When I first started to take care of Joe, Dot was recovering from a broken pelvis in an assisted living facility, so it would just be Joe and I at the house.
He was not happy about Dot being gone and it really confused him. He would ask about her every five minutes, and I would explain again and again that she would be coming home once she got stronger. The nights were pretty rough especially because he’d wake up and realize that Dot wasn’t there and he’d try to go looking for her.
One night, at about 2am, I heard Joe open the front door of the house. I jumped out of bed and took off running to find Joe outside, in the rain, in only his Depends, t-shirt and slippers (this was in the middle of winter).
Joe was trying to take off through the field to head to town. I hollered out at him, “Joe! Get back here!”
He stopped and turned around.
Me: “Where are you going??”
Joe: “I’m going to find Dot.”
Me: “It’s the middle of the night and pouring down rain! We’ll go visit Dot in the morning.”
Joe: “Well you can do what you want, but I’m heading there now…”
I realized that I needed to try a new tactic.
Me: “Joe, if you don’t come back here in 5 seconds, I’m calling the police!”
Joe stopped in his tracks and turned around slowly to look at me. “You wouldn’t do that…”
I went and grabbed the phone so that I could show him. “I’m calling the cops right now, Joe, if you don’t come back inside.”
Joe laughed, “I’m not doing anything illegal!”
Me: “Yes you are. It’s against the law for a man to run around in public in his underwear!”
Joe looked down at himself: “Is that right?! What the hell…? Where’d my pants go??”
Me: “3 more seconds til I call the police…”
Finally Joe relented and started to walk back. As he came through the door, he looked me square in the eye and said, “You really think they’d throw an old man in jail for running around on his own property?”
Me: “If he’s running around in his underwear and all soaking wet they would.”
Joe came to his senses and said, “Yeah, you’re probably right about that. Well we might as well go back to bed then. It’s cold in here! Turn the heat up, would ya?”
I think I must’ve scared him about calling the police, because he never pulled a stunt like that again. Thank God!