Lemon County: Nursing Home Humor...

Nursing Home Humor

Our local newspaper, the Lemon County Register, reported today that data showed average life expectancy in Lemon County is four years higher than the US average. This led me, naturally, to having a bit of a laugh at the expense of old people.

I know, I know, making fun of old people is really mean, but there is a narrow vein of humor there to be mined for those with a severe lack of good taste…

I recently spent the day with my ninety-three year old mother in law, on the occasion of her birthday, and witnessed a game I had never seen before. It is a big deal, and has it’s parallels in childhood when every child has to announce to any adult in the vicinity, “I’m this many”, while holding a couple of booger covered fingers in your face. The elderly, at least those marbles intactus, play this with each other, and don’t care so much about outsiders.

The opening bid is usually something like, “I’m seventy eight next March.”

Which is countered and raised by a greater number, or evidence of lack of infirmity, such as, “I’m coming up on eighty,” or, “Seventy six with all my teeth.”

Game on.

The actual octogenarians in the room then up the ante, and the possible wild card of how many grandchildren you have, might get thrown in. Great grandchildren are like the ace in the hole. Teeth, eyesight, ambulatory condition (none, cane, walker, wheelchair, bed) can provide a royal flush. Diaper free and still using a knife and fork, especially in your nineties can truly be a winning hand. However, they don’t play with the Centurions, you get to 100, all bets are off, and you are the undisputed King or Queen. There is nothing left to prove. You won.

Game over.

At stake is personal pride. In a place where the food appears to have been pre-chewed for you, anything resembling independence is treasured. You don’t have to be that old to get that. I also realize that teens and those in their twenties can’t distinguish between me and the truly old, so, just for the record, I’m fifty-three, got most of my teeth and can walk unaided. My mental state is, I accept, questionable, but I know that Ike is not the current President and that my birthday is in December.

I also have an un-bucket list. Things I never want to experience before I kick it. The first is that I never want to sit in a room with my family, a nurse or two, a social worker and a physical therapist, all discussing my bowel movements. Really don’t want that. I’d like to keep that to myself for as long as possible. Now I know people who could find the humor in that (Stana , Sueb , yes I’m talking about you), but I lack their particular skill set.

But farting needs to be discussed. I have come to realize that old people have to stay as still as possible because the slightest movement trips the hair-trigger gas expulsion mechanism. Walking with a walker is particularly interesting. Push walker forward, step one, toot, step two, toot, rest, repeat. You have to wonder where it all comes from? Do your lungs leak as you age? Do you stop breathing out perhaps? Is it the pre-masticated food? Enquiring minds want to know…

And it appears to be relatively odor free. I know smelly. I worked for many years in middle schools. Seventh and eighth grade boys in the afternoon, especially if the lunch consisted of beef and bean burritos, could collectively strip the paint from the walls. I would watch through tear stained eyes as the ceiling tiles curled up and fell to the floor, the sound of self-congratulatory laughter ringing in my ears, as I rushed forward, handkerchief pressed tightly to my nose, to move as many of the girls as I could to a place of safety.

Help, however, is at hand for our aging farters, as both their sense of smell and hearing seem, for the most part, compromised. So life goes on, blissfully unaware of so much that seems to bother younger folks. That seems karmicly fair in a way, a balancing out of the yin and yang.

But beware…

I believe there is another game afoot.

You know how when you were a kid, your toys all came out and played when you weren’t there? Well, I think there might be some of that with the elderly. They act all old and helpless when we are around, but revert to situation normal when we are gone. Every now and then you spot the cracks. Like when you are talking softly at their bedside and you think they are asleep, and they mumble, without opening their eyes, “there’s no way you’re putting me in a home if you want to inherit.”

Or they are sitting in their chair taking a postprandial nap and you casually mention money to your wife. Instantly the sleeper awakes, and fully alert, gives you a lecture on the Roth IRA versus the traditional IRA. They are also the only people on the planet who understand Parts A, B, C, and D of Medicare, and can wax lyrical on the donut hole, before nodding off again and drooling gently from the side of their mouth.

If you can get someone else to do stuff for you, why wouldn’t you? That’s just human nature. There are times when I really don’t want to get out of bed to pee. Cooking, cleaning, all that drudgery, you start to see what is going on here, right?

I’m not fully convinced that this is not just a ploy to make us annoying younger people just go away. I mean, you are supposed to get wisdom with age. What if we are seriously being played here? What if all this daytime napping is just recovering from the wild parties that take place at night?

