The Evil Cap.

Joe was looking at the photos on the refrigerator while I was cooking dinner tonight. He reached for one of the pictures so that he could get a closer look at it, and two of the magnets that were holding it up fell on the floor. When Joe bent down to pick up the magnets he lost his balance, and without any warning he fell down and landed with a huge THUD.

I rushed over to him and said, “Oh no, Joe! Are you okay? Did you hurt yourself??”

I was so relieved to hear him giggling as he picked himself up off of the floor. “Holy smokes! I fell down!”

I said, “I know! Are you hurt?”

Joe: “No, no, I’m fine.  I landed right on my ass and there’s enough padding there.”

I helped Joe get back to his feet, and once he was standing again he said, “My hat knocked me over!”

Me: “Your hat?”

Joe took his ball cap off of his head and handed it to me. “Feel how heavy this damned cap is!”

I took his hat and examined it. “It just feels like a normal ball cap to me.”

Joe: “Oh no. That hat is HEAVY! It can knock a grown man right on his ass!”

Me: “I guess we’d better get rid of the hat then, huh?”

I took his hat and put it in the coat closet. “Is that better?”

Joe: “Yes. We will all be much safer now.”


We finished up lunch today and Joe said, “Well…I guess I’d better head off to work.”

Dot:  “You don’t work anymore, Joe.”

Joe:  “What do you mean I don’t work anymore?”

Dot:  “You’re retired.”

Joe was defiant:  “Retired?  I’m not retired!”

Dot:  “Oh yes you are.  You’re 92 years old!  That’s too old to work.”


Joe:  “Well maybe you’re too old, but I’m not!”

Dot:  “We’re both too old.”

Joe:  “Well, you can do what you want, but I’m going to work.”

Dot:  “What kind of work are you gonna do?”

Jo:  “You know…The usual.”

Dot:  “So you’re going to sit on the couch and read the newspaper?”

Joe:  “Is that my usual?”

Dot:  “Yeah.  You sit around the house and nap off and on while these young girls wait on you.”

Joe:  “Well that sounds pretty good.  Guess I’d better get to it…”

What Wedding?

I asked Joe and Dot if they had a nice time at their grandson’s wedding over the weekend.

Joe: “What wedding?”

Dot:  “Aaron’s wedding.  Remember we drove for three hours one way and the caregiver got car sick on the way home and threw up in a McDonald’s cup…?”

Joe cracked up, “Oh yeah, I remember the lady puking, but I don’t remember any wedding…”

Dot:  “Well, we went to our grandson’s wedding and you were there.  You had to have a BM in a Honey Bucket.”

Joe:  “I had a BM in WHERE?”

Dot:  “A Honey Bucket, you know, those portable toilets that construction workers use?”

Joe:  “I was doing construction…?”  Dot rolled her eyes and looked at me to help her out.

I said, “No, you weren’t doing construction, you just had to go to the bathroom in one of those outdoor toilets.”

Joe giggled:  “So, in other words, I was constructing a BM…?”

I laughed and replied, “Exactly!”

Joe looked over at Dot:  “Did your hair look like that?  At our grandson’s wedding…?”

Dot:  “Like what?”

Joe:  “Like it looks right now.  Like a poodle who licked a light socket!”

Dot felt her head:  “Oh yeah.  I got this damned perm and I HATE it!”

Joe:  “Well, what’d you get it for then?”

Dot:  “I didn’t mean to.  Toots just used tighter rollers than usual and then my head got all sweaty during the long drive and made my hair get all kinked up.”

Joe:  “I’ll say…you can’t even see any hair!”

Dot:  “Yes you can too see my hair.  Here, feel it!”

Joe felt it:  “Yep, it’s hair all right…but it looks more like yarn.”

Dot:  “Well it’s not yarn.  It’s hair.”

Joe:  “You could-a fooled me!”

I decided to try to change the conversation:  “Boy, the weather sure is nice today, isn’t it?”

Dot:  “Oh, the weather was just beautiful at Aaron’s wedding!”

