Sunday, February 22, 2009

Dirty Old Man

"Your uncle's on vacation for a week," my mother says when I call her this morning, "so I've got Grandpa Duty."

"Oh yeah?" I say.

"Yeah. I started yesterday and I'm already sick of it," she says.

This seems reasonable to me. After all, I know what a pain in the ass my grandfather can be. Just last night, for example, I had a dream about him that seemed to sum him right up. In the dream, he showed up after I had just finished baking a batch of chocolate chip cookies and frosting a dozen sprinkled cupcakes. He walked right into the kitchen and sat in a chair in front of those forbidden sweets and reached out for one.

"GRANDPA!" I said. "You can't have any of that!" I swatted his hand away from the cupcakes.

He looked at me and then back at the cookies, the cupcakes. He reached again.

"No!" I said and hit his hand again. "No! No! No!"

The dream was pretty accurate. My grandfather is a whiner, a big overgrown baby who will keep reaching for the things that are bad for him, even after he's been told not to. When my mother tells me she is already tired of her father's antics and she is only a day and a half into her duties, it doesn't surprise me one bit.

"So, what's that been like?" I ask her.

"Ugh," she says. "I went over there yesterday afternoon, and when I walked through the door there was a porno playing blaring from the living room."

"GROSS!" I say.

"It gets worse," she says. "He came trudging out from the bathroom and started talking to me like it was no big deal. I could hear the girl moaning. Finally, I couldn't take it anymore. I said, 'Dad, what is that?'"

"Oh God."

"And he said, 'Oh, that's one of my adult movies.' He didn't even go turn it off. He just wanted to sit there with me and have a conversation with that playing in the background. His daughter! He wanted to have a conversation with his daughter while a porno blared!" she says.

"I'm going to throw up," I say.

"Yeah, so was I," my mother says. "I finally had to tell him it was disgusting and that I was going to go shut it off."


"So inappropriate," she says. "He's getting weird. He's a really dirty old man."

"And today you're making him a meatloaf," I say.

"Yeah," she sighs. "And today I'm making him a meatloaf."

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