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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Bob's Not Supposed to Drink Pop

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 her ancestors would say, “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 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 speaks Mumble. “You are too!”

Bob lifts the bottle to his lips, chugs root beer as Mary 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 were called in, of course – “He looked so happy, but I knew he wasn’t supposed to have it” – and the half-finished bottle was 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.

26 comments:

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

Poor Bob....someday that will be us, eyeing some treat we know we can't have and scheming how to get it. Oh wait....that's right now isn't it?

Eva Gallant said...

Sounds like Mr. Eva when I catch him eating donuts!

Kara said...

I used to work on the nursing staff at a nursing home, so I got a real kick out of this post. It always used to bother me when we would (for their own good) ban or restrict certain foods. When I reach a ripe old age, I want to be able to eat, drink or do just whatever the hell I want.

SherilinR said...

mary's a good bird.
and i agree that it sucks that the elderly should be denied their treats. when my grandfather was in a treatment place at the end of his life, it wasn't until his last 2 weeks alive that they finally let him have beloved strawberry milkshakes. i don't think he ate anything else til the end.

Pat said...

Hooray for Mary. More people should speak Mumble. I'm quite good - it just came naturally.

jenny_o said...

"Bob looks like an elderly, trumpet-free and guilty Dizzy Gillespie."

So good!

And, Mumble is my native tongue. Just ask my hearing-challenged significant other.

Sioux said...

Mary could make a mint with this new children's story:

Stop, Bob.
Drop the pop!
Run, Bob, run!
Duck and weave,
to avoid the tranquilizer gun!

Joanne said...

My uncle used to sneak whiskey to his grandfather. It had been the old man's pleasure while he was living, denying him was his torment while dying. He faced down the VA staff and prevailed.

Ms Sparrow said...

Bob sounds like my kind of guy. Some things are worth taking guff over!

Douglas said...

I used to bring Dairy Queen treats to Mom. Wasn't any reason for her not to have them. I don't think she knew who I was either but she sure smiled when I handed her the ice cream cup.

mrwriteon said...

Oh, Bob could be having worse indulgences than a bit of root beer. I think his stubbornness will keep him going longer than if he rolls over and obeys the rules.

JohnD said...

Pop goes the Bobbie Boy! LOL!

The Elephant's Child said...

You and Mary are both stars. Thanks.

Leenie said...

Extra hugs and blessings to Mary. Caring like that should be rewarded BIG time SOMEhow. Sending her dozen virtual roses. And it sounds like she knows how to make friends in many ways. ;D

Tempo said...

Mary's a keeper....

Belle said...

Like Kara, my daughter Christine is a nurse. She thought it was stupid to deny elderly people the food they wanted. Sometimes she would sneak stuff to them.

Daisy said...

I hope there is a "Mary" around when I'm 84!

BlackLOG said...

Mary should get her own life...... but after thinking about is for a moment (You are honoured I normally try not to think in case it hurts) I suspect she is probably far happier than us consumers chasing the next advertised dream (When will we learn that all the worst products have the biggest advertising budgets).

As for Bob they could try tazering him, it might add a bit of much needed spark to his life......

KAT said...

Poor Bob. I'm glad he got some pop as long as it didn't put him in a diabetic coma!

Vapid Vixen said...

"The little weirdo really likes them".

Who IS this anomaly?

bill lisleman said...

just those few moments of joy probably added months onto his life.
Funny post - thanks

Amber Star said...

I hope there is a Mary for me if eventually I have to go to a place like that. It seems he could have the diet root beer from time to time. That wouldn't mess up his blood sugar like the real deal root beer. Diabetes is a terrible disease.

River said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again. I love Mary. Please tell her I said she's a lovely person.

Linda O'Connell said...

Bob probably had a hearty burp and a good nap after that bit of indulgence. Mary is a gem.

the walking man said...

As a diabetic I understand Bob. I can't wait until I get too old to give a damn anymore.

Camille said...

Can't tell you how much I enjoyed reading this post Pearl. I could just see those shiny, fragrant droplets flying off Bob's moustache. And as a bonus, I'm sure there just had to have been a magnificent root beer burp. A master story teller, that's what you are.