George:  “What wedding…?”

The Pocket Knife Cure.

Joe’s brother, Bert and Bert’s wife, Mildred, stopped by for a visit the other day.  When they walked in, I noticed that Bert had some kind of a boil or goiter or something on the side of his face but I didn’t say anything.  Joe was napping in his chair when they arrived and just kind of woke up off and on during their visit.

I told Bert that I could definitely see a family resemblance between he and Joe and Bert said, “Yeah, but we all know who’s the handsomer of the two…”

Joe didn’t even open his eyes when he said, “Yeah…ME.”

I asked our guests if I could get them anything, like coffee or tea, or something sweet…

Bert perked up right away:  “Got any ice cream?”  I smiled and said, “Now I DEFINITELY see a family resemblance.”

Everyone laughed.

We had a really nice visit, and before they left Bert nudged Joe to wake him up to say goodbye.  “Bye Joe.”

Joe:  “Yeah, bye Bert.”  Joe opened his eyes for a minute and said, “What the HELL is that thing on your face!”

Bert looked kind of self conscious for a second, “I’m not sure what it is.  I guess I’d better go see a doctor…”

Joe:  “You don’t need no doctor!  Just use your pocket knife to hack it off!”

Bert:  “Already tried that.”

Joe:  “Well you’d better try again cuz that thing’s gonna scare some folks.”

Dot:  “Oh Joe, leave him alone…”

Joe:  “I’m just sayin’…It’s not making you any prettier, that’s for damned sure!”

Bert chuckled:  “Thanks Joe.  I’ll keep that in mind.”

As I walked our guests to the door I told Bert, “You really should see a doctor.”

Bert just winked at me and said, “I’m going next week.  Can’t let Joe have a leg up on me in the looks department…”

No Such Luck.

Dot went out clothes shopping with her daughters a couple of weeks ago, and when she came home she was just dying to show me what she bought.

Joe was napping in his chair, so we sneaked past him with her Nordstrom bags in tow.

Dot whispered, “Don’t tell Joe that I got new clothes.  He always hated it when I went shopping…”  I assured her that I wouldn’t say a word.

When we got back to her bedroom, Dot started to pull out each item and hold it up to herself, explaining which shirt she could match with which pants. It was very cute to see how excited she was about it all.  She specifically had to show me which outfit that she would be wearing to her grandson’s wedding.  Of course I ooh-ed and aah-ed over everything.

When she got to her last bag she said, “All that’s in here are my undergarments, and you’re probably not interested in seeing those…”

I replied, “Not unless you’re dying to show them to me.”

She giggled like a school-girl and said, “Well, there is one thing…”

The next thing I knew, Dot was holding up a pair of silky leopard print underwear.  That’s right, I said LEOPARD PRINT underwear.

My eyes got big and I said, “Wow!  Now those are something!”

“A girl’s gotta do, what a girl’s gotta do to keep her husband’s attention…”

I just about died from shock when she said that, and Dot laughed at the expression on my face.  That was when I heard Joe walk up behind me and say, “What’s going on in here…?”

Dot stuffed her underwear back in the bag and said, “Oh nothing…”

Joe craned his neck in the bedroom and said, “Looks to me like somebody did some shopping…”

Dot pointed at me and said, “SHE did it!”

Joe looked at me and I just smiled and said, “Yeah, it was time for me to go out and get my summer wardrobe.”

Joe smiled from ear to ear.  “Oh, ok…  Can one of you girls point me to the Loo?”

“It’s right behind you there, Joe.”  I said.

Joe:  “Funny, that’s exactly where the bathroom was in my other house…”

Dot and I both smiled at him and nodded.  We both knew that this was the same house he’d lived in for over forty years.

After he went into the bathroom, Dot said, “That was a close one!”

“It sure was.”  I said, as I tried to erase the image of the leopard print underwear from my brain.

No such luck.

Who is that girl?

Joe essentially has no short term memory at all, so he never remembers my name, and if I leave the room for a few minutes and come back, he is totally surprised to see me.

