Does anyone remember that e-mail that went around way back - feels like a thousand years now - the e-mail about how one should not flash their headlights at an automobile that had no headlights on? The one that said something to the effect of doing so would insure your unwilling participation in a gang ritual and you would be killed?
It was one of the very first urban legends that my FAM fell for. Obviously this joke was far more effective back when most vehicles didn't have automatic lights or daytime running lights.
I can still remember the day she called me to "warn" me of this deadly trap. And how she made me a copy or three - one for me and others for me to pass along. I gently took the wad of paper and so was born my newest bottom desk drawer file entitled:
I'm Not Ready to Tell Her It's Not Real.
Because honestly? Telling her the truth would be like informing a cute little 5 year old child that Santa/Batman/Retirement/the Easter Bunny/Great Pumpkin/Tooth Fairy and Fairness just don't exist in this world. And there's more, but I need to give you this helmet to wear first.
There would be angry denial and then debate. Oh the debate. And she's a lot better at holding on to the mouse than I am, so I'd never get to prove my point by showing her any number of websites that document just these things.
It's been a long road to the technology embracement. However flawed it might be, I don't want to crush that.
Which is why the other day when she called to tell me she saw a news story on the internet that was funny, I went into minimal conversation mode and started flipping through the rolodex of "reasons to get off the phone with Mom because I can't talk about the make-believe with her".
Her news story was about a screech owl that had been found in some couple's Christmas tree, AND that this particular owl was stoned. She finished that story with "And you simply must see the expression on this owl!"
Into the file went the conversation. Although invisible, that's where it went.
Imagine my shock when I actually found this story on some credible looking news website:
NOW I NEED A HELMET.