Saturday, April 25, 2009


Ma, Dad,and I were sitting in the doctor's waiting room. Across from us were two elderly women. Ma, per usual, nodded off and Dad and I found ourselves chatting with the two ladies.

Dad began telling the women, he was going to live until the year 2032.

"But, I think I'm going to ask Him for an extension."

"If you ask for an extension," I said, "I'll have to ask for an extension because who's going to haul you around? Wait! Who's going to haul me around?"

Thursday, April 16, 2009

In the Year 2032

During Easter dinner, Dad made an announcement.

"Y'know, I used to say I wanted to live until the year 2013, but I'm asking for an extension. I want to live until the year 2032" This would make Dad 113 years old.

With my fork poised to jam into my mouth, I said, "Yeah, but I won't be taking you to the Mahket then."

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


A few days after the milk expedition, Dad called.

"Ever since the other day, all I've been hearing from your mother is 'buh-pup-buh, buh-pup-buh, buh-pup-buh'. Like a damn broken record. Even up here, I can hear her still."

"You're up in your room?"

"I had to get away from her. I can't take it anymore."

There was a pause. A companionable silence.

"Y'know, that's another reason I don't want her in the same hole. All I'll hear for eternity is bu-pup-buh, buh-pup-buh, buh-pup-buh."

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Mahket

After weeks of being blissfully mahket free, the bathroom remodel came to and end and so had my excuses, it was time to make another expedition to the Mahket.

According to Ma, there wasn't anything to eat in the house. (Though only a few days before, they had spent $60 on groceries.) According to Dad, there is some 60 odd pounds of pasta in the downstairs bunker. I think the 24 cans of beets and the 20 loaves of bread are long gone.

When we got to the Mahket, I was hoping it would be so busy, I'd have to park in Nebraska. Any excuse to prolong having to actually go inside and help do the shopping. There was a handicap spot right in the front row.

Dad and I got Ma settled on the red scooter and she was off shoving pedestrians out of her way before I got back from stowing the walker in the car.

I found her in the dairy aisle, on the other side of the world from produce. She wanted shredded mozzarella, part skim Ricotta, cottage cheese with pineapple and she said we would have to stop at the deli so she could get some provolone.

"It's a fast(ing) week [Holy week]," she explained when I questioned all the cheese products she was buying.

"The fasting rule doesn't apply to you because you're too.." I was going to say old but the tight set of her mouth had me amend my phraseology "to over 70".

She called for a gallon of orange juice and two gallons of milk. I tried to tell her Dad should be buying these items as the basket on her cart wouldn't hold all the produce I knew she would buy. She left me in the dairy aisle arguing with myself. Effit. My reasoning wasn't going to do any good.

The deli department was backed up so Ma headed to produce and would go back to deli when she was finished. She careened around corners, banging into the cases and a couple of other shoppers. I ignored the glares as Ma seemed to be having a high old time for herself.

She fumed about the price of grapes. Seems over the weekend, grapes were 99 cents a pound. On the day of our shopping expedition, a happy sign proclaimed the price at $1.29 per pound.

"I'm so mad at your father. I told him to call one of his friends to take me shopping. I wanted those grapes, but he refused to call his friend."

A three hour shopping expedition on a Saturday and Dad could kiss that friendship goodbye.

At the meat department while offering her meat candidates for the blessing, a couple of firefighters were doing their shopping and they were talking to one of the butchers.

"We're making beef stroganoff, and we need...", said one of the firefighers, and he showed the meat man a shopping list."

Ma finished her blessing and headed over to frozen fish.

"Beef stroganoff sounds good," I said as I passed the firefighters. "What time's supper?"

"Six o'clock."

I smiled. I'd bring the Immodium.

A couple of circuit of the store, and Ma was finished with her half of the list. We hadn't caught sight of Houdini [Dad]. It's amazing how he can disappear.

We finally caught up with him over by the bread aisle. Ma's list had a notation for loaves of bread, if they were a good price.

"You can go pick out the bread you want," Ma told him. She headed over towards the bakery and a display of pies where she got stuck. Left, right, backwards, forwards, she got confused about the direction and kept slamming into the table. Of course it didn't help that two dozen other weebles suddenly appeared and they all began shouting instructions to Ma.

"Turn to the left"

"Turn to the right."

"Come forwards."

"Go backwards."

Ma kept whacking the pie table and I thought for sure it was going to go over.

Finally, I was able to wrestle the steering controls from Ma and maneuvered her out of the pie jam. I got a round of applause.

With the shopping done, I remembered Ma didn't get her provolone from the deli so I offered to run back and pick it up for her. There were a lot of people waiting and I glanced at the ticket I had to see what number I was. My ticket read October.

I tried alternating holding my breath and breathing through my mouth because next to the deli is the fish department and the fish department was reeking. I don't pretend to be an expert shopper, but I know fish isn't supposed to smell like it's rotting in the sun.

The now serving numbers weren't going down. I tried to see what the hold up was.

One woman was asking for a taste of this cheese and that cheese and a piece of ham, and then turkey. Va Napoli! She was having her lunch while the rest of us waited.

Finally, it was my turn. I ordered Ma her half pound of provolone, and raced to the front of the store where the Weebles were getting in the cashier's line. I tossed the cheese in Dad's cart.

"I'll be waiting for you at the car."

Back at the house, Ma started singing the stupid song as we unloaded the groceries.

"You bought two gallons of milk?" she yelled at Dad. "I bought the milk! You stupid..."

"You're stupid! The milk wasn't on your list. But no, you have to poke your big Arianese nose where it doesn't belong!"

As I was about to scoot out of the house, Dad thrust a gallon of milk in my hands.

"Take this home with you."

So, I went home with a gallon of milk for my trouble. The milk looked white and not brown like the meat so that was a good sign. The sell by date was ove a week away. They don't wash old sell by dates off and restamp new dates on the old milk, do they?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Your Weeble is Showing

While talking on the phone to Dad, I reminded him of The Brother's birthday.

"You might want to give him a call to wish him a happy birthday."

"Yeah, I was going to do that. How old is he?"

"Let's see. He was born in '49 so..."

"No, he was born in '59."

I laughed.

"No, Dad. I was born in '55 and he's six years older than me. So that would make him..." I paused to do the math. "Oh my gawd! He's sixty!"

"He's an old man!"

A case of the pot calling the kettle black. And I'm not that far behind.

Just for you, Kid. A picture of your role model.

Friday, April 10, 2009

My Way

The subject of the food delivery service has become a sore spot of late. Ma doesn't like the idea of someone else squeezing her tomatoes, and she doesn't like the idea of having to pay a delivery charge (even though the first 60 days delivery is free, and if she doesn't have to have her order this very minute, the delivery charge is five bucks)

As usual, Ma decided to take matters into her own hands. Remember OPD is a control issue. So Ma was going to show us and she waddled to the supermarket. According to Dad, it took a good couple of hours for her to make the two mile walk. Though you have to admire her ba...grit.

Ma did her shopping and then at the checkout told the cashier, the supermarket could deliver her order.

"They wouldn't deliver my groceries," she yelled at me during a phone conversation. She was very indignant and more so with me as if the whole thing was my fault. "I was so mad with them, I almost left the food there!"

It's hard to explain to her the food delivery service isn't really part of the supermarket though the supermarket lends its name to the service.

"After I picked out all my things and paid for them, they should have delivered my order!"

I'm pretty sure she wanted her order delivered for free, too.

"Ma, it doesn't work that way..."

"Well, it should! I want them to do it my way!"

Sing it, Frankie.