It’s Jello Day and Someone’s Lucid

14 Apr

I love old people, but they scare me. They scare me because they can see right through my bullshit, and they call me out on it.  They. Are. Over. It.  They think because they fart dust, they have earned the right to say whatever the hell they want, and rightfully so. 

My personal trainer sister and her personal trainer/musician fiancée, N, lead a boot camp class for the staff a local nursing home once a week.  Last week the class ran a little late, and when it was over it was time for the residents to eat lunch (about 9:00 a.m.).  These old people love their routines.  Because lunch had started a little later than usual (5 minutes) some of the residents were agitated. 

One of the nurses noticed that N had brought his guitar and asked him to play some instrumental music during lunch.  She said the music would help calm things down in the dining hall.  N, being the nice he is, jumped at the opportunity to help.

As N was setting up, the nurse guided him away from a table where an old man sat by himself, chin down, hair growing wildly out of his ears, fast asleep, and sawing logs.  His name was Charlie, and the nurse assured N that Charlie would wake up for his lunch.  It was jello day, and Charlie never slept through jello day.

The old ladies were beside themselves with excitement, almost giddy, at the prospect of having a handsome young man play for them:

Oh, my!  He’s so handsome.  He reminds me of my Morty, God bless him.  You know, my Morty could play the piano.  He was good with his fingers.

SIDE NOTE:  *Do Not Google Image Search “Grandma Cougar”.  Trust me.*

About halfway through lunch, N was feeling pretty damn good about himself.  The music was working.  People were starting to relax.  He looked around the room as he strummed his guitar and noticed a lot of serene-looking faces. 

He turned his attention to Charlie, who had been fast asleep only moments before.  He noticed Charlie was feverishly shoveling jello into his mouth, gumming it with his toothless mouth.  At that moment, they made eye contact

Charlie:  Is he going to sing or what?!

Nurse:  Now, now, Charlie.  It’s instrumental. Just relax and enjoy the music.

N, didn’t let this outburst phase him.  In fact, he made it his personal mission to calm Old Man Charlie down.  He switched to a livelier tune, and kept an eye on the old man. This time, Charlie’s bitched a little louder:

Charlie:  (mouth full of jello) Jeeeeesus H. Christ!  Are there any god damn words to this song?  What’s that yahoo doing, anyway?  I can’t wait forever for the singing.

Nurse:  If you don’t pipe down, he’s going to pack it up.

Charlie:  Big deal!  He’s not going to sing, anyway.  You people are making me listen to this hippy dippy….

Nurse:  Here’s another jello, Charlie.

At this point N made a critical mistake.  He was getting a little nervous, and with his old person superpowers, Charlie smelled the fear:

 Charlie:  Oh, for cyrin’ out loud!  I’m going to die here at this table waiting for the words.  (Trembling pointing finger) Cat got your tongue, kid?  Don’t know the words?

Nurse: Charlie.

Charlie:  See, kid.  Them are woooooooords. (Sing-song tone) Do you know any words?

N was going to try killing him with kindness:

N:  Is there a certain song you’d like to hear, Sir?

Charlie:  WHAT?!  You got to speak up!  I’m old, see.  I’m deaf.

Nurse:  Charlie,  you can hear him.  He asked if you’d like to hear a certain song.


Charlie was wheeled to his room a few minutes later after it was brought to his attention that there was a limit of 5 jellos per person.  That threw him over the edge, and he worked himself up into such a tizzy that he fell into a jello coma at the table.  Maybe it was his superhuman old people powers, again, but Charlie woke up the moment the nurse wheeled him past N’s table, and they locked eyes:

WORDS. Know any?!

This is my future, and this how I know.  First,  although I knew this experience was traumatic for N, I laughed throughout the entire story asking him to repeat the really hilarious parts, and even making him act it out. 

Secondly, I’m 98% certain that before he became a crotchety old man, Charlie was a bigger a-hole than I am.  Had I known him back in his day, I’m sure we would have shamelessly flirted with one another, judging everyone in our path with not one kind word.    Oh well.  At least I like jello.


29 Responses to “It’s Jello Day and Someone’s Lucid”

  1. Invisible Mikey April 14, 2011 at 12:03 pm #

    Well, Charlie might have been like that before, but maybe not. Having worked in this area of care, my bet is dementia. Men get damn grumpy in the early stages, and the women turn overly sweet. It is pretty funny.

