Welcome to the Chubby Chatterbox Newsletter, where I’ll be posting favorites from the Chubby Chatterbox archives. In addition, my complete thriller Return of the Mary Celeste will soon be serialized here for those who have asked for something beyond a regular post.

My novel is based on a true event, arguably the greatest maritime mystery of all time. In 1872 the crew and passengers of Boston brigantine Mary Celeste abandoned their seaworthy ship and its valuable cargo, vanishing in the middle of the Atlantic. Speculation over their fate has never abated. History records that after the Mary Celeste tragedy no one from that fateful voyage was ever seen again. History is about to be rewritten…

Return of the Mary Celeste

Prologue

Tragedy struck the brigantine Mary Celeste on the morning of November 25, 1872. The hourly log was later recovered from the deserted vessel; At 8 a.m. the last notation was made. By 9 a.m. no one remained aboard to chalk the next entry.

Something had terrified Captain Benjamin Briggs and his crew, prompting the seasoned skipper to make a decision certain to affect not only himself, his ship and crew, but his family as well—his wife and two year old daughter were aboard Mary Celeste. Much ink has been spilled in fanciful and scientific attempts to explain the calamity that engulfed this perfectly seaworthy ship, yet all that is known for certain is this: in a matter of minutes Captain Briggs became convinced that the only way to save their lives was by ordering everyone into a hastily launched lifeboat. By giving the order to abandon ship, he also launched the greatest of all maritime mysteries.

On December 5, 1872, a month after leaving New York Harbor, Mary Celeste was found drifting on a calm and empty sea. The ship was in fine condition, perfectly intact with valuable cargo safely stored in her hold, but the crew and passengers had vanished. None were ever seen again.

Until now….

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Hookers

April 23, 2014

I’ve mentioned several times that Mrs. C. is the volunteer coordinator for our local police department. One of her tasks is to arrange for citizens to tour the police department. These tours are extremely popular, especially with seniors, Scouts and special needs groups. Mrs. C. and her volunteers do a stupendous job making these tours interesting, utilizing canine officers and even letting people examine the jail cells, unless they happen to be occupied. But every now and then my wife receives a comment that makes her shake her head. She recently took a call from an angry mom. The conversation went much like this:

    

Ring…ring…

    

“Mrs. Chatterbox. How may I help you?”

    

“Are YOU the volunteer coordinator for the police department, the one responsible for tours?”

    

“Yes.”

    

“Good. I want to register a complaint. I’m very upset about what happened when my six year old son toured your building with his Cub Scout troop last Thursday.”

    

“I participated in that tour and remember it well. What seems to be the problem?”

    

“Nothing unless you think it appropriate to expose small children to the harsh realities of life.”

    

“I’m sorry, but I don’t know what you’re talking about. What’s your son’s name and what does he look like?”

    

“He has blond hair, blue eyes, and his name is Donny.”

    

“Did something on the tour upset Donny?”

    

“No. Something on the tour upset ME! How dare you bring small impressionable children into contact with—hookers! What were you people thinking?”

    

My wife was nonplussed for a moment, but eventually managed to spit out, “Let me assure you that your child was not exposed to hookers. We don’t bring visitors into the cells if they’re occupied.”

    

“So you’re saying my Donny is a liar when he says an officer let him play with hookers?”

    

A pause. “Does Donny wear Spiderman shoes?”

    

“As a matter of fact he does.”

    

Mrs. C. started laughing.

    

“I hardly think this is something to laugh at.”

    

Mrs. C. did her best to compose herself. “I’d forgotten but now I remember Donny. And yes, he did have fun playing with hookers. But not in the way you’re thinking. Donny was fascinated with the hookers hanging from an officer’s work belt. Most people call them handcuffs but little Donny referred to them as hookers because they hook hands together.”

    

Silence on the phone. Finally, “Well, keep up the good work.” With that the irate mom hung up. 

