My Mom had a wonderful, mischievous sense of humor. When the two of us teamed up, it could get a little scary. When I got out of the Air Force to move to Dallas, I temporarily moved in with my Mom in Grapevine (suburban Dallas) while looking for a house. My little sister was a senior in college at the time so there was plenty of room. One weekend my sister was home.  She went out leaving Mom and I on our own. I was describing my going away party before leaving England. As a subterfuge, I told my friends in England that I was leaving the Air Force to be a male stripper (at the time I couldn’t tell anyone it was because I was building a life with Ed).  With that in mind, I was presented with a 5′ 7″ blow up lady doll l named Gladys.  I had little interest in keeping the doll but didn’t want to throw her away anywhere it could be traced back to me.  At the end of my time in England, I was mailing a few items to my Mom’s house and slipped Gladys into the box. After telling the story to Mom she asked if I still had Gladys, which I did, and she asked to see her. I brought her out and my Mom thought she was hilarious. In the next few minutes we cooked up a scheme we thought was pure genius. While my Mom went to get a negligee, I began blowing new life into Gladys. When I got her fully inflated, my Mom dressed her in the negligee. We then stood Gladys up to gaze at herself in the mirror above my sister’s bathroom sink. We turned the light on very low and the two of us returned to the living room eagerly awaiting my sister’s return. When she got home it took a lot of control to maintain composure while we chatted about her evening. As she went back to her room we thought finding Gladys might startle her a little but she would shortly be back to the living room and we’d all have a giggle. It didn’t turn out that way. Gladys, unbeknownst to my Mom and I, had a slow leak which caused her to fall to the floor on her face. When my sister went to her room, she didn’t see Gladys until she almost stepped on her. Her initial impression when she saw poor Gladys lying face down on the floor in the low light of the bathroom was that she had found a dead woman. She felt a strong sense of horror. When the initial reaction wore off and she realized how unlikely it was that there would be an unknown dead woman in her room, she realized it was a prank. She did come back to the living room but not to have a giggle with us. It would be fair to say she was annoyed with us. Before we saw my sister, Gladys came flying over our heads with negligee flapping, just missed the ceiling fan and landed on the other side of the room. My sister didn’t talk to us for the remainder of the weekend. The next day, Gladys disappeared into a trash can in a park I passed. For that short period of time, she gave me great joy even if not in the way intended.  A friend accused me of using her, abusing her and then treating her like trash.  It was a true statement but it was time to move on.

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