Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Fish Tales and Horse Tails and Ferrets




Have you ever been to a nursing home?  There’s a guy dressed like a cowboy with a miniature guitar, singing those songs we sang in elementary school. Several female residents are clapping and singing along. A young woman, recovering from a terrible illness, is wearing a brightly colored turban and prodding a few grumpy patrons into participation. “This land is your land…” I’m visiting Mary. Mary is looking through the doorway into a kitchen. She points out that the potatoes are boiling over. Then she proceeds to kick the woman sitting next to her. They’re both about ninety-years old. “What are you doing?” I ask. Mary says, “She started it, she kicked me just before you came in.” A man in grey sweats walks by, and we both watch him pass. Wow, I think, when did I start noticing how buff eighty-year old guys can be?  The guy is super fit. Mary tells me with a little smile, “He’s my boyfriend.”  I almost fall off the couch. The freshly-kicked woman pipes up, “He is not!  He’s my boyfriend.”  Before it can turn into more kicking, Fit & Trim shoves open a door, setting off an alarm. Mary explains, “He’s just going for a walk.” Judging by the percentage of staff that race after him, I’m guessing this practice is frowned on. I hope he can outrun them all.

In the midst of this nursing home drama, sits a small but very quiet group of elderly residents. They’re glaring. You don’t dare make eye contact with a single one. It occurs to me then, they’re the curmudgeon crowd. Great, did you ever realize that there are cliques in nursing homes too?  They’re giving me that look. You know the one, “I’ve had it up to here and I’m not going to take it anymore.”  Bet they know who kicked who first. Bet they know if Fit & Trim is anyone’s boyfriend, or if he’s just running away. Doubt they’re talking though. Besides I don’t have the lady gall to even make eye contact with that veritable goldmine of chutzpah over there.

Speaking of chutzpah, Dear Hubby and I have this don’t ask, don’t tell policy regarding hunting and writing expenses. Sometimes one or the other of us will bring it up anyway, a kind of verbal kick. “How much is the Writer’s Conference in Nashville?” he asks. I’m looking at the ceiling, because that is where you have to look to do math. “Mmm, I’d have to go double-check,” I say. Then, because this is the way married conversations go, I ask, “How much is the hunting land you’re leasing this year?” To which he replies with a guilty grin and an eye roll, “Fifty bucks. I got a discount because the property used to be a meth lab.”  “Good call,” I high-five, supportive of felony clearance land. I add, “Coincidentally I think my airfare to Nashville was also…” “Fifty bucks?” he supplies. “Something like that,” I say. I like this game, but I doubt the curmudgeon crowd would approve. I suspect they’re all about facts, but that isn’t how this game is played. “What about the hotel in Nashville?” Hubby prods, to which I respond, “Did you buy a new bow and arrow?”  Married conversations are like chess games, only more fun in a dash-through-a-minefield kind of way. You did notice he kicked me first, didn’t you?  Luckily there are no curmudgeons to bear witness, and even if there were, we both know they wouldn’t talk.

Concerning unspoken policies though, the guy behind me told me to sit down seconds after a concert started. Please tell me if you disagree, but I thought if the rock star on stage is as old as your grandparents, you stand during at least part of the first song. Live music, rock concert style, is audience participation, isn’t it?  I’m not even a fan of this music. The first three songs sounded exactly the same to me. Admittedly ever since my wicked summer cold passed, one ear remains completely blocked and the other partially. Still, the only lyrics I understood were:  fish tails and horsetails and ferrets!  I started laughing. Not out loud, and I’m sitting now. We’re in the middle of a Bob Dylan concert, and I don’t want to be publicly lynched, but my inappropriate sense of humor has been ignited. Dear Hubby knows me well enough to decipher the tucked head and shaking laughter. Hopefully it looks like tears of joy to the rest of the audience. He pokes me, “Don’t you like it?”  “I love it,” I say. I mean it too. I do enjoy it, even though I’m not a fan and I’m already mentally tweaking scenes in my novel. I just like to go to concerts, even when cranky people sit behind me. Tell me though, what’s the concert rule? If I’m wrong, bring it. I always need rules in writing. If I’m right, do me a favor, tell the curmudgeons behind me?

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The Epic Slinky Dog Giveaway continues here at The Glitter Globe! They’re just flying out the door! Please follow my blog, if you haven’t already. Right over there ---à where it says “Join this site” (or Networked Blogs). And be sure to leave a comment below, for a chance at your very own Slinky Dog! For every five new followers, a random name is picked from the comment section. Every home deserves a Slinky Dog – and they’re well behaved, though they do like to stand up during concerts. Remember to check back to see if you’ve won, I will post winners here, and attempt to locate you.  If I can’t contact you, or don’t hear back within a week, I will draw another name. 

*Neither Dear Hubby or I have tat-sleeves btw, nor am I a fan, but I just have to say the colors in this pic are fabulous! Or is it just me?


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