The scene: Your average book store deep in the heartland of America situated between a megaopolis tech store and a  high priced middle of the road clothing chain. Two unsuspecting women sit chatting over coffee and laptops as they attempt to craft the perfect novel. Ut-oh, the notification that a text message has been received. It’s from the teenager.

<where’s the vacuum?>

Those three words rank right up there with,

<how do you make coffee?>

when you’re at work and the teenager is home alone, adult supervision unavailable.

Makes me wonder if this is similar to what my husband felt the time I replaced the water softener and called him during a deployment to ask,  “How do you unsolder a pipe?”

Okay, so maybe the vacuum and coffee questions wouldn’t have  worried you , in the least, but one must consider these revelations in their entirety and impart the personality of the individuals involved. We’re talking about a teenager who thinks the vacuum is akin to a vampire and making anything for their own consumption is a mortal sin. No, I’m not making any of this up. Yes, I write fiction, but… okay, even if I am making it up, I was a bit concerned when the teenager decided they needed to use a vacuum out of left field. It blind sided me. And the coffee inquiry, well, let’s just say that, nope, we won’t even say it.

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What words or questions, delivered in  text, voice mail, or email form, send shivers down your parental spine in worry for your possessions?

What questions send you running for the quickest way home?