We attended the Thanksgiving "feast" and celebration at the assisted living place where my Dad lives. For the most part, I thought it was a nice gesture on the caretakers' part to organize this for the families of the elderly living there and them, as well. This is the same old folk's home that I crashed my big white truck into months ago. You can read about that fiasco here, if you so like.
The happy ending to that episode is that my car insurance rate didn't go up, as I expected and worried about. A small miracle. I didn't think it should have, since what I bumped into was a narrow plastic pillar that would have crumpled in the middle if a flea had hit it.
This Thanksgiving dinner, provided by the assistance living staff came, with a stiff fee. I know that the fee likely won't be going to feed the elderly there. Normally, they don't get served much to eat on a daily basis, when family isn't around. I ate dinner with Dad there one evening and we were served, apiece, five cold, hard chicken nuggets, a tiny bowl of pinto beans and a few leaves of lettuce for a salad. That's part of the reason he likes going out to eat so much. We would move him somewhere else but every other place around here is worse than they are. There's other places in the area where the old folks are desperately trying to escape out of the place by scrambling out the doors almost 24/7. Then the guards come and put them in a big bag where they are never seen again. Poof!
Just kidding on that last bit. I know it's sad. Sometimes I'm just a bastard and stuff just kinda pops out of me like a mischievous little hamster rolling about inside the hamster wheel in my head. Oops... out the door he goes.
Shortly before this "feast", Dad and I made up, apologizing with words and hugs over the moving fiasco. That particular fiasco was a four and a half week ordeal that you can read about here, if you so like. He gave me a card, a big gift and more importantly, finally looked at the pictures and DVD we had taken of our (very likely) once-in-a-lifetime cruise. It was all very meaningful to me and because of it, we are on speaking terms again.
Now Back to The "Feast"
When we walked through the door and walked towards Dad's room (I didn't know where else to go since there was a mess of bodies walking, criss-crossing and stumbling (staff, elderly, family members). Everyone seemed to be in disarray or confusion, not knowing where to go or what to do. The head caretaker and supervisor of the place was selling off raffle tickets at a table in one tightly enclosed hallway and in another there were three long tables of homemade arts and crafts that the elderly inhabitants had created. Stuff like paper towel holders, knitted tambourine-like things, little dolls and other items I have trouble describing. I think I saw one of those nutcracker things with some ancient, brown stained dentures inside it's mouth.
See this thing below? Yes, that's made out of an aluminum can. That looks like something that could have been on that table.
My advice is to not stink your dingus into this turkey's mouth, not that I thought you're a bunch of freaks who would dare think about that.*
But if you did decide on doing something like that, causing your prick to be sliced off by the sharp can's mouth opening, please videotape the event so it can be put on a website for others to enjoy and that others can laugh heartily at your stupidity. Come on! Think of others this holiday season! Be a giver!
Next, we find Dad, find our table with our name on it and sit down. All seven of us. While waiting an hour for our food, Wendy (not her real name) the supervisor is yelling loud messages, EXCITEDLY, over the intercom about people who won a spiritual train set or a gift basket full of stuff OR SOMETHING EVEN BETTER.
All aboard for a choo choo train ride to Christville, everybody! Where there's good fun to be had by all, praisin' the Lawd Almighty.
Another example of something yelled over the loud speakers:
"MR. DILLYWINKLE HAS JUST RECEIVED THE SPECIAL HOLIDAY BASKET FULL OF NON-ALCOHOLIC WINE AND CHEESE CHUNKS!"
"MISS HAMMERPILE, 93 YEARS YOUNG, HAS JUST WON AN ALL EXPENSES PAID TRIP TO OUR VENDING MACHINE DOWN BELOW WHERE THE LAUNDRY IS TAKEN CARE OF IN A TIMELY MANNER EVERY DAY BECAUSE OUR STAFF REALLY CARES ABOUT ALL OF OUR RESIDENTS LIKE THAT!"
'OH GOODNESS GRACIOUS, THIS IS TOTALLY UNEXPECTED! IT SEEMS AS IF I HAVE JUST WON A LOTTERY PRIZE. IT'S A BRAND NEW SPORTS CAR, COMPLETE WITH ALL THE EXTRAS AND A TRIP TO ROME WHERE I'LL BE VISITING AND ENJOYING THE BEAUTIFUL SITES AND WISHING ALL OF YOU WERE THERE WITH ME!"
Then she would add... "IN SPIRIT... YOU REALLY WOULD BE THERE, SHARING IT WITH ME, IN MY HEAD AND IN MY HEART. FEEL FREE TO SOB, TALK ABOUT ME IN A POSITIVE MANNER AND CELEBRATE THE FACT THAT I'M SO THOUGHTFUL AND STUFF!"
And then the supervisor might exclaim, "MRS. PEABUTTERS, "OLD NOSEY NATTY", WE CALL HER AROUND HERE, HAS JUST WON A BASKET FULL OF SOME OF THE YARN MADE CRAP THAT YOU SAW OUT IN THE FRONT LOBBY SO THAT THE KIDS OF OUR RESIDENTS AND THEIR LITTLE ONES WILL BELIEVE THAT WE CARE ENOUGH TO ENGAGE OUR RESIDENTS IN POSITIVE ACTIVITIES THAT WILL TEMPORARILY HELP THEM TO FORGET THE SECLUDED LITTLE HELL THAT THEY'VE BEEN CONFINED IN AND FORGOTTEN ABOUT UNTIL THEY DROP DEAD!"
Before the food was actually delivered from tray to table, we were verbally forced to bow our heads and give thanks by saying the exact same words that the supervisor instructed us to say. Furthering that feeling of warmth and hospitality.
When the food finally came, it tasted alright. Nothing to brag about. The dressing was square shaped and resemble a brownie. The meat, I think, was turkey. Of course, it could have been a piece of old person, like in that movie, "Soylent Green".
The appetizers to the meal consisted of a warm biscuit and a small salad. The coffee served was cold, due to them making it too early with a coffeemaker that didn't keep the coffee hot. Oh well. I was just there to see Dad, spend time with him and get to say hi to a few of his cohabitants. You never know when you might see them again. They might make a successful escape that one time out of a hundred and try going into town and experiencing "life on the outside".... oooh.... ahhh.