“I’m Everybody at this Table but Betsy.”

So, the folks are here, which means that we had to play a game of 500 rummy and since I have no card skills, I have to rely on luck.

Luck was not with me.

I didn’t even break 200.  If you’ve played rummy, you know that not even breaking 200 is almost a physical impossibility. And we were sitting me, the Butcher to my left, Mom to his, and then Dad to hers. So the Butcher would often discard a card I needed and Mom would pick it up just to see if she could make something happen with it later, which she could not because I had the rest of the cards in my hand doing nothing but preparing to count against me. And so, finally, after she unwittingly pulls that same bullshit again, while she and Dad and the Butcher all have at least 50 points down in front of them and I have not even gotten down, I say, in my most mocking tone, “Oh, I have a bunch of points. I have cards that play. I’m taking cards that Betsy needs. I’m everybody at this table but Betsy.”

Because I am five.

Ha.

Anyway, my mom starts to laugh, just this little giggle, at first, but then you can kind of see it coming right up from her gut, shaking her whole frame until it just bursts out of her mouth like it was too big for her, this enormous belly laugh.  And then she keeps laughing and laughing until tear are rolling down her cheeks and she’s practically gasping for air.  The rest of us now are so tickled by her being tickled that we have caught it, too–the giggles.

“Whew,” she said, once she caught her breath, “that was ridiculous.”