Lately he has been talking about me a lot behind my back, but of course I can always hear him.  The conversation goes like this:

Joe:  “Who is that girl?”

Dot:  “She takes care of you.  Her name is Whitney.”

Joe:  “What do you mean, ‘she takes care of me’?”

Dot:  “Well, she helps you with stuff…”

Joe:  “What stuff?”

Dot:  “Like getting dressed and taking a shower.  She cooks for us too!”

Joe:  (defiantly)  “Well I don’t need any help.  She should be helping YOU!  You’re the one walking around all crippled up with a cane…”

Dot:  “Yeah, well…she helps both of us.”

Joe:  “Well I still don’t like it…not one bit!”

Dot:  “You should be thankful, Joe!  If it wasn’t for Whitney, you wouldn’t get to have any ice cream…or cookies!”

Joe:  (shocked)  “Is that right?”

Dot:  “Yes.  She spoils you.”

Joe:  “Well, I guess we’d better keep her on the payroll then…”

The Doorbell.

I was helping Joe get into the shower the other day, and he was so confused as to why he had to take his clothes off.

Joe:  “But…if I take my underwear off, I’ll be naked.

Me:  “Yep, that’s true.”

Joe:  “Well…what if we get visitors?”

Me:  “I will holler out the door to them that we’ll be out in a minute.”

Joe:  “What if the doorbell rings and I have to answer it?”

Me:  “I will answer the door since I’m the one with clothes on.”

Joe:  “Oh…well, ok.  I guess it’ll all work out then.”

Me:  “Yep, it will all work out just fine.”

Joe:  (grinning) “Well then…Here I go…gettin’ naked…”

I turned the shower on and adjusted the temperature while Joe was taking off his Depends.

The next thing I knew, Joe had opened the bathroom door and was headed out to the kitchen.  Dot was sitting at the table eating her Raisin Bran…

Joe:  (big grin)  “Hi Dot…”

Dot looked over at him and said, “Hi Joe.”

Joe: (with his hands on his hips and swaying from side to side) “Notice anything different about me?”

Dot:  “Yeah, you’ve gained some weight.  You’re eating too much ice cream.”  Then she went right back to eating her Raisin Bran.

Me:  “Come on, Joe, it’s time to get in the shower.”

Joe looked so disappointed when he said, “Dot didn’t even notice I was naked.”

Me:  “Oh I’m sure she noticed.”

Joe:  “She didn’t seem very surprised.”

Me:  “Well that’s probably because you weren’t showing her anything that she hadn’t seen before.”

Joe:  (laughing)  “Yep, you’re right about that.”

He looked around to make sure that no one was listening and quietly said, “We’ve got 4 kids you know…”

(Actually, they only have 3 kids…)

I laughed and said, “Yep, I did know that.  How about you get in the shower now?”

Joe:  “Oh yeah!  Now I remember why I was naked!”  And he happily stepped into the shower.

Then the doorbell rang…


Dot told Joe this morning that he doesn’t need to go to church anymore.

Joe: “Who says?”

Dot: “Father John said so. He said that you’re old enough now and that God doesn’t require you to go to services anymore.”

Joe: “I’m not that old…”

Dot: “You’re 92 now Joe. You’re too old to sin…”

Joe laughed:  “Too old to sin? How can someone be too old to sin?”

Dot: “Well, anyhow we’re not going to church anymore. The Father will give us Communion at home from now on.”

Joe: “I’ll give you ‘too old to sin’…goddamn, jesus christ, sonofabitch…”

Dot: “Are you finished?”

Joe grinned:  “I guess so…”

Dot: “Are you sorry for saying those things?”

Joe still grinning: “No, not one bit…”

Dot: “Well, maybe we should continue going to church then…”

Joe: “That’s what I thought…”

Anderson Cooper.

We took Joe to see Toots today.  Toots is the one and only hair stylist in town.  Joe can’t even remember my name after working here for more than six months, but if I tell him that he looks like he’s about due for a haircut he grins and says, “Guess we’d better go see Toots.”

