What to do when a bird gets stuck in your house

25 August 2008, 2:00 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

My mom constantly one-ups people; tell her you had a cooking mishap and she’ll tell you how many hours she spent scraping charred brownies off the bottom of the pan (“honestly, your grandmother just wouldn’t get off the PHONE and I couldn’t reach in there to pull them out”); tell her a cute cat story and she’ll tell you about that one time Elvis shat out a 5 dollar bill (“I hope it’s more than that next time”); tell her how you’ve had a doozy of a morning, and she’ll describe this little number, straight from the government office where some “interesting characters offered to sell me a cup of coffee.”

Apparently, through a myriad of circumstances detailed elsewhere*, she has two Korean students staying with her for a couple of weeks. Apparently, she’s not so great at pronouncing Korean names, so they offered her Western-name equivalents: Betty and Steve. My mother returns from an outing to discover torrents of water rushing down the walls of the house and two identical expressions of terror.  Newly arrived, bellies full of the fettichini alfredo and ben & jerry’s ice cream that Mom loves so much, these poor kids and their poor intestinal tracts didn’t stand a chance.

But here’s the kicker in this story, the tough bit I’m still chewing on.  The moral she got out of this story, my mother, was how helpless she really was in this situation.  She described in great detail (as I am walking to work, engines blaring on either side, the sun coming up over the bridge, my knee a little sore from the long run I took) how she stood, frozen, watching water gush down the wall and could only think of who around her could manage this better.  My mother, who raised a gaggle of children, who was hit by a car, who runs 24 hours (in a ROW) for fun – felt weak in the face of a broken toilet.

Really, I ask?  Helpless?

In my mind, I wonder how Betty and Steve will tell the story, what the word for doozy is in Korean.

*flagrant lie.


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