Today is my mother’s birthday, so I figured I would tell you a little story about her, in her honor. (Plus, it’s getting late, and I can’t think of anything else to write about at the moment.) Happy Birthday, Mom!

I’ve told this story before, so forgive me if you’ve heard it.

Once upon a time, long, long ago – sometime in June 2000 – I went to my mom’s house for dinner. Meal concluded, my daughter and stepfather left the table, leaving my mother and I alone. Here’s how the conversation went:

Mom: Something’s going to happen on August 29th.

Me: What? To whom?

Mom: I don’t know.

Me: Something good or something bad?

Mom: I don’t know.

Me: Where is this something going to happen?

Mom: Don’t know that, either.

Me: (Ever the skeptic) Ok, so you’re telling me that on August 29th, something that might be good or might be bad is going to happen to someone somewhere? Way to go out on a limb there with your prediction.

Mom: (With that “mom” look in her eye that means, “Shut up now, if you want dessert.”) Look, I don’t know. I just feel like I’m supposed to tell you about it. That’s all I know.

Since I did want dessert, I shut up. The conversation turned to other subjects and mom’s “prediction” was all but forgotten.

Several weeks later, I arrived home from work after a long day at an out-of-town meeting. It was hellishly hot outside, and I’d had quite a long drive home through rush hour traffic, in a car without air conditioning. I wanted nothing more in life than a cool shower…and maybe a nap. But first, I stopped by my PC to check my email.

Glancing through my messages, one in particular caught my eye. I opened it up and began to read.

“Congratulations! You are the grand prize winner in the X-Files X-Props Summer Sweepstakes. As you may recall, the grand prize is a trip for 2 to Los Angeles, California to visit the set of the X-Files…”

Huh. This couldn’t possibly be real, could it? I mean, yes, I did vaguely remember entering the sweepstakes, but no one ever really wins those things, do they? I picked up the phone and dialed my mother. “Listen to this email I just got…”

After reading her the email, I asked, “What do you think? Is this for real, or is it just some kind of marketing ploy?”

“I don’t know,” she said. “But I hope for your sake it’s real. It sounds great!”

After a few minutes, we ended the call. I was in the middle of reading the email through for the 3rd or 4th time when my phone rang. Without preamble – and sounding VERY smug – my mother asked, “What’s today’s date?”

It was August 29th. And yes, I did win the grand prize.

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