Number you dial to report a claim on Mom's life insurance:
Yes. 86 again. These people are sick. And you just know they all think they're being so original.
If you have a sex dream about your Mom, she'll die 35 days later, like in The Ring. Like The Ring if it starred Bruce Willis. (I know you already figured this out. You've been wanting to say it. I needed to say it first.)
The 1815 Incident.
Here's the thing - this story is going to be anti-climactic. I'm only posting it to get it off my chest. AND because the guy at the drive-through said, "Shhh. It's a secret," when he handed me the wrong (more expensive) bag of food after giving my plain cheeseburger to someone else. "Great," I thought, "a secret. You know what they do to me." AND I'm writing this out because every time I relate a story of my frustration and suffering you all leave comments like, "HA HA HA" and "So funny." So. Enjoy.
In her last week, Mom had a lot of difficulty talking, and a lot she wanted to say, and she insisted I was the only one who could translate. So she would wake me up to say, "You're smart." Or, "Life is hard." Or, "Tell Wilma to buy stocks." Or, "Be nice to your brother." Or "Tell [insert name here] I love love love [him / her]." Important stuff.
One day she brought me down to her lips so she could whisper, "Important. Sue. One. Eight. One. Five. Help. Help. Help. Help."
"Help with what?"
"David. Sue. Knows ... Planter. One. Eight. One. Five. Help. Plan for David. Sue knows. Help. Help him."
"Okay. I'm writing this down." (I write it down, and I still have the notes.)
"Sue. Help. Sue knows numbers. Sue. Sue knows."" (Mom started crying.)
"Do you want me to call Sue?"
"One. Eight. One. Five."
"That isn't Sue's number." (I started crying.)
"No joke. Not funny." (Mom had taken to saying 'No joke. Not funny,' all the time.)
"Do I look like I'm joking?" I sobbed.
At that point the nurse's assistant pointed out that 1-8-1-5 is Mom's street address. We've always said "Eighteen - fifteen," but whatever.
Armed with this extra clue I called Mom's friend Sue.
"I have no idea what she's talking about," Sue said.
After some analysis we figured that Planter is the spot where the address used to hang, and Plaque is the plaque by the front door where the address is now. And "Dave" is my brother, who was driving in from the Southwest, and "Help" and "Important" must mean that Mom was worried that Dave wouldn't remember the address, and not be able to find the house. Never mind that he grew up at this house since he was eight.
Sue called back to report that she had called Dave on his cell, he was in Tulsa, and yes, he was pretty sure he could find his way home.
I reported this to Mom. She started sobbing. I started sobbing. And if I never hear the words "Ellen, help me, help me," again I will be a happy woman.
Then she pulled it together and said in a rush, "Plaque. Over the door. Mailbox. Garage. Hardware. Sue. Sue knows."
"Okay. I'll call Sue again."
I called Sue and said, "Okay -- 'Plaque. Over the door. Mailbox. Garage. Hardware.' Does that help?"
(I burst into fresh tears.)
I reported this back to Mom and I am sad to say she did not take it well. No joke. Not funny. And, it would appear that I don't listen. I had to just walk away from it all.
An hour later, Sue called. Angels sang. The sun burst from behind the clouds in glory.
"Ellen, I've got it! I know what she's talking about."
I sighed with relief. "Oh, thank God."
"About three weeks ago she had me go to the hardware store to buy screws because she wanted the brass numbers she took off the house back ON the house, on the garage door. I'm sure she means to have Dave put those numbers on the garage door while he's here."
Long pause. "You are kidding me."
"No! I'm not joking! I am sure that's it." (Not funny! No joke!)
I thought, "No, I meant you are fucking kidding me." But I didn't say that. Instead I calmly said, "Okay. I'll tell her."
I went in and reported grimly to Mom that why yes, Sue would be happy to help David put the house number over the garage door.
"Yessssssss ..." she sighed, and smiled a great big smile.
So, the day after Mom died, Sue showed Dave where the hardware was and Gary and Dave screwed the numbers on the garage door. Or, as I like to put it, the fucking numbers over the fucking garage door.