trouble.”

Me: “Absolutely.”

The student didn’t give me any more trouble!

Poor Kid Never Stood A Chance

, , , , | Right | CREDIT: w0rd_nerd | October 9, 2021

I own a thirty-two-unit facility that houses felons who have finished their sentences and need some help returning to society. Each unit houses two clients. We do stuff like teach them computer skills and help them learn to cook, build a resume, and stuff like that.

At six am, my night manager calls me and tells me there’s a lady pounding on the front door, insisting she needs to talk to whoever is in charge. I tell him to give her my number.

Before I’m even off the phone with him, she’s calling me, and before I can even introduce myself, she goes OFF. She accuses me of kidnapping her son — this man is thirty-four and here 100% of his own free will — and forcing him to work for me. He doesn’t work for me; he works at the recycling center.

Lady: “As his mother, I need to see what kind of conditions he’s living in, but he refuses to let me visit. He would never refuse to see me unless he was under duress. I need you to come to the facility and unlock his door so I can go in and look around.”

Me: “That’s not going to happen. I’m not letting you into someone else’s home. You are not a resident. Your son is not the only person who lives in that space, and I would need permission from both your son and his roommate to let her in. You have no right to be there. Now, please get off of our property or we will have you trespassed.”

Lady: “How dare you?! If I’m not let into the room within ten minutes, I am going to call the cops and have you charged with kidnapping.”

Me: “Go ahead.”

And I hung up.

I wasn’t at the facility, but from the security cam footage, it appears that when the cops — that the lady called — showed up and she explained the situation to them, her son came to the door and told the cops he didn’t want to see her and that we didn’t kidnap him.

She went into a rage and attacked her son. He didn’t get hurt; he just backed up and slammed the door. The cops took her away.

Shockingly Dismissive

, , , , , | Related | October 9, 2021

When I was twelve, my family moved to a new house. A few weeks in, I reached for the bathroom light switch and received a mild electric shock. My dad is a licensed electrician, so my mum told me to let him know when he came back from work that night.

Me: “Dad, I got an electric shock from the bathroom switch.”

Dad: “How many times have I told you not to touch the switch with wet hands?!”

Me: “No, my hands were dry.”

Dad: “Then you wouldn’t have gotten a shock.”

Me: “But I did; the switch must be faulty.”

Dad: “You never dry your hands properly. They must have been damp when you touched it.”

Over the next twenty-two years, I continued to receive random shocks from the same switch, as did the rest of my family members, including my mother. His response was always dismissive. We couldn’t bring in a third-party electrician as he considered it a waste of money, not to mention doubting his ability. I took to leaving a wooden pencil near the bathroom door so I could use it to turn on the switch.

A few days ago, I noticed that there was a piece of duct tape over the light switch. I asked my mother about it.

Mom: “Oh, that. Dad put the tape there to mark the switch and will change it later.”

Me: “He’s changing it?”

Mom: “Yeah, he got an electric shock when he touched it.”

Me: *Sarcastically* “His hands must have been wet.”

Mom: *Not getting my sarcasm* “No, the switch is faulty; that’s why he’s changing it.”

Me: “Didn’t we tell him this over the past twenty-two years? He always said that he had never gotten a shock, so there couldn’t be anything wrong with it.”

I can only say that it’s a good thing that it was a low-voltage shock all those times.