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I like to play a little game with my mother called “Married, In Jail or Dead.”

It goes like this: Mom calls me and says “Did you know a Mark Smith in grade school?”

At this point, I know this person is either experiencing some domestic milestone, in trouble with the law or dead. I get to guess which.

Sometimes I even get clippings from the newspaper in my home town describing in great detail how the girl I barely knew in seventh grade just had her fourth kid, or how the guy one grade higher than me just drove himself into a bridge embankment.

Jews worldwide should heave a sigh of relief my mother wasn’t Hitler’s mother – Hitler would have been opening envelope after envelope of newspaper clippings about old classmates. Some of which I’m sure didn’t want to be found.  I can hear her now: “Adolf, didn’t you go to camp with a Harvey Katz?”

Mom has appointed herself Sea Isle City, New Jersey’s Minister of Communication, and thanks to her, not one obscure ex-classmate has made a move in 30 years that I did not know about.

My mother invented Facebook without even knowing it.

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