The Sixty Second Dilemma

The Sixty Second Dilemma

A Story by texasjane

A time crunch.

The quickest way to make my mind go blank is to tell me I have sixty seconds to do something, or say something, or answer a question.  It makes no difference how well prepared I am.  Ask me to do something and I will do it in record time.  Ask me to repeat something or tell you what I just read and I will do it without missing a single word and I will do it almost instantly.  Quiz me about something I have studied and I can quote authorities on the subject without blinking an eye.  Just don't tell me I have a time limit.

Once my grandmother was expecting the "ladies" for lunch.  It was a big deal for her.  I really do not know why.  She always seemed to chatter about all of them, when they were not around.  She knew how to fix whatever was wrong with each and every one of them.  However, this was not a let me fix you type meeting.  This was an appreciation luncheon.  Which really meant they would chatter on and on about whoever did not come to the luncheon.  Grandmother always tried to keep ugly gossip out and did not tolerate name-calling from anyone.  I really think she had these luncheons to catch up on all that had been going on with her friends.  I call them friends, she called them friends, but I don't think she would rely on any of them for help in a crisis.  That is just my opinion, I am seven years old and have only known my Grandmother for two years.

She had helped me get through the first grade.  It had not been an easy task.  I spent a lot of time in the corner of the room.  I loved to giggle.  Grandmother loved to giggle.  Most of the time when we were studying or alphabet we would make up fun games with the letters.  I learned to tie my shoe on my head.  While the talent for saying something in such a manner that it was funny took type to develop.  My first-grade teacher did not appreciate the results.  For example, telling her the "P" just ran down my leg while reciting the alphabet landed me in my familiar corner.

Time limits restricted my mental flow and seemed to choke the information right out of me.  It also restricted my ability to quickly do anything.  Grandmother knew all this about me.  I really thought she would appreciate how well I had anticipated the results of her demands that day.

"Look at this room.It is a mess and I have the ladies coming any minute now.  If you don't clean this room spotless in one minute I am going to beat you half to death.  When I get back it better be done."  The knock on the door singled the first of her guests to arrive.  I was sure glad.  I reasoned that I had one minute to clean my room.  I looked at the tea party my dolls were having, the teddy bear round up in the corner and of course, the shoes, hats, and clothes leftover from playing dress-up were all over the bed.

I caught a glance of the cat going into my closet.  I wonder if I had to get her out too.  I thought again and a closer look told me she was giving birth to kittens on top of a pillow that had landed there during the pillow fight my sister and I had two days ago.  Then I decided there was nothing I could do but get prepared.

I heard all sorts of chatter and laughter coming from the dining room and the living room.  I heard cups clinking and tea being poured.  Grandmother had three teapots going at the same time.  It was remarkable how well organized she was.  I had proceeded to full fill the current demands made upon me.  My sister had been excluded from the clean-up duty due to a little problem with the mumps.  Her face was swollen and she was in her own bed, in her own room, and I might add, was being served food in bed.  I heard the ladies all in her room now oohing and awing over the poor baby.

I was prepared and waited in my room.  The door opened and four rather large women walked into my room and gasp.  "What in the world?"  Grandmother's mouth flew open and I knew she wanted an explanation.

"I got everything you would need."  There I was naked as a jaybird, with three switches laying on the bed, and the first aid kit lying beside them.  "GiGi is having kittens in the closet and I knew I could not get everything done in one minute.  So, I am ready for you to beat me half to death."

I was totally surprised when everyone laughed out loud at the same time.  I use the phrase naked as a jaybird only because I had heard it before.  I know jaybirds are not naked but have feathers.  Now, on with the story.I bent over the bed and held up a switch for my grandmother.  She has no idea how frightened I was at that very moment.  All these women were grandmothers too.  What if all of them wanted to take a wack at me?  One of them walked over to me and took the switch from my hand.  Grandmother grabbed my robe from the back of the closet door and rushed to me.

"You are hot.  You are running a fever.  Oh, baby let me look at you.  You have the mumps."  I was thrilled.  I got scooped up and put into my pajamas and put into bed.  I got fed in bed and even got one of the teddy bears to join me.  GiGi was moved to the laundry room to care for her four kittens.  I got up one time while grandmother was saying goodbye to all her guests.  I raced into my sister's room and gave her a big hug.  I was so happy.  I thanked her for saving me from getting beat to death.  My sister looked at me and we instantly kissed each other... we wanted this to last a little longer.  It took less than sixty seconds to go from being beaten to death to "poor baby".  That is what I call record timing for any dilemma.

© 2021 texasjane

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Added on July 10, 2021
Last Updated on July 10, 2021
Tags: Children, Grandmothers



Hawkins, TX

I a retired Texas widow. I live alone with two dogs. I love to look for the humor in almost everything. I like to pass along a giggle when I can. Wisdom is also fun to pass along. I like to pro.. more..