May 2019

Mazel & Mishagoss


I’m Sorry, Ma! Please Remove Your Curse?

I was cruel to my mother as a cocky adolescent in the ’80s. When we purchased a deluxe VCR, I smugly taped all Family Ties episodes(big Michael J. Fox crush!) leaving Mom helplessly wringing her age-spotted hands because she couldn’t figure out how to record Days of Our Lives for the long awaited soap-opera event of the year — Bo and Hope’s extravagant wedding.

Don’t worry, my mother put a terrible hex on me: “One day a crazy gadget will be invented and you’ll have an unkind, impatient teenager (because what goes around comes around!) and I’ll just laugh forever.”

That prophetic day arrives … my PC breaks. Before I can buy another, my sadistic friend offers her Mac. Seriously? “Mac” is an expensive brand of cosmetics, a Big McDonalds hamburger, or a cranky NYC cab driver. But now it’s my computer. Luckily, I have three technologically gifted sons who’ll surely assist me, right??

Youngest Son: Mom, it’s been an hour and I have class. Call professionals. I’m not “The Geek Squad.”

Me: You’re the “The Bleak Squad.” Please just explain one last time — I promise I’ll get it. I’m the woman who helped you use scissors and glue back in preschool and now you can’t teach me how to cut n’ paste?

I offer to fry Latkes if he’ll come home for a ninety-minute lesson. I confirm it’s the same recipe from his childhood and he claims a dead battery and suggests his hungry brother.

In the time it takes me to find my middle son’s contact into and refresh my memory on how to Skype, Youngest Son issues a “Look out! Mom is on the loose with her usual ‘Chanukah In Summer’ bartering for tech support” warning.

Middle Son: Hello Mother. Throw in some jelly donuts and I’ll explain one thing. That “blue half profile thingy with the big nose is called ‘Your Finder.’ It’s the equivalent of ‘Start Up’ on your old PC. Bye!

Me: But what happened to the ‘Insert’ key? Wait! Tell me one thing before you hang up. If I click on the cute little fruit with a bite taken out of it in the upper left corner, will the ‘Sleep’ option cure my menopausal insomnia? Hello? Are you there?

I bravely explore the Mac on my own and am elated to be in someone’s ‘Garage Band.’ (I should dig up my old accordion!) But now I have a reputation for being a ‘Quick Time Player?’ Iquit JDate! Also I have a phobia of lions and tigers, so it’s terrifying to find a ‘Safari’ lurking. Back to my offspring for help!

Oldest Son: No! Didn’t you hear me?? You can no longer press, “Control, Alt, Delete!”

Me: Then how do I stop that rainbow iridescent disk from spinning around??

Oldest Son: Think of it as your former hourglass. Wait patiently.

Me: Well, can I still “Escape?”

Oldest Son: Yes. Yes you can, Mom. Unfortunately it’s too late for me to.

While this ill-mannered child (who wouldn’t be a nuclear engineer if I hadn’t read bedtime stories to him) continues his witty sarcasm, I receive an uncanny message from my own mother, now 77 years old.

One of my sons must’ve showed their grandma how to text and taught her what “LOL” means, because her entire message is that acronym repeating itself as Elton John bellows from my cellphone speaker, mocking me from The Lion King, singing “Circle of Life.” Touché, Ma — and Happy Mother’s Day.

Huffington Post humorist Stephanie D. Lewis has six children she’s hoping karma will take care of! Find more funny stuff at


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