Scattered Knowledge

(scene opens in dark car, Pandora Radio playing a commercial for Dexter)

Alpha: (derisively) Who names a serial killer Dexter. That’s a ridiculous name.

Me: (absently) Dexter is the opposite of Sinister. Sinister is the left, Dexter is the right, which is why if you can use both hands it’s called ambidextrous. Dexter is a serial killer who only hunts serial killers. He’s on the right side of sinister.

Alpha: (long silence) And where on the internet did you get that?

Me: I didn’t. I came up with it on my own. But I bet someone else on the internet came up with it too.

Alpha: (mockingly) Oh, look I’m making up word meanings.

Me: Do it! Look it up! Look up what dexter means.

(long silence)

Me: Did you find it?

Alpha: No. I decided to believe you.

Me: (shocked) Oh now you decide to start listening to me?

Alpha: Well, you’re the one making things up, seems easier just to let you go on.

Me: You know how you get all this random knowledge? Read. Read a lot. Read tons. Get yourself some accidental knowledge. Then you, too, will also see the deeper hidden meanings of things.

Alpha: Or I could just sit here and laugh over memes showing a pumpkin carved into a troll face. (cut scene to shitty meme on phone)

Me: (gives up) Despair. You make me. I am full.

Mercenary

(scene opens in dim cluttered parlor)

Me: Got your ID? Have a good day. Or try to, anyway. And find about about Cross Country.

Beta: (dismissively) I don’t want to do Cross Country.

Me: (surprised) I thought you were going to run this year?

Beta: Yeah, dad said if I ran this year, I could have a cell phone. But what he’s actually going to do is get Alpha a new one and I’d get his old one. What Alpha ever done for me? He doesn’t even like hanging out with me. (acidly) Why should I help him get a new phone?

Me: (bemused) He’s not getting a new phone, its a second-hand phone.

Beta: (sassy) Yeah, and then mine is third-hand. Again, why should I help him?

Me: So…no phone is better than a third hand phone?

Beta: (nose in the air) Exactly. (sails out, stage right)

Can’t Handle the Technology

(scene opens in tossed dinning room)

Husband: (points into the kitchen) Did you see the Scout coolers came home? We have to do do patrol shopping for the weekend’s camp out.
Me: (considers beat up coolers) Alpha’s or Beta’s? They both need the credit.
Husband: Not sure. (turns to holler off screen) BETA!

(second later, stair pounding is heard, Beta arrives in the doorway between kitchen and dining room)

Husband: You’re doing the shopping for the camping trip?
Beta: (sarcastically) Uh, yeah.
Husband: (frowns, lets it go) Who do you have to go with?
Beta: (more sarcasm) Uh, my Patrol Buddy. But I don’t know when because I have no way to contact him.
Husband: What do you mean? You can call him.
Beta: (full on sassomancer, puts imaginary phone to his ear) Oh hey, Patrol Buddy, I’m calling you on my imaginary phone to plan the shopping. (pretends to drop invisible phone)

(three heart beats of silence)

Husband: Beta, back up two steps and tell me what’s hanging on the wall.
Beta: (does so, sulks) A phone.
Husband: I pay a monthly fee for that phone. It ensures everyone has access to a phone. Go get Patrol Buddy’s phone number and call him.
Beta: (sulks deeper) I don’t have the number. I didn’t get it because I didn’t have a cell phone to call him from.
Husband: Huh. I guess you’re shopping by yourself this week.

Desperate times

(scene opens in cluttered dining room, phone ringing)

Me: (considers caller ID, decides to risk it) Hello?
Phone Lady: Hi, how are you today? We’ve been trying to get a hold of you about qualifying for a lower rate on your credit card! Let me take moment to ask you a few questions…
Me: You could start with telling me what credit card this is for.
Phone Lady: (pause, nervous laughter, tries to get back on script)…because this is our last chance to…
Me: Which credit card is this for?
Phone Lady: …see if you still qualify before we close this file.
Me: I’m pretty sure I don’t qualify, so go ahead and close my file. OKAY! THANKS! BAI! (hangs up)
Alpha: (observing) You were much nicer to her than dad would be.
Me: Times are hard, Alpha. Just because she sold her soul in order to put dinner on the table doesn’t mean I have to be a dick about it.

Power of a name

(scene opens in toy tossed bedroom)

Me: Enough, Gamma. I’ve been after you all week to pick up.
Gamma: But I did!
Me: (enhancing her calm) You have not. Look, I’ll help.
Gamma: But it is!
Me: (ignoring, pointing to books) Put these on the shelves. (pulls out bin) Put the dolls in here. I’ll collect the dirty laundry.
Gamma: (uncertain) Okay.
Me: (picks up jeans to reveal an Elves Lego min-fig) Here. Put David Bowie in the Lego box.
Gamma: David Bowie? How do you know his name is David Bowie?
Me: That’s the Goblin King. Everyone knows the Goblin King’s name is David Bowie.
Gamma: Thanks mom.

Please hold

(scene opens with harried mother pacing living room on the Bluetooth)

Customer Service Rep: How can I help you today?
Me: So, I had this jacket – it was a gift, so I don’t have any purchase information – and the zipper needed to be repaired and I went through your website to get the shipping/warranty to ship it back to you to fix it and I can’t find any tracking information to see if it got to you or on its way back or if its currently being repaired…..?
CSR: …..well, okay, we can look that up for you. Do you remember when you sent it in?
Me: …uh…I’m the stay home mother of four children, my sense of time is flexible.
CSR: (starts laughing)
Me: It could have been last week, could have been three weeks ago, I’m not really sure.
CSR: My 12 year old niece is living with us now. I understand. I can’t imagine how it would be with four.
Me: Thank you for not judging me.