As the great God Britney once said, “Mama, I’m in love with a criminal,” which I think she meant as “Mama, why are you a criminal?” At least, that’s my interpretation of the song, because really, who wants to sing about their criminal mother? (answer: shockingly few, unless you call the poet Eminem to the stage).
Note to Eminem: I’m the real Slim Shady and I’m standing the fuck up.
Now, my mother isn’t the type of criminal mastermind that could pull off a bank heist or steal back a priceless piece of lost Nazi art – the woman is still baffled by caller ID and call waiting. She has an email address, I think, but I’m not sure she knows what it is or how to access all the important forwards my father sends her, which, now that I think on it, is probably a blessing of sorts.
No, she’s a far more nefarious sort.
I say that because she’s got terrible arthritis and looks like, well, a grandmother, and who thinks Grandma is about to commit illegal activities? Honestly, it’s the most perfect cover I’ve seen.
A couple of weeks ago, when I was dining from the infectious disease menu, my mother helped me run some errands because, well, I could hardly walk and I felt pretty pathetic at the very thought of using one of those motorized carts to get me through the store without having people lob things in my direction because I’m not technically disabled. I’m telling you Pranksters, after busting my foot while pregnant, I have a whole new sympathy for people with disabilities. People treat you so bizarrely when you have your foot in Das Boot – like that must mean that you probably can’t hear properly. I don’t know HOW many clerks screamed very slowly at me while I purchased my People Magazines and edamame.
Alas, I digress.
A few days ago, my mother braved seeing her daughter, Typhoid Becky, and swung over for a visit to bring me some Jello, which, it turns out, there IS always room for. We were chatting about this and that, nothing nefarious (unless you count my hideous Christmas tree, which you probably should as a crime against humanity) until she laid it out for me.
“They really need to put better lighting on your apartment complex,” she dropped on me.
“Yeah,” I agreed. “I don’t know how many times people have driven to the other entrance to the other side of my complex.”
“I did that the other day!” She exclaimed.
I just nodded and giggled, figuring it was akin to her using the GPS on her car – baffling, yet somehow she managed to make it meow when it hits certain streets. See? NEFARIOUS.
Then the bomb dropped.
“I found the apartment I thought was yours and walked into it,” she told me, laughing a bit.
My jaw dropped.
“You did WHAT?” I asked her, aghast that she’d walked into my neighbors home.
“Yeah, it was all decorated weirdly like yours and everything! It was only when I noticed the shoes were too small for you that I realized I had the wrong place.”
“MOM!” I scolded. “What did this person DO?”
“No one was home,” she claimed, almost… proudly.
My jaw hung open, collecting flies.
“You’re damn lucky no one called the police,” I finally replied.
“I’m an old lady,” she said. “I’d beat them with my cane.”
“You don’t have a cane, Ma,” I pointed out.
“Yeah,” she replied. “But I could improvise.”
When my head smacked the desk, no one was surprised.