Facebook versus the wooden spoon

Don’t stalk me, mom,” says the joy of my life.

“Don’t post it on Facebook, and I won’t stalk you,” says I.

With posting, texting and Twittering in 46 characters or less, you would think that parents today have a better hold on their kids and their whereabouts than in ancient pre-cellphone times. No way.

In fact, your kid can say he’s calling from around the corner and, unless you had a GPS activated in the phone, he could be on the moon (although, with my phone service, reception would be dicey).

Mymom, who never texted, tweeted or posted in all her life, knew exactly where I was every minute of the day. And if I didn’t respond in 10 minutes or less of hearing the sound of her whistle — put a fork in me, ’cause I was done.

Long ago, when I was feeling my independence, I told my mom that I was going to Lori’s house, when in fact the plan was to “hang” at Avenue Z park. I knew I wasn’t allowed to be there (my mom didn’t like “those” kids, so there was no way in hell that I would ever be allowed there). But like every other self-respecting teenager, when confronted by parental edict, I lied.

After all, Mom didn’t drive, she wasn’t about to walk, so I was, in my naivete, safe.

As the lie left my lips and I began to walk to my clandestine location, I knew in my heart of hearts it was a bad move. But like lemmings off a cliff, I ran to the park and my ultimate demise.

After settling in, I lit up a Marlboro red and relaxed. The longer I sat the more confident I became that I had gotten away with it. There I was holding court, pleased as punch and laughing up a storm when I happened to spot the rear fins of a white and red ’58 Olds 98 slowly driving up West Street. “No,” I thought, how could it be my parents? My dad got up early for work and he would never be driving this late at night. But then the car made the turn and it headed straight for me. In a split second I knew that my days at Avenue Z park were over. My mom emerged from the car. Like an avenging angel, she swooped down, clad in her housecoat and slippers, breathing fire with a wooden spoon in hand and pounced.

Now, I figured I had two choices: I could sit there and accept my fate — life in prison, no plea-bargaining, no reduced sentence, no early release for good behavior — or I could run. Maybe, just maybe, I could avoid the worst of her wrath by escaping to a foreign country and then, after years away, she would have calmed down enough for me to return home.

In my teenage stupidity I took that only available option. I ran. But my legs were no match for the V8 engine and before I could reach the corner, I was trapped.

The punishment was swift. I was shipped off to Ruthie and Sam’s house in Brockton, Massachusetts, for the whole month of August. No friends, no phone, no nothing.

Not for nuthin,™ but my mom didn’t need Facebook to keep tabs on me, all she needed was a wooden spoon.


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