Toots is kind of a big deal around here.

As it goes with any barber shop in a small town, the gossip began before Joe even took his coat off.  I helped Joe sit in the barber’s chair, and then I found a seat and happily began reading “People Magazine” while I listened to Dot and Toots share their local gossip.  Joe just sat in his chair as quiet as could be and admired himself in the mirror.

Toots told Joe that he’s got a nice head of hair while she snipped away and he just grinned.

Toots said, “You’re lucky, Joe.  Most men your age would give their left arm to have your head of hair.”

Joe giggled and said, “If they gave up their arm…Well that just wouldn’t do them any good at all!  How would they comb their hair?”

Toots swatted him playfully and said, “It’s just a figure of speech.”

Dot:  “You know who wears a hair-piece…?  That Anderson Cooper.”

Toots:  “No, I don’t believe it!”

Dot:  “It’s true…I read that somewhere.  Just the front part of his head, and you can’t even tell because it looks so natural.”  Dorothy thought for a moment and said, “I wonder if that Anderson Cooper is married…?”

Toots:  “Anderson Cooper?  I’m pretty sure he’s gay, Dot.”

Dot:  (sharp intake of breath) “Oh no, no no…he’s definitely not gay.”

Toots:  “I’d have to Google it to be sure, but I’m almost positive that he’s gay.  All the good looking ones are, you know…?”

Joe piped in then and said, “Well that can’t be…”

Dorothy:  “Oh Joe, you don’t even know who we’re talking about…”

Joe:  “I do too.  Toots just said ‘all of the good looking men are gay’ and I said ‘that can’t be…”

Toots:  “Oh no?”

Joe giggled and said, “Nope…cuz I’m not gay.”

Toots:  “I stand corrected, Joe.”

Joe settled back into his chair, entirely pleased with himself while the rest of us laughed at his joke.

Dot:  “Well I just don’t see how Anderson Cooper could be gay…he’s on a news channel!  CNN I think…”

Toots:  “Believe it or not, Dot, gay people CAN report the news…”

Dot rolled her eyes and shook her head in disgust.

Joe just giggled and teased Dot:  “Does that make it ‘gay news’?”  Dot, what are you doing watching gay news!”

Dot:  “Oh Joe, SHUSH!”

Strange Bedfellows.

It was a rough night last night with Joe.  He’s usually a good sleeper, but for some reason he just kept waking up every 15 minutes, between the hours of 1am to 3am.  The caregivers sleep upstairs and we keep a baby monitor in his room so that we can hear him if he gets up during the night.  So at 1 in the morning, this is what I hear:

Joe:  (shuffle, shuffle, shuffle)

Dot:  “Where are you going, George?”

Joe:  “I’ve gotta find my horse.  He ran off!”

Dot:  “You were just dreaming.  Go back to bed…”

Joe:  “You want me to just let my horse run away?”

Dot:  “There’s no horse, George.”

Joe sees me walking down the stairs:  “Here comes that lady.  Maybe SHE will help me find my HORSE!”

Me:  “Hi Joe.  It’s the middle of the night.  Let me help you back to bed…”

Joe:  “I can’t go back to bed without my horse!”

Me:  “I think I saw your horse go into your bed…”

Joe:  “The horse is in my BED?  How the hell did I not notice that?”

Me:  “Yep.  Here he is, let me show you…”  I lead Joe back to his bedroom.  “See?”

Joe:  (giggles) “Well by-golly, you were right!”

Me:  “Here, let me help you get out of your wet clothes before you get back into bed…”

Joe:  (noticing how wet he was) “Well, how the HELL did I get so wet??”  Joe looked at the bed and said, “Did that damned horse climb into my bed after he was running around outside in the rain again?”

Me:  “It sure looks like he did…”

Joe:  “Oh well.  It’ll dry.”

I changed his pajamas and sheets, tucked him in and went back upstairs.

15 minutes later…

Joe:  “Well old boy, you ready to go for a ride?  Just wipe your feet off before you get back into bed this time…”

(shuffle, shuffle, shuffle)