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Friday, June 3, 2011

Bob's Not Supposed to Drink Pop

Again, I will be re-posting until Monday. With just under 1100 pieces from which to choose now, I'm hoping it's not one you've already read.

The songs from my commute, however, are indeed from this morning.



Ladies and gentlemen, inboards and outboards, having made it to the end of another fabulously fulfilling week, we find ourselves subjected, once more, to my benighted ideas regarding clairvoyance.

Do I mean these things? Do I honestly believe that my iPod, set on shuffle, delivers the tools necessary to divine the weekend’s properties?

Sure! Why not!

Shhhh. Let's listen:

Hollywood Swinging by Kool and the Gang
Five on the Five by The Raconteurs
Fame by David Bowie
Time to Pretend by MGMT
Hand and Mouth by Nomo *
A Perfect Twist by Mike Patton
Deft Left Hand by Babyshambles

See that? Things are going to be all right. There may even be some dancing! As usual, however, and as my father suggests, you'll want to continue to avoid the heroin.

iPod predictions are inexact and not to be used for the purposes of gambling.

And now, another story.


Mary has a soft spot for people.

The little weirdo really likes them.

Want to laugh until you fall over? She’s your gal. Lonely? Same person. Afraid that weird woman at the bar is going to come after you when you head for your car?

As she's fond of saying, “Is this a private fight, or can anyone join in?”

And I tell you that to tell you this: Mary’s been visiting an ex-coworker’s elderly mother.

Once a week, Mary takes the bus - and now, in the summer, her bike -- to the nursing home to check on Rose.

It is possible, on some days, that Rose believes Mary is a daughter. And isn’t she? Like a good girl, Mary brings her little treats: flowers, sugar cookies, stories, her full attention.

Rose is not the only person in the home, of course, and Mary knows most of them, brings them jokes and smiles, teases them.

She left her purse and a bag containing a gift – a two-liter bottle of root beer – in the common room the other day while she went to go get Rose. Rose likes a glass of root beer after lunch and dinner.

It aids in her digestion, she says.

When she came back, however, the root beer was out of the bag and in the hands of Bob.

Bob, an 84-year-old man no longer allowed pop due to his diabetes, is almost half-way through the bottle.

“Bob! Drop the pop!”

Bob may be 84, but he’s still taller than Mary; and having found the treat, he is not to be denied. He shakes his head “no” vigorously, droplets of root beer flying, his moustache holding shiny, fragrant beads of the forbidden treat.

“Mph mphh,” he mumbles, his cheeks full to the point of explosion. Bob looks like an elderly, trumpet-free, and guilty Dizzy Gillespie.

Luckily, Mary happens to be fluent in Mumble. “You are too!”

Bob lifts the bottle to his lips, chugs root beer as Mary jumps up and down, swats at his arms. “You know you’re not supposed to have pop, Bob!”

Root beer runs down his chin and onto the front of his shirt as he swallows.

“I’m not,” he challenges between swallows. “I’m not having pop.”

“Oh my God, Bob, you liar,” Mary teases him. “You’re not drinking pop? Right now? You’re not drinking pop?”

“Nope,” Bob says around a mouthful. “Not allowed pop.”

The nursing home authorities are called in, of course – “He looked so happy, but I knew he wasn’t supposed to have it” – and the mostly-finished bottle is wrested from his happy, sticky hands.

Mary reports that Bob harbors no ill will against her.

And he’s the first one at the door when she visits now.


* So groovy. Let's get in the car and just drive...

21 comments:

powdergirl said...

I enjoyed this as much this time as I did the first : )

Mary is a kind soul, and the world sees a dearth of kindness.

Sitting on a friends deck as their two teen-agers were heading to their car.
"Stay off the phone" called their Mother.
"Stay off the crack" called I.
Why yes Pearl, they did look at me askance, hah.
I'll be adding "continue to avoid the heroin" to the list of things I tell teen-agers.

