My Mom, The Old School Gangster
I am a mother. Life is tough, but I am tougher. — Unknown
I was twelve years old when I realized my mom was a real-life gangster.
We lived next door to an older woman. None of us kids liked her because she would watch us. She did not hesitate to come outside to stop us from doing wrong. Oh, we were naughty little buggers, especially when my mother was at work. Mrs. Smith would stroll out of her house and call us over to her. We would slowly walk over to where she was. Mrs. Smith would smack us in the head, usually on one of our ears, and make us stop doing whatever foolishness we were doing.
We knew we were also going to get “it” when my parent came home because Mrs. Smith would be on her porch with a cold beer, drinking it and waiting. That tattle tale would tell our mom what we did. Mom has a glass of beer with Mrs. Smith, then comes home to whip every young ass in her house.
Bad Ass Kids
What things would we do? Oh… we would play jumping out the second-floor window or starting fires in other peoples’ garbage cans or throwing rocks at cars. I or any of the other five youngsters could come up with various shady things to do.
Mrs. Smith rented out the upper floor to her home. Once, she rented to a young man who stopped paying rent after a month or two. Mrs. Smith called the police on the man, but he would not leave. The man began a terror campaign against her. One night I was in the bathroom, and I heard glass breaking. I looked outside. The man broke a window in Mrs. Smith’s first-floor apartment. He laughed and waved at her. I saw him. This was the second window wrecked on her downstairs apartment.
Gaslighting the Police
When the police arrived, the man pretended he did not break the window. We could hear the conversation from our front steps. Mrs. Smith had called the police previously. When the officers arrived, Mrs. Smith was frustrated and upset. She apparently just jumped out of bed wearing her hairnet, face cream, and nightgown. Her hair was sticking out of the edges of the hairnet pointing in every direction. The man was calm and well-spoken. Mrs. Smith explained to the officers the young man had broken her window again.
The police questioned the young man. He claimed he did not break the window and said it must have been some neighborhood kids, perhaps the one’s next door. Mrs. Smith told the officers he was lying. The young man said Mrs. Smith was old and sometimes experienced hallucinations. He also said she had accused him of breaking her window before. The officers checked the records, believed the young man, and left taking no action.
Mop Handle Justice
I told my mom I saw him break the window. She did not say to the police. Instead, she stood on our porch looking at the man, the officers, and the upset older woman. She pursed her lips and came back into the house. I was surprised, but I had seen that look before: something was up.
Imagine his surprise when three young women ran out of that building and started whipping his ass with heavy-duty wooden mop handles. I couldn’t see the beating, but I could hear the vibration. Whomp, whomp, whomp.
My mom called her two best girlfriends, Adele, and Gussie to come over. For the next two nights, Mrs. Smith slept at our house. We had to stay in the place while she was there. On the second night, the man broke yet another window on the first floor next door. Imagine his surprise when three young women ran out of that building and started whipping his ass with heavy-duty wooden mop handles. I couldn’t see the beating, but I could hear the vibration. Whomp, whomp, whomp. The three of them laid it on him. My mom and her friends must have done this before because they had no issue with beating him until he lay still on the ground. They left him lying there and came back into the house.
I wish a Mother F*c**r Would
It was the first time I heard the phrase, “I wish a Mother F*c**r would,” when Gussie wondered aloud if he would attempt to find them and come over to our house. He didn’t. We never saw that man again. He had moved out by morning.
Mrs. Smith went back to her house. Mom made us help her clean up the glass in her home. We went back to being bad and playing outside. I knew right then that my mom was not a woman to be crossed.
Toni Crowe retired to pursue her dream of being a writer. Toni has written six books. Her bestselling business book, ‘Bullets and Bosses Don’t Have Friends’ won a Gold Readers Award.