Big Balls

“Patty!” came the cry from the living room.  I was busily peeling potatoes in preparation for tomorrow’s Thanksgiving dinner and looked over at Bill, who was sautéing onions for his amazing turkey stuffing.  He gave me a sympathetic shrug as I put down my peeler and wandered out of the kitchen.

“What’s up?” I asked, coming to a halt next to the misshapen ottoman upon which were perched Mom’s slippered feet.

“When did you get one that made it so big?” she queried with a cock of her head.

“One what that made what so big?” I sputtered, clearing confused

“The letters,” she explained.  “They didn’t make them that big in my day.”

I inhaled slowly, exhaled slowly and then asked slowly, “Make what big?”

“The letters,” she repeated.

“Okay, Mom, I’m really stumped this time.  What letters are you talking about?  Publisher’s Clearing House letters?  Scammer’s letters?  Your Medicare letters?  What letters?”

“Those letters,” she replied, pointing toward the end table next to the loveseat.  “The one’s right there.”

I glanced down at the cluttered mess, trying to find a stray envelope or flyer somewhere in the mix, but she must have had them all hidden under the throw pillow on the other side of the loveseat.

“I don’t see any letters,” I exclaimed.  “I only see the lamp, the telephone, your bowl of M&Ms, your clicker, which, by the way, has been plugged in for two days now so I think it’s pretty well charged.  I see your Kindle, a Chapstick, and your basket of junk.  Where,” I continued, frustration raising the timbre of my voice an octave or two, “is there a letter?”

“Right there in front of your face,” she responded, pointing more emphatically.  “By the light.”

Glancing down, I spotted the phone list I’d compiled which contained various numbers that I thought might be important to her.  It was wedged into the small basket that was nestled against the ugliest lamp in the universe.  I quickly scanned the basket’s contents, noting the half dozen nail clippers, several tweezers, multiple nail files, more Chapstick, a couple of Super Glue tubes, a bottle of nail polish, a travel size hand lotion, and several expired Publisher’s Clearing House entry receipts.

“Are you talking about this, the phone list I made for you?” I asked, plucking out the 3 x 5 piece of paper and handing it to her, being careful not to disturb the delicate balance of assorted refuse contained within the wicker confines of the basket.

“Yes, that one,” she replied, nodding happily.  “How did you make the letters so big?  I didn’t think they made them that size.”

“Made what that size?  I just picked out a bigger font so you’d be able to read it.”

“But I didn’t think they’d all fit inside if they were that big,” she said, scrunching her eyebrows as she contemplated the lines of letters and numbers.  “Unless they’re making them a lot bigger than they did when I had to use one.”

“Use one?  Use one what?”

“Well they used to make it with a ball you could change out,” she mussed.  “Is the ball a lot bigger now?”

“Ball?  Ball?  What ball?”

“The one with the letters on it.  You know what I mean.  You’ve used them before.  I’m just saying they must have a lot bigger balls now.”

Suddenly Bill called out from the kitchen, “Typewriter!”

“Typewriter!” I repeated excitedly.  “You’re thinking of a typewriter.  Like the old Selectric with the balls.”


“Well what else would you use to type with?” she asked, handing the list back to me.

“My computer,” I answered as I placed the paper back inside the basket.  “And a printer.”

“You have a printer?” she asked.

“Yes, Mom, we have a printer,” I said as I turned to rejoin Bill.  “In fact, we have two.”

“So you can print anything you want?”

“Yes, anything we want,” I said over my shoulder as I continued through the doorway into the kitchen.

“So how about printing me a note to Publisher’s Clearing House to send me some money?” she called out.



2 Comments on “Big Balls”

  1. Made me smile – thank you

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