by Jodi Lea Stewart
Whoopee! Jason 11, and Elizabeth, 5, had talked mom (that is I) into playing Lady Executive Game for Special Time before bed. Just like Vitamin C, Special Time was a daily need for our children in those days.
Lady Executive Game was the ultimate treat for these two rowdies; and since we were “batching,” I agreed once more to be the game’s principal dupe.
The gist of the game was that I was a very cool, very detached executive board president. Stiffly walking into an important board meeting, I would place my briefcase (real or prop) on the table, take out papers and sit down in my seat at the head of the table.
“Unknown” to this lady executive, a prankster (aka, the Jason-Elizabeth duo) had placed a whoopee cushion in my chair. You guessed it—as soon as I sat down and looked shocked, both kids jet ejected into the air and crashed onto the floor in fits. To them, this scenario was the funniest event in history.
For extra effect, we picked the front porch for the game so I could walk up the sidewalk. My executive seat was to be porch swing holding a grinning Elizabeth on the other end.
Hamming up the part, and savoring the stifled laughs of anticipation from my audience, I JUMPED emphatically onto the swing for a high-tech finish.
Not suspecting that my daughter had rolled off the swing as I was descending, I bypassed the un-anchored seat and landed on wavy, concrete edging currently stored under the swing for on- going yard renovation.
My elephant-trumpet wail pierced the air and our eardrums. The kids stopped laughing when mom crawled into the living room and collapsed on her stomach with a dying moan.
Always mom’s helpers, Jason and Elizabeth flew into action. Jason offered to cook me anything I wanted. A portable TV appeared in front of me, and numerous stuffed toys were placed around my back and arms. Elizabeth ran to the kitchen table to color me a get-well card.
All I could do was groan. From behind clenched teeth, I finally wheezed out the words, “Call Mima—HURRY!”
The trip to the emergency room in the backseat of my mother’s Cadillac on all fours goes down in my book as “the stupidest ride ever.”
Explaining the details to the emergency room health-care worker and watching his shoulders shake as he wrote out the report didn’t help my state of mind. Real horror took over when the doctor on duty started slipping on l-o-n-g surgical gloves before the examination.
Seven years later, I still feel a dull stab in my coccyx (tailbone) when I hear the word whoopee.
I can only say I am ever thankful that Whoopi Goldberg is not my next-door neighbor.
—The Collegian, Fort Worth, Texas, May 4, 1994—