FBI target silhouette with lots of bullet holes, remember to take your keys
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Always Take Your Keys

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Just the Facts Ma’am

My mother and I lived alone in a New York City apartment, so when cleaning we often dressed scantily.

Our apartment was diagonally across from the trash room.

My mother had recently toured the FBI. As a souvenir, she brought home the life-size sheet of paper used for target practice.

After a few days, we folded it up and threw it out in the trash room. Someone must have wondered what it was (a paper with lots of bullet holes) and unfolded it. They didn’t fold it back up the way it was.

The Incident

One night, while I was washing the dishes, scantily clad, my mother said she was going out for a bit. I said okay. I didn’t have any plans. Seems she didn’t take her keys.

Shortly afterwards, for some reason I don’t remember, I went out (fully dressed). This was many decades before cell phones so I left my mother a note. I locked the door since now no one would be home.

When I got back to the apartment, there was a crowd of people around my mother who was on the floor outside our apartment door.

What Happened

It seems when she returned and couldn’t get in to our home, she had gone to neighbors’ apartments looking for me or a spare key. In the meantime, another neighbor, innocently, opened the door to the trash room looking for me. The rush of air that came in caused the human size target sheet to slide out.

My mother, remembering when she left how I was dressed, saw “this body” come out, and thinking it was me, fainted. While one neighbor caught her and laid her down, another one went to get smelling salts and water to revive her.

Moral of the Story

Since there may not be friendly neighbors around: Always take your keys, no matter what.

P.S. In this day of recycling, make sure odd papers are torn into pieces.

Please leave your comments below. 

Read more by Ada Mark Strausberg.

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One Comment

  1. this is an adorable funny story! I needed a laugh after a rough day (maybe I’ll write this story!)