 

 

     



Comments

36 Comments
Ha, that showed her. Of course a lot of hookers probably do have hookers for people who like that sort of thing.
By: PT Dilloway on April 23, 2014
Oh hahah now there's a new name for handcuffs! I'd love to take a tour of the PDX Police Dept with Mrs Chatterbox! I bet she makes it fun and interesting! Cheers!
By: Kathe W. on April 23, 2014
Hookers with hookers. She sounds like a fun mom, not!
By: LL Cool Joe on April 23, 2014
Even if little What's his name ran into an actual Hooker, all he would know is this was a bad lady who cares, this lady is an ass who is just looking to be a victim.
By: Cranky on April 23, 2014
oh this is just hilarious.....having worked with kids for over 25 years and endured their parents for the same.....I completely understand.
By: Oma Linda on April 23, 2014
bwahahahahaha!!!
By: TexWisGirl on April 23, 2014
Oh my...the intricacies of our language. I guess she 'sort of' apologized.
By: Tabor on April 23, 2014
Cute story. Cheers to Mrs. C for her quick deductive reasoning and for her good spirited volunteerism!
By: Tom Cochrun on April 23, 2014
This is a great story, Stephen. Thank you for sharing it and well done, Mrs C, for the wonderful job you do in taking care of these tours. It's amazing how different meanings for words can cause such confusion!
By: Sharon Bradshaw on April 23, 2014
Too funny! Never assume, from what a child says, what really happened!
By: mimi on April 23, 2014
A rose by any other name smells just as sweet? What would Shakespeare have to say regarding this gaffe of hookers and handcuffs.
By: Michael Offutt on April 23, 2014
I dated a girl once who had hookers, but she was scary. Funny story! ;)
By: on April 23, 2014
I can picture the dad scratching "Tour police station with Donny's Cub Scout Troop" off his wish list.
By: Val on April 23, 2014
:)
By: Fran on April 23, 2014
OMG...too funny! It reminded me of a bumper sticker I just saw yesterday: "Hookers do it on the rug." Took me a while to figure out what it meant.
By: Pixel Peeper on April 23, 2014
That is priceless and I had no idea where this post was going. Love cute surprises.
By: Akansas Patti on April 23, 2014
I took a legal education course in high school. We toured the county jail. It wasn't pretty, and we were warned in advance not to look at the men who called out to us. That's the closest I've ever come to being in jail. Love, Janie
By: Janie Junebug on April 23, 2014
This kind of mix up happens all the time. Try being a middle school teacher!
By: red on April 23, 2014
Mrs. C sure knows how to think on her feet!
By: Tom Sightings on April 23, 2014
Mrs. Chatterbox has a lot of patience, Stephen. Wow!
By: Michael Manning on April 23, 2014
Snort! Silly mother. Sweet Mrs. C.
By: Hilary on April 23, 2014
Wow. Your wife is a saint. A patient, caring, generous, helpful, and good-humored saint.
By: Lexa Cain on April 23, 2014
Funny how "crossed wires" can lead to trouble. A salutary tale!
By: John on April 24, 2014
Funny story. It's a pity the woman was unable to laugh at herself for the mistake.
By: Bryan Jones on April 24, 2014
Touche! I love how calmly she handled the situation. Hopefully that mom learned something....
By: Shelly on April 24, 2014
No wonder Mrs. C is successful at this. Someone else would have been tempted to tell Donny's mom to lighten up and maybe ask some questions before taking a 6-year-old's innocent comments for something they're not. Sheesh!!!
By: Mitchell is Moving on April 24, 2014
Ha!
By: The Bug on April 24, 2014
I wouldn't mess with the Mrs., she possess 'skills' that far exceed what mere mortals can perceive. ;-)
By: Daniel LaFrance on April 24, 2014
bwahahahahaha!!! so glad your wife was able to remember donny and his special way of expressing what he had observed!
By: lime on April 27, 2014
Little Donny needs to use his WORDS correctly and Donny' s mom needs to stay quiet.
By: Cheryl P. on April 28, 2014
Since I am a volunteer coordinator, this post made me perk up right away! And then the story was so great. Little pumpkin Donny! Ha ha, I hope Mrs C tells the officer about this one :)
By: Kianwi on May 1, 2014
FABULOUS! Congratulations on your POTW.
By: Karen (formerly kcinnova) on May 3, 2014
PS: Your wife is impressive!
By: Karen (formerly kcinnova) on May 3, 2014
came back to say congrats on your POTW!
By: TexWisGirl on May 4, 2014
Brilliant! Had me laughing out aloud. Congrats on POTW.
By: holdingmoments on May 4, 2014
Too funny.
By: Midlife Roadtripper on May 5, 2014

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