Some history: This is a prank I played on a friend's mother many years ago, back when I was 17 and living in Dallas. At the time my friend was complaining that his mother seemed concerned that he might be gay. She wouldn't come right out and ask him, but she was treating him "differently." It really annoyed him because, no, he wasn't gay- not by a long shot. No matter what he said or did around her, though, she didn't seem to be paying attention. She seemed only to hear and see what she thought were dead clues to the contrary. So he asked for my help. I called her immediately, with him standing right in front of me:

Mother: Hello?

Me: Hello, Mrs. "X", this is Mister Anson, one of the counselors at your son's high school.

Mother: Oh, my. Is there something wrong? Is my boy all right?

Me: He's fine, ma'am. It's just that... well... after much deliberation we decided that we should inform you of something very important about your son. First, we want you to remain calm.

Mother: Goodness! What is it?

Me: Ma'am, your son is a homo sapien.

Mother: (several seconds of dead air as she tried to process this) Excuse me?

Me: Your son, ma'am. He's a homo sa-

Mother: (somewhat miffed) My son isn't a homo-anything! You don't just call a woman's house and tell her something like that!

Me: I'm sorry, ma'am, but it's true. We've done a lot of research on this kind of thing. Your son is, indeed, a homo sapien. But there's more, ma'am.

Mother: More?

Me: Mrs. "X", we've found your son, many times, masticating in the cafeteria.

Mother: WHAT?

Me: And his theater teacher would like me to inform you that he's quite the thespian.

Mother: (somewhere between breaking down in tears and foaming at the mouth) WHAT THE HELL IS THIS?!?!? You call me and tell me that my son is a homosexual, he's masturbating in school and he's a lesbian??? Where the hell do you get off, pal? This kind of thing ruins a family!

Me: Ma'am-

Mother: I'm going to come right down there and yank my son out of that damn school of yours, do you hear me? And then I'm going to-

Me: Ma'am-

Mother: -sue you, personally, and all of your little lackeys. How dare you?

Me: (more forcefully) Ma'am!

Mother: What?

Me: First of all, there is nothing to be ashamed about having a homo sapien for a son. Actually, all men are homo sapiens. That's what the term means. As in homo sapiens erectus. It means human. And "masticating" means to chew, as in your son was found chewing his food in the cafeteria, which is exactly what every homo sapien does when he eats. And a "thespian" is another word for actor. Your son's drama teacher means to tell you that he's a good actor.

Mother: (several more seconds of silence as she thought about this) Really?

Me: Yes, ma'am. You really should learn how to hear what's being said to you and not what you want to hear. Your son's a good kid. We wanted to let you know.

Mother: Oh. Uhm. Who was this again?


My job was done there.
My friend never got flack from his mother again about his sexual preferences, though.