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So my mom called today. Which is nothing too exciting or rare. There’s usually at least one phone call between us every couple of days. What makes today so different is that she’s called me, like, six times, in the last two hours.
All to inform me that they’re ordering Chinese food for dinner.
FIRST PHONE CALL – 11:15 AM
MOM: We’re ordering in Chinese food for dinner. Would you like to come over?
ME: Sure, why not? Chinese sounds good.
Most phone calls between most people would stop there. We, however, are not most people.
SECOND PHONE CALL – 11: 52 AM
MOM: I’m writing down everyone’s orders now [even though we are not eating until several hours from now]. What do you want?
ME: I don’t know. Where are you ordering from?
MOM: First Wok.
ME: I don’t know. I’ll just look at the menu when I come over.
THIRD PHONE CALL – 11: 58 AM
MOM: *reads me the entire First Wok menu over the phone, despite my insistence that she not*
ME: *under my breath* Jesus fucking Christ.
MOM: What was that?
ME: I said I’ll just split a large Shrimp Fried Rice with [my aunt]. That’s usually what she orders anyway.
FOURTH PHONE CALL – 12:14 PM
MOM: So you and your aunt are splitting the Shrimp Fried Rice, I’m getting the Fried Wontons and Spare Ribs, your sister is getting the Chicken Fried Rice, and your father’s more than likely getting the Beef Fried Rice. OK?
ME: I– OK…
FIFTH PHONE CALL – 12: 25 PM
MOM: Your aunt just got home and said that it’s OK with her if you two split a large Shrimp Fried Rice.
ME: Did that really warrant another phone call?
MOM: Well, I’m just letting you know.
SIXTH PHONE CALL – 1: 21 PM
MOM: Hey, why don’t you come over now and that way you can pick up the food when I order?
ME: It’s not even 1:30. We’re not eating until after dad gets home and that’s not until, like, five!
MOM: Well, that way you’ll be ready to get the food at five.
ME: I live ten minutes away from you. And the Chinese place is only like five minutes further. It won’t take me four hours to get ready to pick up Chinese food. I promise you. I’ll be over in a few hours when I’m done working.
SEVENTH PHONE CALL – 1:39 PM
I freak out, throw my phone out my home office window into the bushes.
It is quiet. I close my eyes. I breathe. I started writing again.
Somewhere, in my backyard, a bush starts ringing.
So tonight, almost as I type this, my mother — all four foot eleven inches, 102 pounds of her — is going to The ‘Range.
A few weeks ago, sometime around the beginning of September, my mom joined the “Citizen’s Police Academy” in our hometown of Euclid, OH. The Citizens’ Academy is an eleven week program designed to give participants a working knowledge of the Euclid Police Department and its operational methods. She’s about six to eight weeks into the course now and, so far, it’s been mostly lectures and guest speakers. Which kinda bums her out.
Y’see, tonight is the night she’s been waiting for. Tonight, she goes to the ‘range. (She’s even started talking like she’s already a police officer and is using all the “hip cop lingo.” Like “The ‘Range.”) Ever since she signed up for the course, she’s been SUPER excited to shoot a gun. That’s all she’s been talking about. “Can’t wait ’til week eight, when we go to The ‘Range.” “I’ve always wanted to shoot a gun!” ‘Gun gun gun.” “‘Range ‘range ‘range.”
It’s actually a bit frightening.
At least she’s stopped — or, at least, I hope she’s stopped — referring to the “Drivealong” as a “Driveby.”