"Mama Chihuahua:
The World’s Fiercest Travel Partner"

An aggressive lap dog of a mother attacks
a mob of taxi driver

By Rachel S. Thurson


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Featured in the humor travel anthology,
What Color Is Your Jockstrap?
edited by Jen Leo
May 2006
, Travelers Tales

If my mother were a dog, she’d be a Chihuahua. Physically she looks nothing like her hair-challenged, anorexic, eye-bulging canine counterpart: She’s blessed with a Medusa-like mane of curly black hair, a curvaceous figure and sapphire eyes. It’s her behavior while traveling which makes her most like a small fighting dog: She’s impetuous, fierce, and compelled to physically assault anyone bigger than her if our personal space is invaded.

Over the years of our travels she’s frightened off a team of armedmuggers determined to procure our money belts in San Jose, Costa Rica, shamed a hash dealer out of his business in a village of the Himalayas, bluffed a charging yak in Tibet, and thwarted the advances of a smarmy Croatian policeman intent on kidnapping me and dragging me off to an uninhabited island for who knows what sort of domestic Adriatic tortures.

As a young child and before we began traveling together, I feared my mother.  She once hurled a 200-pound dresser down the stairwell at my father in a rage over a vacation dispute.  And I still remember how—during my high school years—she would embarrass me at dinner in front of dates I’d bring home. If I teased her one too many times, as teenagers are prone to do, she’d get that evil twinkle in her eye. Before I had time to escape, she would catch me, strategically place her leg behind mind, push me back, tackle me, and grind her sharp elbows into my chest until I conceded defeat.

She would cackle her alpha she-male laugh as I wriggled helplessly on the linoleum floor, winking at my potential suitor as if to say, “This is what will happen to you if you don’t treat my daughter well.”

I know from years of various public embarrassments that there’s nothing more humiliating than drooling on yourself on a linoleum floor beneath the weight of your mother in front of a date.

I used to fantasize that one day I’d have my own sweet revenge against “Mommy Dearest.” She’d be old and crippled and confined to a hand-pushed wheelchair and if she ever got out of line with me, then I’d let her go flying down a long steep wheelchair ramp, heading disastrously for a hedge. Something which wouldn’t kill her but would at least scratch her up a little and make her think twice about being such a smart ass to me.

I never expected she would become the best travel partner I’ve ever had.

After my parents’ divorce, we began traveling together as mother and daughter....


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Copyright Rachel S. Thurston 2010. All rights reserved.
Email: rachel@rsthurston.com
Last Updated November 22, 2010.