I am in the process of packing up my research team's papers, which are set to go to the archive at Columbia University. In the midst of the stacks of old transcripts and drafts of papers was a paper bag with things that belonged to my mom, Maggie Thompson. At the bottom of the bag were a bunch of small pieces of paper. I went through them very carefully, like a '49er shifting for gold. Almost all were her to-do lists. But one small piece rewarded my efforts: it was a joke that she'd gotten on the internet, printed out, cut off the parts of the page that weren't relevant, and then folded. How it got into the bag I don't know. I do know that the joke was so typical of my mother's sense of humor, I had a flash of her laugh, which was a delicious feeling.
Here's the joke.
96 year old draws a bath. She puts one foot in and pauses. She yells to the other sisters, "Was I getting in or out of the bath?"
The 94 year old yells, "I don't know. I'll come up and see." She starts up the stairs and pauses. "Was I going up the stairs or down?"
The 92 year old is sitting at the kitchen table having tea, listening to her sisters. She shakes her head and says, "I sure hope I never get that forgetful." She knocks on wood for good measure. She then yells, "I'll come up and help both of you as soon as I see who's at the door."
Happy Mother's Day to All!