I can see it now. You set off a couple of bed alarms to get the nursing assistants running around like crazy people, then sneak out to the social room, lock the door, bring whatever meds you have left over and share a Nyquil punch. Then wind up the Glen Miller and party like there’s no tomorrow, because, well there might not be…


Dear Hub Reader


If you enjoy this hub, please check out my book,

Homo Domesticus; A Life Interrupted By Housework,

A collection of my best writings woven into a narrative on a very strange year in my life.

Available directly from:

http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-book/homo-domesticus/12217500

Chris


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Comments 38 comments

Christopher Price profile image

Christopher Price 5 years ago from Vermont, USA

This hub should be rated "PG", Preferably Geezers...not for the eyes of those below the age of 60.

As one who is an aspiring Senior Citizen, not far from the designation, I would like to keep youngsters from learning the wise and weaselish ways of old folks. We'll be using these ploys all too soon.

This was funny and familiar.

CP


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Christopher,

What a great name...I digress....

So basically you are confirming my theories. Who'd have thunk it? I mean, it has to be pretty cool for the geezer gang, no one questions your need for meds, no one worries about dependency, and I noticed that there was not a drop of alcohol in the entire place. No one is going to give that up without a fight, so it must be the alternatives...

Just thinking out loud....

C


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

Be careful, Chris. You might end up with as many funnies as Stan has, although he has quite a head start.

Getting old is not for the weak. That's for sure. Even after my mom had both legs amputated, she wanted to get a fifth of whiskey and go dancing! I suspect you may be on to something here.


sueroy333 profile image

sueroy333 5 years ago from Indiana

Chris- I'm so glad you went for it! This is hilarious!

The reason you don't find a drop of alcohol isn't because they use alternatives (although that might be true as well)... it's because they've got secret stashes.

My grandma used to keep her Coors in the basement, with the door locked. She shared anything she had... just stay away from her beer!

The walker toots had me roflmcbo... even the second time reading this!

Funny, funny, funny! I can only vote once, but want to make sure you know where I stand, or sit, or roll off the chair....


Susie Writes profile image

Susie Writes 5 years ago from Northern California

Ha! Now this is funny! I particularly liked the photo of Granny lighting her smoke from the birthday candle. Your writing was deliciously funny and insightful. You know my mother, right?


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

AustinStar,

I'm a quart low in the "Beautiful" department, but I seem to get more "Funny"s - Stan is not under threat here, one quick hub combining butts and pickles and the rest of us are dead in the water...

Turns out I'm some sort of "investigative journalist", unearthing the truth as the fifth estate - who knew?

C


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Sue,

I'm honored to have caused you to roll on the floor laughing your chicken butt off,

and that you read something twice!

Hope you get some readers from the link...

And...

Coors! Really? There was nothing more beer-like available? You wouldn't share your precious moonshine with your grandmother? Shame on you...


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Susie,

That nice lady in room 38, bed B? Lovely lady. Complains about her kids a lot though...

C


sueroy333 profile image

sueroy333 5 years ago from Indiana

Chris- where I'm from, Coors is the high-dollar stuff! I actually did share my moonshine, but she still wouldn't let go of a Coors! I loved her anyway...

Oh, and excellent detective work on the roflmcbo!!

I threw a link to this hub on my chicken butt, and No farting allowed hubs, they seemed to be appropriate! Thank you for the link here!! :O)


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Sue,

I think we have all the, um, strange people, between us. Don't you just love 'em. Need to steal, I mean share, some more of Shade's and Stan's audience. Stan is apparently climbing a mountain today...

C


Fiddleman profile image

Fiddleman 5 years ago from Zirconia, North Carolina

A great fun read and I love the photograph light a cigarette from the birthday candle, now that is funny,


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Fiddleman,

Very happy to have you aboard - especially as your follow is number 100. Hope I can make you laugh on a regular basis,

C


dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 5 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

I enjoyed your humor and life perspective!

Flag up!


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

dallas,

Always good to hear from you - thanks.

C


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

Stan is going to run out of ideas soon. He keeps using the good ones! Butts and pickles - hardy har har.

But you have the househusband thing sewed up. I mean, Stan can't even make coffee.


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

AustinStar,

He doesn't have to, lives in Seattle, remember? Coffee shop to human ratio 1:10 I believe. Less if you don't count dogs and humans under the age of five. He told me we were in a "similar position" via-a-vis the househusbanding thing, yeah like 100 is the same as 600,

I'm not jealous or bitter or anything. Might even try my hand at a pickle hub myself, so there.

Oh, and thanks for stirring the pot...


Stan Fletcher profile image

Stan Fletcher 5 years ago from Nashville, TN

This was over-the-top great, Chris. Needs to be published somewhere where you can really cash in on it. Like maybe in an AARP brochure or something. I'm forwarding it to my mom, who is getting more and more fun to tease about getting older, although she doesn't have 'the walking farts' yet, or at least that I'm aware of.


