"One of those girls must be seven feet tall."

The pink Dora lunchbox zipper broke.  As it traveled around the three sides, the zipper teeth meshed, then gaped, then meshed.  Wrote a note to the mom.  Tomorrow my student will have a new pink lunchbox for her bologna sandwich.

Dad's thinking travels around three sides alternately meshing and gaping.  Wrote a note to the doctor, but Dad will not have a new brain tomorrow.  We are going to have to deal with the unmeshed teeth, confounding gaps, and frequent leaks.  We will have to deal with it in a kind, gentle, nonconfrontational way.  Telling Dad he's full of baloney doesn't do either of us any good.  I might hum that Oscar Mayer song  as a coping device, though.

Dad was eating tuna salad and cornbread for supper, and shoveling it in pretty well, so I didn't interrupt.  Instead I wondered why my wheelchair-confined father was wearing windstop nylon jogging pants with reflective stripes down the sides.  These are NOT Dad's pants.  Maybe they belong to the seven foot girl.  Maybe Watson could shed some light here.

I was curious about the "Jeopardy" show with Ken Jennings and Watson, the IBM computer.  Dad was sufficiently glad to have my company to let me watch part of the show.  My three-sided zipper brain malfunctioned trying to explain the computer search process for natural language puns as if I understood them!

Dad was in bed staring at the billowing hospital drape in front of his open window when I arrived Monday.  His aide had opened the window to the seventy degree afternoon breeze, but left his heater set at seventy-two.  Dad seemed to think very tall girls were hiding behind the drape and wiggling it.  This is the same Dad that thinks boys are playing leapfrog behind his bed and that I am Tall Alice.  The hospital drape on its curved ceiling track is beyond his comprehension.  When I scooted the drape down the track so the wind wouldn't catch it, Dad asked where all the girls went.  "Did they just shoot straight up?"  Yes, Scotty, the seven foot tall girls beamed up!

Like Alex Trebek, quoted in Sunday's Washington Post, I'm not worried about being replaced by a computer:

"Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek isn't afraid he'll be replaced by a machine. "It's a possibility," Trebek told me recently, "but it won't happen for a few years." After all, the machine would require "infinite patience, great wisdom, a sense of humor, which is hard to build into a computer. And tenderness when dealing with contestants."

Oh, Lordy, save me from the seven foot tall girls wiggling the drape and send a double dose of tenderness for dealing with the contestant!

© 2011 Nancy L. Ruder


Kathleen said...

Kim and Kathleen here: We want you to come to Lady Camp! No, really, what we mean is we want you to come to our annual women's retreat in April. Pack your bags...in time to see us on April 15-17 in Springfield, IL, at a lovely former convent on a pretty little lake next to a nature preserve with mating snakes and goslings and wildflowers. OK? Theme: Nurturing Your Spirit (Or Whatever).

Info in this newsletter:

Or at this website:

Kathleen said...

Or...any time.

Collagemama said...

You two are too funny! On a day when I seriously considered running away to join the circus, I get an invite to watch mating snakes and goslings. I probably can't escape in April, as tempting as it sounds. I am escaping much sooner, and you will read it here first. Must pack...

Kim said...

Ok, but seriously you should come to Central Illinois and drink red wine and laugh with us in person someday. Summertime?

Collagemama said...


Christine Thresh said...

You seem to have infinite patience, great wisdom, a sense of humor, and tenderness when dealing with your dad. You are not a computer.
I think your sense of humor is the most important part.


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