There is one phrase my Mama can utter during a phone call, that insures another 15 or 20 minutes on the line - "To make a long story short, and I know you don't have a lot of time . . ." And, that would be correct, the later not the former. She never manages to make her long stories short, I don't know why she tries. Come to think of it, if this is the short version of the long story, I should have never been intimidated by War & Peace.
I am working the other day and the home phone rings. When I see the caller ID, I realize I better pick it up, because I have not talked to her in 48 hours and God knows how many people have died, or are nigh unto it since then. (And, Lord knows, the house next door to her may have sold - to some "good people, you know 'our kind'" no less.) After I get caught up on "all the news that wasn't", I make the mistake of asking her if she is sure that my brother knows about the dates of her Beach Trip. (All the while, I am editing text and returning emails.)
"Well I'm sure he does. He should." "Mama, have you told him or not? I ask. "Well, I picked one of the weeks he said they could come." "So you haven't called and confirmed it with him." "Well, not exactly. But, I am certain he knows by now." I don't remember him having ESP as a child - did I miss out on something. Then she changes the subject, "Guess who called me this morning?" "My brother to ask when we were going to the beach?" "No, and you're being ugly." "Well, then who?" As she launches into a detailed, he said she said rendition of the phone conversation, I finish my final edit. Then I realize I cannot print because the printer is too loud (and would let her know she had not had my undivided attention during this call). Just then I tune back in to hear,"Well, to make a long story short." Now I realize we've only just begun.
Ten minutes later, when I have replied to all my emails, completed a report that was due, found some my errors in the guide I was editing when she initially called (and was now waiting to print), my ears pick up, "Oh, and I will tell you this." Now, this sounds promising . . . the end in near, maybe.