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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Train Sets and Baskets of Stuff

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.*

*snicker

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!"

Or another:

"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!"

Or another:

'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.

26 comments:

Gorilla Bananas said...

"we were verbally forced to bow out heads and give thanks by saying the exact same words that the supervisor instructed us to say"

Glad to hear you're on good terms with your dad, but why didn't you tell the supervisor to go and fuck himself? You were paying for the meal, right? I'd like to shit in the mouth of that can.

klahanie said...

Hi Kelly,
Although you instilled a touch of humour in your story; I sense a bit of an underlying tone of sadness for the situations that occur within the assisted living place.
Yet, the good news is that you have managed to work through some of the anxiety that happened during the time you helped move your dad. It's heartening to know that the two of you are getting along better.
That's a most positive step in the right direction.
Have a peaceful week, my friend.
Gary.

Static said...

I also charge a stiff fee and have a big bag I can make people disappear with. I was only try to help an elderly woman escape the nursing facility...if only my plan and subsequent escape at the airport worked the way I'd planned it.

Damned nosy gropey TSA. What'd they think I was gonna do. Blow up an airplane with a flatulent 90-year-old woman? SOYLENT GREEN IS DEAD NURSING HOME PEOPLE!

MartyrMom said...

I don't think I realized your move for your dad was to an assisted living facility.

That is where I spent 15 years nursing. You stay on top of them and your dad will get good care.

Believe it or not, not all places are like that but finding a good one is really hard.

I loved that Soylent Green and feel that should be our next move to lower our population.

bazza said...

A moving post Kelly but ultimately a good outcome. I couldn't get Springfield Retirement Castle out of my mind while reading it.
Eating people is wrong!

LilPixi said...

I know that's a tough situation. Good to hear you & your dad patched things up. The turkey can thing killed me.

THE SNEE said...

Hi Kelly, I had to dig through your archives in order to understand what you went through with your dad. You're a resilient person Kelly with a fantastic sense of humor, and a gift for creating pathos. I'm glad that you made up, even if a mystery turkey dinner probably didn't exactly hit the mark. Turkey does have the benefit of inducing somnolence which could be good in a rest home I suppose.
Happy Thanksgiving Kelly! I'm sure glad they aren't offering soylent green up in the supermarkets as a meat alternative for the holiday.

Kelly said...

Gorilla Bananas- We weren't really verbally forced. I was partially kidding by that. With that line... IT JUST SEEMED we were forced in a way because when she said,"Let's everyone bow our heads, before our evening meal and say a prayer". Everyone around us did so as if they were in a church during a Catholic mass... Which I know plenty about since I went to parochial school for eight years and actually thought about becoming a priest for awhile.

That's last bit is even more bizarre than anything else I could write and it's true. And no, our dad paid for the meal, five bucks a head and wanted to do it for everyone as a gesture of kindness for how he treated us during the 'moving fiasco', which I mentioned.

If you should shit in the turkey can's mouth, I advise you to use a funnel of appropriate size or you're not going to hit the mark. :) Also: The supervisor is a she. Good day, Sir, Pleasant evening.*

*buuurrrrrp!

Kelly said...

klahanie- Yeah, there is some of that sadness. In some places more than others. And some of that sadness comes from the fact that the kids of some of these old folks don't bother to visit them, too. Dad likes the staff there and they treat him well and are nice to him. He's just had run-ins with the supervisor because of his bull- headedness. But she's equally that way, too. She's the one in charge of portions during dinner time there.

Every other place around here is a lot worse than this assisted living place. Hell, don't get me started on the nursing homes around here. That's where the elderly really try to escape. I heard them screaming everywhere when I first walked in, for any kind of help, to see my wife's grandmother visit after visit in 6 different nursing homes. I hope we never have to move Dad in one of those. That would be incredibly sad.

Yeah, Dad gave me a birthday card with some very heartfelt things written inside it. It touched me. He detailed how proud he was of me and how he was wrong for trying to change who I was and so on. My sister, her kids, husband, my wife and I wanted to go to this dinner for Dad.

And like Porky Pig said in the Loney Toons cartoons..."Thu...Thu...Thu... THAT'S ALL FOLKS!"

