When I married my Dorey, we shared the house with her mother who had
recently lost her husband.  I have to tell you the first year or so
was pretty doggone rough.  Mama Ponder was hell to get along with.  I
couldn't do anything right.  She was on me all day every day about
something.  Every tool and piece of machinery regardless of its age or
condition that wore out or broke since we began our life together was
my fault.  There wasn't a doubt in Mama Ponder's mind that I broke it
or ruined it.  She never once 'asked' me to do something, she always
'told' me to do it.  She still does.  If patience and common courtesy
were both liquids, Mama Ponder  wouldn't have enough liquid to fill a

Meanwhile, I was trying to treat her the way I wanted to be treated.
Let me tell you right now, all that psycho-babble business is as
worthless as tits on a boar hog when it comes to Mama Ponder's
relationship with her son-in-law.  It flat don't work.  Also 'ye shall
reap what ye sow' is an alien concept to Mama Ponder.  I reckon that
part of the bible might as well be written in Greek.

After about a year or so of my practical application of psychology, I
reached the limit of my patience with that rascal.  I decided our
relationship needed a big change and one change it needed was my Lil'
Napoleon [Mama Ponder] needed a tad of humility to mellow her soul.
You would think that a 69-year-old woman would have learned a little
humility in all that time, but this one hadn't.  She had been the
family drill sergeant and no one had apparently challenged her
position of authority.  At least not yet, but Mama Ponder had never
dealt with an enlisted man before either.  And as all officers learn
sooner or later, enlisted men are devious critters.  So I commenced to
plot ag'in her..and it felt good.

You just don't hack up your beloved's mother and feed the parts to the
pigs.  I mean after all, the woman you love loves her.  Besides, I
figured the judge would take a dim view of such antics.  If I had
recorded on video the entire past year, I believe I could have gotten
off with a $10 fine and court costs, but I hadn't been that smart.  I
reckoned my revenge had to be a  tad more subtle than that, besides I
couldn't afford a criminal lawyer anyway.  Then it dawned on me how I
would get satisfaction and regain my manhood.  I would short-sheet
that mean ol' rascal!  The more I thought about it, the more I liked
the idea and the more I giggled.  I never giggle, but I kinda liked
it.  Up to this point, Mama Ponder had led a sheltered life..she had
never been forced to share the same bedroom, bathroom, and shower with
50 other women.  Nor had she had to put up with the antics and pranks
that naturally occur in such groups.  She had never even been to a
summer camp.  Mama and Dorey looked at me out of the corner of their
eyes quite a bit prior to me committing my evil deed.  They couldn't
figure out why I was giggling so much.  Like I said before, I never
giggle.  I knew all that giggling was suspicious, but I just couldn't
help myself.  I was just waiting for the perfect opportunity.

It wasn't long before my chance came.  I figured that for at least two
or three days after her lesson in humility Mama Ponder just might rant
and rave non-stop.  That being the case, I chose Friday night for my
D-Day.  I figured if push come to shove and shove come to pow, I could
always jump in my pickemup truck and go visit my buddy Grady in
Florida.  A hasty retreat seemed to me to be the best solution and
that would put something between us..the State of Georgia.  Come
Friday, while Mama Ponder and Dorey were preparing supper, I slipped
into Mama's bedroom and set my trap.  Now all I had to do was wait for
the prey.  And it felt real good.

Now for you pampered folks that don't have the foggiest idea what
'short-sheet' means, I'll help you out a tad here.  To short sheet a
bed, first you remove the pillows and blanket or quilt.  Next, you
undo the top sheet from the mattress and pull it up towards the head
of the bed far enough so you can tuck it in and make the hospital
corners so that part of the top sheet looks like it is the top part of
the bottom sheet.  Then you fold the bottom of the top sheet back up
to the head of the bed so that part of the top sheet looks like it is
the top sheet.  This creates a very shallow linen envelope.  Replace
the quilt and pillows and the trap is set.  When the victim throws
back the quilt and sheet and crawls into bed what they are really
doing is crawling down into that very shallow envelope.  The fun part
comes when they try to straighten out their legs.  Many a drunk GI has
come back to the barracks from a night on the town and wrestled with
that short sheet until they pushed both feet right through the sheet!
All I had to do then was wait for bedtime and Mama Ponder always went
to bed first.

When Mama Ponder was finally in her housecoat and pajamas and headed
for bed, I tiptoed down the hall and waited until I could tell she was
about to crawl between the sheets.  I returned to the family room and
motioned for Dorey to follow me and to keep quiet.  Dorey had no idea
what was about to happen.  When I heard Mama grunting and mumbling, we
peeked around the corner to enjoy my revenge.  There sat Mama Ponder
with her head almost between her knees just ah yanking on that top
sheet and trying her level best to force that sheet to straighten out
properly so she could straighten out her legs like they were supposed
to be.  She would struggle for a spell and then just sit and glare at
that sheet from between her knees.  I would have given a pretty penny
for a photo of the expression on Mama Ponder's face right then.  She
never caught on to the trick.  I broke out laughing so hard tears ran
down my cheeks.  Dorey still didn't know what was going on and was
just as puzzled as Mama Ponder.  She had led a sheltered life also,
but that was before she married an enlisted man.  When I could finally
get somewhat in control of myself, I told them what I had done.  That'
s when Dorey cracked up.  I swear I thought the woman was about to
have a stroke.  Mama hadn't laughed yet.  I guess she was still trying
to understand what I had done, but she may have been in shock.  Dorey
and I made Mama Ponder's bed for her while that little rascal stood
right there and supervised to make sure there it was made properly.

You know, I never heard a word about that prank from Mama Ponder.  Not
one word.  You could have knocked me over with a feather.  And Mama
Ponder and I got along much better after that also.  In fact, I'm her
favorite son-in-law now.  Oh, did I mention that I'm her only
son-in-law?  So guys, if you're having trouble with your
Mother-in-law..short-sheet her!  It works wonders.  Trust me.
However, no warranties come with this recommendation so don't come
crying to me if you end up looking like you tried to stuff a wet
noodle up a wild cat's butt.

In all sincerity, when I got Mama Ponder for a mother-in-law, I got
the pick-of-the-litter.  For the past 18 years now Mama Ponder has
been more of a mother to me than my own late mother was.  Of course I
really didn't want mothering, but I got it anyway.  Now, I dread the
thought of losing her.  Heck, I wouldn't have anyone to argue with, if
Mama Ponder wasn't here.