Drake Sigar said...

I think you should just skip the middle man and focus on obtaining a device which wipes out our memories, that way you could repeat the same post indefinitely. :)

Pearl said...

powdergirl, a woman after my own heart. :-)

Drake? You are feeling very sleepy... HEY! Did I tell you the one about Bob and the sody pop?!

George said...

I liked this, it must predate me following you because I don't remember it. I enjoy the fact that you say "pop" instead of "soda". We mid-westerners shouldn't fold to the east coast influence and say "soda".

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

For the love of God, give Bob the pop! He hasn't much time! Lol. Love the Mary stories. She sounds like my Amber, my BFF.

Katie said...

I didn't like my horoscope this morning, so I will be hitting shuffle on the iPod instead. Thanks :)
You are such a wealth of information!

Pearl said...

George, I said "pop" in Florida not long ago and you'd think I'd asked for something in another language...

Dawn, Mary's a blessing. She and I are doing a serving job Sunday (10 to 4). We work hard and the drive home is always a hoot...

Pearl said...

Katie, I aims to please. :-)

jabblog said...

Bless her cotton socks, the girl's a saint:-)

W.C.Camp said...

I am now in need of a clandestine root beer and maybe a little ball of vanilla ice cream to complete the treat. Nice post but now I have YOU to blame for the calories!! W.C.C.

Bossy Betty said...

Awwww....gotta have pop!

Tom G. said...

I grew up in Western NY, about 60 miles from the Pop vs. Soda linguistic border. (I was on the Pop side)

It's like Mac vs. PC. You either use one or the other. There is no middle ground. I'm surprised it hasn't resulted in sectarian violence.

Hutch said...

Give the man the pop. Reminds me of when I worked in a nursing home and two little ol men used to slip me quarters to buy them a forbidden loaf of Wonder Bread. Hope someone is that kind to me when I am old and wore out - that's when I am counting on doing a lot of things I don't do now.

Pearl said...

jabblog, my Mary is both a saint and a sinner. :-) It's her flaws -- and her willingness to overlook yours -- that make me love her.

W.C., 'tis the season!

Bossy, he probably smacked his lips for a while, after that!

Tom, that's funny. :-) I think there's a sub/po'boy line in the sand as well...

Hutch, I agree. Have a cigarette (outside, please!), have a drink, and hold a dance every Saturday night!

jenny_o said...

I thought the pop/soda divide was the line between Canada and the US. Shows how little I know. Glad to get that straightened out.

And I never even imagined that a sub could be called anything else! I learn so much here.

And, last comment, I swear, you really can tell a lot about a person by how they treat babies and old folks. Mary is a keeper.

Eva Gallant said...

Poor Bob. At his age, a little pop couldn't hurt too badly, now could it?

ThreeOldKeys said...

where i live, it's soda.
where i grew up, it's pop.
ever have red pop while playing euchre?

Gigi said...

Now let me throw one into the pop/soda mix....when I was growing up any kind of cola was called "Coke." As in "You want a coke? What kind?" I had to learn to use the word soda with my Yankee husband though otherwise I'd end up with a real Coke instead of a Dr. Pepper.

If possible, I loved this story even more this time.

Susan in the Boonies said...

Excellent, EXCELLENT writing, Pearl! I made my 17 year old wanna-be writer listen to me read it. You have a gift!!!

Just like Mary had a gift...for Bob! So far, yours has not proven to be coma-inducing.

imbeingheldhostage said...

That was my first time to read it and I would gladly read it again. It made me think of the guy in Water for Elephants (the book, not the movie, because the movie skipped over older Jacob's time in the nursing home).
I would definitely smuggle Bob pop-- he's 84 for Pete's sake!Now, off to predict my day via the ipod shuffle ;-)

Bushman said...

Pearl I always look forward to reading your stuff. The stories are so fun and easy to read. Keep 'em coming.
What would Poor Bob do with a beer and a cigar?