Kelly said...

static- So you want to sort of be like Santy Claus. Instead you bag up the old grannies and grampies and take 'em all off to the "Soylent Green" factory where they make the "Old Geezer Fuitcakes" for the homeless. What a good deed!

Keep attempting to make good with your plan. I'm crossing my testicles for ya. Wait. That didn't sound right.

Kelly said...

MarytrMom- Yeah, that's true. My biggest beef with them is the portion size they give Dad. Maybe they're regulated about that in some way. My sister said she was looking into that. Before Dad got his driver's license re-instated at the BMV, my sis and I would take turns taking him out to eat. He likes to eat a whole lot. The man has an endless pit for a stomach. Sometimes he would take a cab and eat at 3 restaurants during the day. He was always a big eater. On the other hand, the assisted living place gives out tiny portions. It wouldn't matter if he was a big eater, in the first place.

You're correcto-mundo about Soylent Green. I could feed everyone for a month! lol. Bring on the people crackers! woo hoo.

Kelly said...

bazza- Eating people is right! I just took a big bite out of my wife's arm and told her it needed more garlic.

The castle in which speak of is a castle of which I know not.

Behold!

Kelly said...

LilPixi- The turkey can thing looks like it's having an orgasm.

It's going, "OOOOOOHHHHH Drink Me!"

Thanks for saying that first part. :)

Kelly said...

THE SNEE- Thank you, Rebecca! I try to be resilient. It's tough with all the factors that go into taking care of a normally verbally abusive father. But he surprised me when he came over to my place and we made up. The card he wrote in had a lot of meaning with what it said beforehand and what he wrote inside it, himself.

The 'mystery turkey dinner' gave me a humorous subplot to this story. The constant barrage of announcements over the loud speakers were annoying as shit, though. :) I'm just happy it ended on a positive note and we had a decent time. We stayed awhile, afterwards, to talk with Dad and some of the staff.

Sir Tom Eagerly said...

Growing old can be a pain Kelly. If I knew I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself.
Cheers!

Kelly said...

Sir Tom Eagerly- Well... Now you know, Mister Eagerly... So I'll be expecting your medical updates sent here every month so I can make sure you're staying on the track of good health and clean living...

just like me. hahahahaha... sorry, couldn't keep a straight face with that one.

Alpha Za said...

dude, I'm totally getting a robot caregiver that looks like Scarlett Johansen when my kids shove me in a old persons place.

I did find your post highly entertaining.

Kelly said...

Alpha Za- That sounds like the best plan I've heard so far. Although, I don't have kids, I will pay a robot maker to create a Kate Beckinsale robot for me. She'll be in a tight, black outfit like the one in "Underworld" and she'll have this really nice, high powered suctioning mouth.

What fun we'll have, her and I. Thank you for the idea!

Static said...

@ Kelly: you're right. That did not sound right. But you always know what to say and the right way to say it. 'Cause that's what friends are for. Have a Happy Thanksgiving! =)

Kelly said...

Static- Damn straight, I do. lol. Hey man, you have a Happy Thanksgiving, too. Don't forget to make a wish with that turkey's wish bone. If you don't, his ghost will come back to haunt you.

Gobble, gobble

Static said...

@ Kelly: Don't you worry about that. I gave that Soylent Turkey a wish bone it'll never forget when I fucked it sideways. My mystery turkey dinner consisted of John and Agnes--who were on their way out anyway 'fore I bagged 'em up and threw 'em in the ol' meat grinder and made spam with them.

Kelly said...

Static- Good for you. I always prefer fucking my Soylent Turkey upways, while fisting two midget chicks on either side of me- just for extra good luck. But as long as your wish cums true, who cares? I bet that John and Agnes Spam had "a little kick" to it.

Static said...

@ Kelly: I hear ya. Oh yeah, that John and Aggie Spam had a lil kick to it alright..tasted just like chicken.

Kelly said...

I bet. Doesn't almost every kind o' animal taste like chicken? Well, except aborted fetuses. They taste like sweet potatoes.

Static said...

=| ...not if they're fresh.

Kelly said...

They taste great when cooked in 350 degree oven, drizzled over with a little cinnamon butter.

Just ask Chef Ramsey!

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