Saturday, October 2, 2010

Thinking Out Loud

Last week my wife and I called our kids in Long Island explaining that we were thinking about taking an aide into the house. Understandably they were both upset and asked what it was bothering us: driving at night; the cooking; taking care of the kids (two grandchildren live with us now, boys - 11 and 14 years old); the stairs (all three bedrooms upstairs), the laundry, the shopping; what?

“No, nothing like that, it’s the packaging.”

“The what?" they asked in unison, "We thought you said, packaging.”

“We did,” I replied. “It’s the packaging.”

“Dad, is this one of your jokes?” my daughter asked.

“No, I know it sounds peculiar, but that new type of blister packaging is murder for us. Last night mother – who’s fighting a bout of vertigo, as you know – took a sleeve of Dramamine upstairs. She figured if she got up in the middle of the night and was dizzy, she would take one or two of the pills and make it to the bath room.”

“Sounds easy enough,” my daughter said.

“Well, it wasn’t that easy. Seems that the plastic cocoon holding the pill was some sort of space-age material and mother couldn’t pry out the pill. She had to get out of bed, find her heavy-duty scissors and during the procedure had to cut the pill in half to get it out. She was very upset.”

“But, Dad," my son the logical lawyer asked, “what’s that got to do with having an aide in the house?”

“Okay, so I was venting to give you an idea of the problem, but in the morning I had to open a blister pack to get a new tube of dental floss and couldn’t handle it. As I was wrestling with tearing open the package I lost my grip on the floss dispenser, which fell on the floor came apart. So I had to ask Mother for a hand because I couldn’t get the spool to unravel.

Mother, as you know is very handy and keeps a pair of needle nose pliers in her jewelry box to cope with balky clasps. So between the pliers and a tweezers she got the floss started for me. See what I mean.”

“No, not really, Dad, but hooray for Mom,” my daughter said.

“Okay, second the motion,” said my son. “But it won’t solve the problem, Dad. You and Mom don’t need an aide; you need some decent tools in the house.”

“Oh, yeah sure, counselor, what would I need besides a blowtorch and a bayonet to make it through the day?”

“Dad, look,” my smart, sensitive daughter answered. "We know you can’t handle complex tools like a saw or a pair of pliers, but maybe …….”

“I got it, I got it,” my son shouted into the phone. “How about a Swiss Army knife, that’s a tool that even boy scouts can use and it's got everything.”

“Gee, I never thought of that,” I said. “I always wanted one since I was a kid; has a can opener and everything.”

“Yeah, that’s great, Dad,” my daughter said. “You can open a can of beans if you’re stuck on the trail, but one more thing – buy two knives, Dad. One for Mom.

Epilogue: In truth, I never bought the Swiss Army knife, but I did buy another pair of needle nose pliers to keep downstairs so mother wouldn’t have to run upstairs for her pair when she had to help me with something.

Click on Gerard Meister for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

No comments:

Post a Comment