A Totally Random Memory About My Mom
When we first moved to Washington, we were borrowing a car from our Nana and Papa, whose house we were staying in while they were away. The car was a giant 1980s station wagon with a rear facing seat that folded away into the trunk. You could easily fit nine people into this thing and then do a full Christmas shopping spree. And then drive cross country.
Not that we ever personally tested that.
What we did test, quite frequently, was the TOTALLY BITCHIN programmable novelty horn that Papa had installed. There was a little booklet in the console up front, and you could flip through its pages to find many dozens of songs. Program the switches and switch it on, and then voila! Jimmy Crack Corn or the Woody Woodpecker laugh would play as you drove down the street.
My sister and I nearly gave ourselves hernias from laughing so hard by playing with this. While Mom would drive our happy asses around, we'd program the horn and wait for the perfect moment. We'd shake and wheeze with delight while Mom sat purse lipped in the driver's seat. When she'd stop at a busy intersection, we'd slide down beneath the dash and push the on switch. And she'd sit there, my mother, in a kind of resigned stoicism while the Star Wars theme or (even better!) Darth Vader's theme belted out. For like twenty seconds.
Eventually she'd yell "Hey you girls knock that off!" and we'd laugh even more. Then we'd switch it back to Woody Woodpecker, which was actually kind of the best one since it was so short. We could leave it there, and then reach down to flip the switch before Mom even knew what we were doing. (Or so we told ourselves.) When we'd play it, pedestrians or other drivers wouldn't even know where it was coming from. But maybe they'd see an irritable looking woman all alone in a giant white station wagon and think no, it couldn't possibly have been her.
And the best part about this whole story is that my sister and I were twenty-one and eighteen respectively when we pulled this bullshit. Our thirteen year-old brother barely played with the horn. Okay, probably he never got a chance, what with his two idiot sisters hogging it all the time.
Dammit, Mom. I miss you.
You Kids Are Making My Head Hurt