DOB is having trouble with the seatbelt in the back seat. She can’t see to reach it, can’t see to clip it on, and can’t figure out how to gently pull it out so it doesn’t catch and freeze too short. A while back, TCG fixed it. He put a paper clamp on the seatbelt at the fully-extended position. Now, it doesn’t contract before DOB can find the clip. Now, it doesn’t contract at all. Now it leaves a long loop of loose seatbelt which DOB generally sits on and then can’t manage to untangle. So, we are trying to teach her to pull the entire seatbelt outside the door, enter and sit, then reach and pull it across her girth and latch it. It might be easier to teach a cat to quack, but who’s to say?
In the following dialogue, I can only report what I hear, and between my hearing impairment and DOB’s tendency to mumble and drool her words it’s entirely possible that I am doing her conversational contributions an injustice. Then again, when I do manage to hear an entire sentence, I’m reminded that the definition we learned is that a sentence is a word, or group of words that express a complete thought. DOB is successful at completing thoughts as she is at performing rocket surgery, albeit slightly less accomplished than a detoxing drunken hobo with advanced dementia.
Backing the car out of the carport, and waiting until the worst of the struggling and mumbling in the back seat subsides
TCG: How’s it coming with the seatbelt?
DOB: Can’t quite get…. Dat dere thing… lemon meringue pie…. Ooof, ugh
UCC: Need a hand?
DOB: The whasaname? can’t find it. Adlai Stevenson... thermonuclear?
TCG: (In an undertone to UCC) Remember the airline steward who, in giving the seatbelt demo, said “If you don’t know how a seatbelt works, you shouldn’t be permitted outside the house on your own”?
UCC: Sadly, yes.
Tried to get this weekly show on the road early because I have a docent meeting tonight, the only one I never miss each year: Cadillac margaritas and pot luck. This theme of making me late is an undercurrent to today's Sushi Wednesday lunch.
TCG manages to place our sushi order without even going through the motions of asking DOB to order. Way too many obstacles to overcome to get her to read a menu, select a dish, and remember it long enough to tell the waiter, let alone to actually understand what the words on the menu mean. Or recognizing what she ordered when it's set before her.
DOB: What are you drinking?
UCC: An apple martini (which is to an appletini as an ahi salad is to a Mrs. Paul’s fish stick) Wanna taste?
DOB: (crickets amid puzzlement)
UCC: (Handing her the martini glass, safely sipped down to a level where she won’t slosh it all over the table) Have a taste.
DOB: (Taking martini glass and raising and sipping – all in slow motion) No thanks, I have my wine. Slurp, glug… while my guitar gently weeps… Mmmm….
WISIMH: Wait. What? Your guitar? Have I suddenly learned to understand DOBonics? Like I’ve heard people who immerse themselves in a foreign language report sudden bursts of clarity? This is a stage of growth I never anticipated. Might I also then be able to speak DOBonics?
DOB: (who has apparently been “talking” the whole time I’m musing with a metaphorical lightbulb over my head)… Mom never suspected it was eel…. Punic War… told her it was whitefish…. Res ipsa loquitor… slurp, glug.
WISIMH: Decoding the language doesn’t impart comprehension. The map is not the territory. The words are not the meaning. The single martini is not nearly enough.
After a few glasses of wine, the conversation between DOB and TCG takes on the familiar passive aggressive heat, burning the edges of their words in acrid smoke which is not concealed by their obligatory “heh heh” which is supposed to indicate you don’t really hate each other because you’re just kidding when you say hateful things.
TCG: If you want more wine, perhaps you’d like to consider buying lunch one of these days. Heh.
DOB: Yeah, huh?
TCG: I am a good son to take such good care of you. Make sure you tell J.
DOB: Oh, wise guy, huh? N’yuk n’yuk. I shot an elephant in my pajamas.
TCG: Angry bitch. Heh
DOB: Lamentable tragedy of the plot of Lost… more wine. What are you drinking?
UCC: The dregs of my dreams. Wanna taste?
DOB: I don't know why I'm still here... Prunes decimal tick tock.
The drive home is always the best, because of the broken-record quality of the conversation. DOB usually settles on a single question and repeats it a dozillion times. One week it was did I get enough to eat or drink, for whatever the fucking good her plaintive concerns would do me if I was still hungry. Today’s is concern for my general malaise.
DOB: Are you ok, UCC?
UCC: I’m fine mother.
DOB: Is UCC ok?
TCG: Well, she may have just voided her urine, in which case she may better now?
DOB: Ok, well… legend of sleepy hollow… matchstick pantsuit… ok?
UCC: Well, it may be not so much recently voided, as previously voided and now marinating on a hot back seat that is 99F in the shade today.
TCG: Roger that.
DOB: Then again, can’t get the …. Oofff, ghughh, ahhh… before the floorwax harvest Pinkerton. And whatnot.
WISIMH: She’s as smart as paint, only she smells worse when she dries. And of course, I am late for my meeting, stressed and pissed, with TCG saying sushi with DOB is only once a week for shit sake and can’t I just do what he wants and me explaining it’s just once a fucking year for this meeting dude and your quoty hands compromise consisting of doing exactly what you wanted in the first place hasn’t really established your generous and compassionate love so much as it confirms your complete obliviousness to what is going on here. You ask me what I want to do, and when I spell it out in perfect and simple detail (e.g. go somewhere else for lunch where the wait isn’t so long) and then you say what you want to do and then we do it your way and then you say well I asked you what you wanted to do like why am I always pissed and whatnot. Lemon meringue pie mother fuckers.
DOB: (Apparently feeling the heat radiating off my fevered brain) Are you ok dear?