Practical Joke.

I woke up at 2am this morning, because I could hear Lois rummaging through the kitchen cabinets.  Quickly, I put on my slippers and stumbled toward her with my eyes only half open.

Me:  “What are you doing, Lois?”

Lois was full of energy:  “Well Good Morning!  How are you today?”

Me, rubbing my eyes:  “Lois, it’s only 2 in the morning, what are you doing up?”

Lois:  “Oh, I just needed a little snack.”

And that was when I fully became aware of what was happening.  There was Lois,  clothed only in a white tank top, a pair of Depends, and slippers.  But that wasn’t the strange part.  The strange part was that she had her face and her head completely wrapped up with one of her sweaters, and all I could see were the whites of her eyes.

Me:  “Um, Lois…?  Is your head cold?”

Lois:  “Well it was…but it isn’t anymore.”

Me:  “Lois, you’re going to catch a cold if you stand in front of the refrigerator in your underwear.  Can I help you with something?  What kind of a snack do you want?”

Lois:  “Oh, I don’t know…anything…PUMPKIN PIE!”

She shouted so suddenly that I jumped.

Lois laughed:  “Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you.”

Me:  “That’s okay.  Would you like whipped cream on it?”

Lois:  “Well of course whipped cream.  You can’t have pumpkin pie without whipped cream!”

Me:  “Of course not.”  I pulled everything that I needed out of the fridge, when Lois decided that she needed her pie to be heated up.  (Lois does not have a microwave, so heating anything up takes FOREVER.)

Me:  “Lois, since it’s 2 in the morning, would you mind just eating your pie cold?  Midnight snacks are always cold.”

Lois:  “But this pie is so OLD!  I could get sick if I eat it before it’s warmed up!”

Me:  “I bought the pie from Fred Meyer yesterday.  It’s not too old.  Plus, just so you know, I would give my left foot to be able to eat a cold piece of pumpkin pie right now, but I can’t since I’m on a ‘no-sugar’ diet, so I will just have to live vicariously through you.”

Lois:  “You like COLD pumpkin pie?”

Me:  “Yes I do.  It’s my absolute favorite.  Well, next to cold pizza.”

Lois looked a bit suspicious, but after she thought about it for a minute she smiled:  “Well, okay then.  For you…”

Me:  “Thank you, Lois.  One thing though…”

Lois:  “What’s that?”

Me:  “You’re going to have to uncover your mouth if you’re going to eat your snack.”

Lois laughed:  “Oh yeah, I almost forgot about that!”  I helped her to unwrap her head.

I laughed:  “You know, I didn’t want to say anything, but you should see yourself right now. (This may seem unusual, but Lois is still at a stage in her dementia where she can snap out of it with the right cues.)  You have your entire head wrapped up in your sweater, but you’re practically naked everywhere else!”

Lois felt around for her bare arms and legs and then she cracked up:  “Boy, I must be quite a sight!  You know…Sometimes I think that old age is just God playing a practical joke on us.”

Me:  “You think so, huh?”

Lois:  “Well yeah, I mean the urine alone would be enough to keep Him entertained!”


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!