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Thursday, May 3, 2012



Staying true to my blog's name, Grandmama's Stories, one of the most requested stories from the plethora of tall tales associated with my family members involves my now deceased mother, the Taco Bell Drive-Thru, and the case of "the misread sign". 

 As she began to age, her health began to deteriorate, her mind began to fail, her memory was sporadic, and macular degeneration took her sight, so she moved to be closer to me.

The two of us had a lot of good years and many adventures together before the veil of dementia took her from me.  To say she made us all laugh would be an understatement.  There wasn't much of a filter between mother's brain and her mouth.  She was a woman of strong opinions accompanied by the loudest "Stage Whisper" you've ever heard.  Combine her strong opinion with that infamous stage whisper and you had a recipe for mayhem at times. 
 I constantly lived on the edge... afraid of what she might say in public.  You can well imagine how many embarrassing moments she gave me as a teen-ager.   As an adult, though, I found my crazy little mama most delightful with a sense of humor that I had finally grown to appreciate.  However, as funny as I found mama's comments, I was cognizant of the fact that the public may not always find her "remarks" quite as endearing as I found them.  She was the poster child for the term "Politically Incorrect."  Oh, my friends, God broke the mold when He made that little lady!

With this brief biographical background, I will attempt to tell a story that is best told in person but worthy of my best efforts to "TELL" via the written word.

It was a Saturday afternoon, and my elderly mother and I were driving home from a quilting class.  Taco Bell was her favorite fast-food restaurant and I do believe she could have eaten her weight in nachos!   There was never a question as to where we were going to eat for lunch.  This particular Saturday, mama was tired so I decided to make a quick run through the Taco Bell Drive-Thru window.  I placed our order and immediately began digging through my purse for my money and coupons.  (I don't know about you, but I spend half my life digging through my purse looking for some UFO that goes missing much like socks in a dryer....but I digress...)
  With head bent over my purse, the old peripheral vision notices mother leaning sharply toward me to the point of almost being in my lap, eyes squinting sharply, head shaking, and finger wagging. 

 I'm Thinking.....
"What is she doing?" 
 "Oh No, what is she getting ready to say?"
 in one of those " life flashing before my eyes" moments. 

 Imagine, if you will, our verbal exchange... keeping in mind  mother's failing vision and penchant for only reading the first and last of a word.  (You know... the common mistake...when you read the word HOUSE and the word is actually HORSE?!) Can we say,  CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR?
Mama:  "Lord have mercy, I never thought I'd live to see the day they would be selling "them" through the Drive-Thru window of a Taco Bell.  Jane, we're going to Hell in a hand-basket, I tell ya...hell in a hand-basket... 
ME:  "What are you talking about, Mama????"  All they're selling are Tacos and Nacho Bell Grande's"
Mama:  "Jane, I know what I see and I tell ya, I never thought I'd live to see something like this happen!  I'd heard about this on the news but just never believed I'd live to see it happen right here."
ME:  "Mama, why are you so upset?  No one is selling anything but tacos and nachos.  
Mama:  "No Jane, LOOK... right there on the window!  Read that sing and See for yourself!"

By this time, I realize my mother had convinced herself some HUGE moral gaffe had taken place right THEN AND THERE and no amount of arguing was going to change her mind...nevertheless, for the life of me I couldn't figure out what had her in such a snit!  I took one more look at the Drive-Thru Window and told myself... Think like Mama... Think like Mama...

And Then...
the Light-bulb goes on...

I suddenly knew why my mother thought the world was going to Hell in a Hand-basket...
what she thought was being sold in the Drive-Thru Window of Taco Bell...

On the DRIVE-THRU Window, 
the Sign Read.......



After I stopped laughing, I explained patiently to my mama that CONDIMENTS were 

CON_ _  MS !!

Her Response??
"Don't you tell that one on me, Jane Ellen."

Oh, Mama, that was one promise I JUST COULDN'T KEEP!!!
(pssst...I love you and miss you, mama.  I hope you're entertaining Heaven the way you entertained all of us!))
and now you know



  1. Oh, that is so precious! How you made that connection is beyond me. But I understand the need to 'think like ma-ma' as my own mother is failing and there are needs to make corrections at times, also. I'm just not as sharp.

  2. I might have made that mistake myself but I know I would have kept my mouth shut. (and probably looked several more times) Thanks for the laugh, told as only you can.

  3. This is one of my most favorite stories about you and your mom...such a sweet, sweet relationship you shared! I love your stories, Jane! :)

  4. LOL... yes those of us with an aging Mama certainly understand this and laugh with you.

  5. Oh, Jane, since we are dealing with a similar situation now, with hubby's mom, this was so hilarious to me! LOL She has one of those not-so-stage whispers, too! Thanks for sharing - great start to my day!

  6. That is a good one! I guess many of us can relate to the story.

  7. Love it!!!
    It's a "goof" not restricted only to older folks - a friend of mine went on a cruise for her honeymoon. One of the fun activities on board was "The Honeymoon Game". 3 women sat in chairs on stage; their hubbies were sequestered backstage so they couldn't hear their wives' answers. Julie was asked what her husband's favourite condiment was, and she replied, "Oh, he doesn't use them - we want to have a family right away"!!!!!!!!

    1. Oh Jannettte, I'm laughing so hard you have to be hearing me!!! How funny!!!! That is like hearing my mother all over again! Thanks for sharing your priceless story on my blog...PRICELESS!!

  8. That is hilarious!! Hey, a new business idea--ha! I was reading a menu the other day when out on date night w/ my hubby. I thought the menu said, "Homeless fish...". It said, "Boneless fish..."! Oops!! We had a good laugh (& I'm not that old or suffering from dementia!!) I don't think, hmm...!!

  9. THAT is a Great one! My MIL had Alzheimers and we could never be quite sure how any outing would go. Usually it did not go well and I can't even tell about them.

  10. what a cute story. It gave me the laugh I needed today. THANK YOU!

  11. That's hilarious! Your poor mama! I've known a few people like her!

  12. Oh that is so funny Jane I kinda had a Mother like that. You know I often do that with words to but I keep it to myself. Thanks for the laugh today. Blessings sandra

  13. Oh, my!! :) I think that if anyone doesn't look at the fun side of these moments they would break! I listened to my Aunt talk about her Mother going down hill and her kids could not believe the Christmas she ran into the kitchen and rewrapped gifts for her Mother because she could not remember opening them! Judy said you know it was a simple thing that made her happy for that moment!!

  14. I am laughing out loud and my girls are looking at me like I am crazy. Thanks for sharing that story Gmama. I am sure your Mama would not mind.

  15. LOL. What a great memory, thank you for sharing. My mom too travelled in the land of alzheimers. I think I came to appreciate her more as we travelled this journey together. Miss her still, it's been 3 years.


Blessings to all of you who have taken the time to leave your thoughtful comments. I read each one and hope you will come back often!

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