Stan Fletcher profile image

Stan Fletcher 5 years ago from Nashville, TN

Hey, I just read the comments. Sorry if I seemed aloof in the above comment. Although maybe aloof is better when I'm dealing with 'you people'. You know who you are.

And I'm climbing Mt. Si (pronounced Sigh) in the snow tomorrow. Getting ready for Rainier in June with my son....

PS. The last conversation I had with my grandmother was pretty dang funny. It's an old hub - My last conversation with Babboo.


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Stan,

I did not sense aloof, though its anagram struck me as rather amusing...

I think I'd read your Babboo hub along (That's to upset AustinStar) time a go (ooops another one).

I don't go climbing mountains due to the complaints from the aforementioned mountains who don't so much sigh as

regale me with "ouches" and "get offs" as I pound it below sea level. Plus there is no internet service...

C

Hope you had a good day up there


Stan Fletcher profile image

Stan Fletcher 5 years ago from Nashville, TN

Chris - I'm sorry to inform you that I will no longer be following you as I noticed your score was up to 98 this morning. When you get it back down to something reasonable - say 89 or so - I'll start up again.


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Stan,

OK, so tomorrow then?

C


Stan Fletcher profile image

Stan Fletcher 5 years ago from Nashville, TN

Yep... See you then.


attemptedhumour profile image

attemptedhumour 5 years ago from Australia

Lighting candles in the Gerigastric ward is an age old problem that seems to be exploding. Cheers mate, is nothing sacred? ............................No!


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

AttHum

I noticed there were no naked flames (or ciggie lighting) anywhere. Not really fair though, most of the oldies have oxygen canisters nearby, so they drop a mean one and put the mask on. Score another one for the old farts as the youngies go purple and faint...

No, nothing is sacred, it's in our DNA...

C


crystolite profile image

crystolite 5 years ago from Houston TX

Quite agree with christopher prize,it should be rated to PG.nice hub.


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

crystolite,

Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment,

C


mysterylady 89 profile image

mysterylady 89 5 years ago from Florida

This is every bit as funny as anything I have read by Stan or sueroy or Shades! BTW, the fart factor is often inherited. It can start at any age.

I loved your description of middle-school boys!


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Mysterylady,

Well I certainly appreciate the compliment by comparison!

And those boys - never to be forgotten!

Thanks for stoping in and leaving a comment,

C


pjwrites 5 years ago from Florida

OMG, what's with the farting? Nobody told me old age included farting!? Farts aren't funny!!!

But when Chris Lincoln is passing them out, they are. Good job, Chris.


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

pj,

I am the rank amateur in the 'writing about farting' stakes, here in hubland, and you are correct, they are not funny.

At all...

No, no, not even a little bit...

Stop that, right now!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

Hrmph!! No votes, no accolades, Whippersnapper! You didn't expect any from ME, surely! ;-> Hrmph!


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Nellieanna,

As you say on your profile, you are ageless, thus none of this applies to you, at all, even slightly...

Actually I almost sent you an email telling you to avoid this hub for fear of causing offense, but, I mean, come on...you look not a day older than me, and in way better shape!

Well, if you leave me, at least Stan will be happy!

C :)


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

haha - of course I was putting you on. Even if you did mean it for me, I would know myself better - my agelessness is far more than physical, Whippersnapper!

But I knew you wouldn't be aiming at me. Fact is, that you didn't try to keep me from reading it says more about your respect for me than if you had!

I'll tell you what - we won't tell Stan I didn't abandon you, OK He probably would just read the one comment I made, smirk and go off patting himself on the back instead of looking back for more information. haha.

Maybe you and I could rig up a thing to make him think you'd really alienated me and all my peers! haha.


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Nellieanna,

I was all excited about the prospect of "getting" Stan and he goes and writes a nice hub naming you and I and 606 other people...

As backhanded compliments go, there really is none better!

So, as a wedding present to him, I'm trying to be really nice...

And boy is that hard

Tough crowd these hubbers...

I dont want to alienate anyone, especially you - where would we go for our touch of class?

C


Stan Fletcher profile image

Stan Fletcher 5 years ago from Nashville, TN

Nellie and Chris - this is so fun listening in on the both of you like a fly on the wall....Ha! HA! You've been caught before this conspiracy even got off the ground!!!!!


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Stan,

The good news is you are not paranoid if people really are trying to get you...

Of course we do it with great love and respect...

C


Kristine Manley profile image

Kristine Manley 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

This is hilarious! Love the photo. Voted Up


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Thanks Kristine, much appreciated...

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