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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Mothers (05/02/05)

TITLE: The Trouble With Mother
By David Stewart


Over a ten year period, I must have tried two hundred times to disguise my voice to make my mother think I was someone else phoning her. Out of all those times, I may have succeeded in fooling her three or four times but I am ornery and I am persistent.

We would laugh and she would say ‘nice try’ or ‘I suspected it was you.’
The last time was the best. I had her thinking I was a very rude obnoxious phone salesman. I’m not sure how I managed to stay in character but I had talked to her in my best Bubba voice for over 15 minutes. She was so mad but I was rude, persistent, & wouldn’t let her end the call. She finally got mad enough to hang up. I called her back & in my own voice said, “What’s the matter? Was Bubba too rude?” I could almost see her face over the phone as she realized it had been me. We laughed and laughed. Those were good times.

They were not to last. Sadly, things change. Things would soon take a turn for the worse. A few months later I called mom.

“Hi Mom! What’s up? Ya doin’ okay?”

“Hi Honey. Everything’s fine. How are the kids?”

“They’re good.”

“My pet chicken ran away.”

“Excuse me mom. I’m not sure I heard that. What did you say?”

“My pet chicken ran away and I think my trees have been moved to a different place in the yard.” She said rather softly. “Oh and the butter dish keeps yelling at me.”

My mind was spinning. So this is how it happens. I thought.

“Do you think you can come by & move my trees back one day this week?” she asks like it was normal. She says more but my head is getting cloudy & I want to cry. I was sure my poor mom has snapped.

While I’m holding the phone to my head in daze wondering what I’m going to do I pick up something she’s saying.

“Gotcha,” she whispers.

“Gotcha? What?”

“Gotcha” she says again.

“Huh? What?” I mumble. The fog in my head is still thick. I was still having trouble processing the fact that my mother had lost her mind. I was no longer really listening to her ramblings.

“Gotcha!” she says trying to penetrate my confusion. “You thought your old mom had flipped her wig, didn’t you!” she says confidently.

“What? NO! You couldn’t… I uh…NO!” My mind was reeling by this time.

She had set the bait, and played the line and I had swallowed hook, line and sinker. I never saw it coming. It was so out of character for her. It was different for me to be on the receiving end of a practical joke. We laughed until we gave up trying to talk and hung up agreeing to phone each other later when we could speak again.

When I phoned her again a hour later we started laughing again & had to hang up again.

My mother has always been there for me. When I had nightmares, when I was sick, she was there. She taught me by example how to love my kids & how to sacrifice for them. Every hug my kids get or every boo-boo I kiss is a heritage my mom passed to me.

Now she has shown me who the superior practical joker in the family but there is always next time!

“A merry heart doeth good, like medicine…” Proverbs 17:22 NKJ

“Let your father and your mother be glad, And let her who bore you rejoice. Proverbs 23:25 NKJ

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This article has been read 861 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 05/09/05
Great stuff; I fell for your mother's practical joke, too--a tribute to your writer's craftsmanship.
Kathy Cartee05/10/05
Wonderful! I love your Mom's spirit.

Leticia Caroccio05/10/05
I fell for it, too. I began to feel your pain and you had my stomach in knots. Tell your mom she got a whole lot of people, as well. Your article was told with great glow and clarity. It's a wonderful thing to behold such a wonderful relationship. Is this a true story? Well done. Funny stuff.
vicki mccollum05/10/05
You've done a great job keeping the reader's interest. I also thought your poor mom had snapped. I smiled through out your piece. Great job.
Linda Germain 05/12/05
Very cute. I needed a laugh! Your mother sounds like a blessing.
Joyce Simoneaux05/12/05
Well, I didn't fall for it. I saw it coming a mile away! (Wink!) Just kidding! Very cute story and very well written.
Lynda Lee Schab 05/14/05
Sounds like you share the same sense of humor my mom & I do. When my mom was being set up on a blind date & was waiting for the guy to call, I actually called her and pretended to be him. She was like, "Oh HI, Paul!" in her flirty voice. Unlike you, though, I couldn't stay in character. I burst out laughing. Her response was, "I thought, 'wow, he has a high-pitched voice.'" LOL.
Loved the essay and the humor - wonderful!
Blessings, Lynda
Sally Hanan05/14/05
Hilarious. Serves you right you little monkey!
David Stewart05/14/05
Thanks for all the nice comments on my story. Yes it's a true story. The only part I made up was exactly what my mom said to make me think she was crazy. We have tried and tried over the last several years to recall what she said to trick me but we've never been able to remember. So I had to make something up to make her sound nutty. I promise it no worse than what she said because my mind really was reeling that day.

I sent this off too quickly and left in many typos, left out words and forgot to replace '&' with 'and.' I wrote it late and wanted to get it in by the deadline as that weekend was her birthday and Mother's Day.

darlene hight05/16/05
Great job! too funny! Congratulations on another winner!
Deborah Porter 05/16/05
David, I loved this entry and I LOVE your mother. What a character! So glad she got you back. Congratulations on the Highly Commended Award for Level 2. There was a lot of competition this week - a lot of entries, and you did extremely well overall. You weren't all that far off the Editors' Choice list, so be encouraged and keep writing. You are a delight. With Love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator)
David Stewart01/18/10
My mom the joker, Myrna Stewart, that I wrote this about, passed awayt December 3rd, 2009. True to her spirit she was cleared headed and laughed hard and out loud within 24 hours of giving up the ghost. She chose when to go and my daughter Kim and I were honored to hold her hand as she took her last breath. I pray I pass so bravely.