Mom vs. The Adding Machine, or Shit My Mom Does, part one

Okay, so the category name “Shit My Mom Does” is a ripoff. But my mom is 100% original. Here, in all its glory, is my first mom story. But it’s the first of many.

For a few decades now, my mom and I have worked at the same place. Well, that doesn’t express it correctly. We have worked together at two different companies, the current one being an organization I started.


Currently, the company we’re at is small, and there are only three people in our little office area, my mom and I included. At our previous employer, there was a bit more space. I think we totaled seven people. Maybe eight at the height of success. It was located in what used to be private residence cottages. We used both halves of a duplex and a two-room place above the garage in the back–which is where my office was. My mom was downstairs.

So, one day I got a call from her on the intercom asking me to come downstairs and look at her desktop calculator. (It was the kind that had a digital readout but also a roll of paper if she wanted to actually use it as an adding machine. Which is what she called it. But I digress.) She told me that it was all 8’s the whole way across and she couldn’t get it to clear. Never mind that I was in the middle of some database programming. This was obviously an important situation that needed immediate attention. Down the stairs I go, and into the cottage where her office was located.

Sure enough, the calculator is all lit up. She said she has no idea what happened, but it just started doing this a few minutes ago. Totally out of the blue. On closer look, though, it’s not really the number 8 all the way across. The whole display is just lit up. Everything on. I hit a few keys. No change. I switched the power off. No change. Yes, you read that right. It didn’t change. Power off and it was still on. So I picked it up to get a better view of the power switch . . .

And an opaque tan liquid poured out. Coffee. With cream. And, I’m quite sure, sugar.

She had spilled her entire cup of coffee on the calculator, mopped up her desk, cleaned the coffee off the face of the calculator . . . and then called me as if she had no idea what could be wrong with it. To quote from The Mythbusters, “Well, there’s your problem!”

Thus begins the stories of my mom’s bizarre behaviors. Oh, but wait, there’s more. There’s so much more.


3 thoughts on “Mom vs. The Adding Machine, or Shit My Mom Does, part one

  1. Peggy Gartin says:

    I hereby (virtually) award you this t-shirt: I’M HERE BECAUSE YOU BROKE SOMETHING.

  2. […] years of owning a particular TV, my mom’s remote control began having issues. Based on previous stories, one might be tempted to think a hot caffeinated beverage might be involved. Not this time, at […]

  3. […] I mentioned before, my mom and I work at the same place, and worked together previously at another company. I handled […]

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