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Consider This

By LC Van Savage

Mother Busting

Funny how memories bubble up for absolutely no sane reason. Some bad or good, some embarrassing, and often involving one’s mother. Today I oddly began to remember all the times as a kid I got busted for things I positively did and absolutely denied doing, and still would be denying them, were my folks still living; they’d be 101 and 96 respectively. But hey, how many times did you get busted by your mother? Well, if you had one, likely a lot. I’ll tell you my busting if you’ll tell me yours.

Let’s see. The very worst mother-busting of my life? And when did it happen? I know exactly. It was when I cleverly tried to disguise an exceptionally bad report card. Back in those days one was handed one’s high school report card to take home to one’s parents. We had two days to get it home, get it looked at, get killed, get it signed and get it returned. This particular report card had a huge fat D on it, in red, I suspect for Geometry, and I was bloody lucky to get that. However, for parents like mine, anything less than an A+ was completely unacceptable and always resulted in nearly permanent grounding, withdrawal of all allowances (totaling $4. a month---my folks were bounders when it came to sharing the wealth), no phone, TV or radio, or contact with anyone on earth save teachers and pastors. Raised by storm troopers, I knew the Big Red D on my report card would remove me from life as I knew it for a very long time. It was endurance vile for me.

Thus, I took the card and when no one was watching, dropped it on the sidewalk, put my foot on it and scraped it along the cement. The red D was nicely obscured. I then took a blue pen and wrote a B into the square that had held the D up until that minute. Proud of my handiwork, I arrived home and nonchalantly handed the card to Beloved Stepmother and actually heard myself saying, “I dropped the card Mom, and it blew down the sidewalk and Bobby Sartoris stamped on it to save it and scraped it and the grades got rubbed off, and when he saw what he’d done, he fixed them with his pen.” I was calm and cool and actually smiled. Glaring at me, BSM reached into her desk drawer and pulled out a magnifying glass, put the card under a light and glowered down at it. Whistling, I left the room while my heart slowly ceased beating.

Nothing was said at dinner. That woman really knew how to work things. She’d have been the perfect person to get any enemy in history to confess to anything. I began to slowly implode. At breakfast the next ayem she said, “I’ll sign the card and give it to you tomorrow afternoon, LC.” “Cool!” says I. Or maybe it was “groovy.” The next morning, my tongue like a piece of bark buried in a sandbox, I went to school.

Can you imagine the feeling of my blood turning to iced sludge when I saw BSM marching on her very loud high heels into my school the next day, around noon, each step the sound of a rifle shot on those old wooden floors, stomping her way to the principal’s office (an old friend of hers; she used to be a history teacher) with guess what was in her hand? Talk about being busted. I froze to the floor unable to move, to breathe, to blink or swallow, and with a croak, begged a passing classmate to kill me in any way he fancied, but to please just do it quickly. He refused. I was allowed out of the house fifteen years later, but only on probation.

OK, that’s mine. What’s yours?

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