Saturday Night Cleaver (A Barbara Marr Murder Mystery #4)

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Book: Saturday Night Cleaver (A Barbara Marr Murder Mystery #4) by Karen Cantwell Read Free Book Online
Authors: Karen Cantwell
find your doctor. I’ll be back in a minute.”
    His dedication to his mother was heartening, but I couldn’t help but reminisce of the birth of our first child when a less attentive Howard spent two hours positioning the chair in the labor and delivery room so it would face the TV at just the right viewing angle. Fine, I’m probably exaggerating. It was probably more like forty-five minutes of chair positioning time. The next two hours were spent, with his back to me, cheering on the Redskins while I lay there, contracting painfully every six minutes and not dilating an iota. Where was his concern then, when I needed ice chips and foot rubs? But no, I’m not bitter.
    “Mama,” I asked during Howard’s exit, “what happened?”
    “Barbara! Thees is so funny! Your mama and me,” she pointed to my mother whose presence I purposely ignored, “were getting our pencils and pads of paper ready in the art classroom for the drawing of the figure.” She giggled so hard she had to stop talking. Once she regained her composure, she continued, but still very giggly. “Thees figure, is a man, and well, he dropped off his robe and right there this close to my face...” she placed nearly kissing index finger and thumb out for me to indicate the very minor distance, “...was his prącia !”
    “That’s his penis, dear,” my mother explained.
    I cringed and my body tightened, the whole boy-in-the-doctor’s-office trauma flashing before my eyes. I continued to ignore her.
    “You’re right, Mama,” I said soothingly, “that is a funny story, but what about your heart?”
    “Well, I had this pain, right here,” she indicated her chest, “shooting in me. You know, when I was looking at the prącia .”
    “The penis,” said my mother, the educator.
    The time for ignoring had ended. I spun around so fast that if my head hadn’t been attached it would have flown off and landed in China. “I know what a prącia is, Mom!” I yelled.
    “It’s true, Diane,” said Mama more seriously now. “She knows the prącia . She found one in the woods yesterday.”
    Thankfully for my mother’s safety, Howard returned with the cardiologist who explained that Mama Marr had not experienced a coronary episode, but a gastric one, most likely brought on by a combination of the beans and spicy chilies in her burrito bowl from Olé Olé, a popular Tex Mex restaurant on the outskirts of Rustic Woods.
    I was incredulous. “You ate Mexican food?”
    “Your mama said I should be more for the adventure and I agree. It was very good, this burrito bowl. So, what’s a little gas, no?”
    Content that his mother was, in fact, as healthy as a horse, Howard asked if she would excuse him, me, and my mom for a couple of minutes. We convened outside near the nurses desk. “Diane, can you take my mom back home and keep an eye on her for an hour or two? Barb and I have something we need to do.” I assumed he meant rummaging through Colt’s car, since that had been next on our agenda prior to the Mama Marr Tex Mex acid reflux fiasco.
    “Absolutely!” she gushed, as if she wasn’t at all responsible for the hospital visit to begin with. She patted his hand. “I’ll take good care of her.”
    I was beginning to wonder if that was true.
    Just then a nurse appeared out of nowhere. “Diane!” A warm, broad smile tore across the nurse’s face and she swooped in for a hug. “It’s so good to see you!”
    My mom hugged her back. “You too, Martha. I’ll be seeing you next Tuesday. Tell Wendy I said, ‘Hi.’”
    “Will do,” answered the nurse. She stood, looking expectantly for an introduction.
    My mother picked up the hint. “Martha, this is my daughter Barbara and her husband Howard. This is Martha, one of the nurses in the pediatric NICU.”
    The look on my face must have registered my misunderstanding of the word. “Neo-natal intensive care unit,” explained Martha the very nice nurse. “Your mother volunteers several times a week.

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