In honor of my mom...
When we were kids, there was rarely a time when my brothers and I were together that we weren't pushing, kicking, teasing, touching, or whining. It was entertaining for us, but oddly, not so much for my mom.
We fought in the car, we fought in church, we fought at friends' houses, we fought at school, we fought in department stores, we fought everywhere. We fought each other, we fought other kids, sometimes two against one, sometimes all against each other. Always loudly, and never with any regard for what was going on around us.
Now, my mom was an enduring person, but one day in the grocery store, it all just became too much for her. She'd had had enough of the constant bickering and the disdainful looks from the people around us. So she said in that angry I'm going to f-ing kill you whisper that moms are so good at, "That's ENOUGH! You boys are constantly embarrassing me in public. If you don't stop it RIGHT NOW you're going to know what it feels like to be embarrassed too."
We stopped fighting for a few seconds. And then Ryan decided Shea was standing too close to him so he gave him a little elbow... and then Shea pushed Ryan into me... And then I screamed for my mom... and then then Shea tried to cover my mouth... and on and on and on...
We followed my mom through the store running, pinching, pulling, screaming and finally got in line at checkout. That's when my mom started sniffing the air and softly said "What is that smell?" Now, this was strange because my mom had no sense of smell... at all. She lost her sense of smell when she was young—like being blind, but in the nose. So, when she said that she smelled something we stopped fighting and took notice. After all, this must have been a miracle of some sort.
She started sniffing the air around us, which I'm sure looked strange to the other people in line because they started to take notice as well. And she said more loudly this time "Wow, which one of you boys did that?... Sniff. Sniff. Which one of you boys farted?" And now the clerk and everybody in our immediate area was looking at us and she said even more loudly, "Did one of you have an accident?"
Well, that shut things down pretty quick. Just as she has promised, we were completely embarrassed. And then, for good measure, she started singling us out, "That smell's horrible!... Sniff. Sniff... Ryan, that smells like you. Did you do that? Is that a fart, or did you have an accident?" As you can imagine, we were absolutely mortified. We stopped fighting and didn't make a peep for the rest of the outing.
From that day on, when we started acting up in public, all my mom had to do was give a little fake sniff the air and order was restored.