    • Don't Make That Face April 14, 2011 at 12:20 pm #

      If I develop dementia, I hope I get grumpy. That way, I can contine being an a-hole. 🙂

  2. Miz Parker April 14, 2011 at 12:14 pm #

    I can sympathize. I played piano for an old folks’ home a couple of times and on one of the occasions, a woman repeatedly rammed her wheelchair into the bench I was sitting on while screaming at me in Spanish. I don’t know what she was saying, but “puta” doesn’t sound like a nice word.

    • Don't Make That Face April 14, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

      LOL! The thing is, I swear they’re lucid half the time. Why are they so hostile?
      “Puta” means beautiful girl in Spanish. You can start using it in everyday conversation, now. Just kidding. Please don’t do that.

  3. fnkybee April 14, 2011 at 12:15 pm #

    Old people scare the shit out of me! That was a great story!! Oh to be a fly on the wall there!

    • Don't Make That Face April 14, 2011 at 12:17 pm #

      They really do scare me, too. My sister said it was hilarious, but only because Charlie wasn’t talking to her.

  4. Boochen Sundance April 14, 2011 at 12:38 pm #

    Not sure why, but I’m sure Charlie looks like this.

  5. Thypolar April 14, 2011 at 1:13 pm #

    LMAO! You just gotta love old people. They have attitudes just like me! They are just more wrinkly……

    • Don't Make That Face April 14, 2011 at 1:38 pm #

      They have attitudes and there’s noting you can do about it because they really don’t care what you think. I envy that.

  6. marinasleeps April 14, 2011 at 1:14 pm #

    There is a lot of advantages with being old … you can shit in your pants… you can leave shitty famiy gatherings by saying your tired …. you dont have to remember shit…. people carry shit around for you …

    Life is totally looking good!!

    • marinasleeps April 14, 2011 at 1:15 pm #

      And I did google Grandma Cougar … I am trying to gauge my eyes out of their sockets with my spoon!!

  7. Lucy April 14, 2011 at 5:22 pm #

    i fell under the bus of social persuasion and googled “grandma cougar”….

    and let me say, that made me feel good about my decision to NEVER grow old EVER.

    also! another fun thing to google image search is “hot girls”. there are NO hot girls that come up with this search. none.

  8. Bella April 14, 2011 at 6:39 pm #

    OMG, I am LMAO with this post! Loved, loved, it! I’m so coming back to this blog! 🙂 Poor Charlie…he only wanted words…and Jello. When I was trying to decide on a major back in college, I pondered gerontology. My mother discouraged me by saying, “You think every old person is as cute as your nana? Cause they’re not.” And while I only have respect for the elderly, this warning deterred me from going in that direction.

    • Don't Make That Face April 14, 2011 at 9:40 pm #

      Isn’t that funny? Charlie is someone’s grandpa, I’m sure. I wonder how he acts with family.

  9. Mutterschwester April 14, 2011 at 7:38 pm #

    Not a jell-o fan, but I’d want to hear some words too.

    I will not be googling grandma cougar; I’d like to sleep tonight.

    • Don't Make That Face April 14, 2011 at 9:42 pm #

      Maybe you could have lots of soup, instead?
      If you can’t fall asleep tonight, count cougar grandma’s with lipstick on their teeth. You should fall asleep in about 6 hours.

  10. jaerae1971 April 14, 2011 at 8:32 pm #

    Funny stuff. My Mother was in a nursing home and there was a oldie named, yes, Charlie. He threw up his banana down my back. He died the next day. Karma?

    • Don't Make That Face April 14, 2011 at 9:43 pm #

      Yikes. Banana vomit is never good, unless it’s banana bread vomit, then it’s not so bad.

      • jaerae1971 April 15, 2011 at 6:56 am #

        Honestly, the worse part was having to wear one of the donated shirts people give the nursing homes out of there. Clearly fashion is not a priotiry after a certain age.

      • Don't Make That Face April 15, 2011 at 8:51 am #

        I would love to walk into a nursing home and see an old lady wearing a “Save the Tatas” shirt some old guy with a “I give Free Mustache Rides” shirt. Classy.

  11. lexy3587 April 15, 2011 at 9:09 am #

    at least your brother in law can probably safely say he did a good thing – I’m sure Charlie enjoyed having someone to yell at who doesn’t give him sponge-baths or take his Jello.

    • Don't Make That Face April 15, 2011 at 9:11 am #

      Charlie is my hero. He is definitely a character, and someone I would like to meet. I think I’ll wait to the next jello day, though. Maybe I could bribe him into being my friend.

      • Ells April 15, 2011 at 9:59 am #

        That seems like a good plan – it sounds like anyone who gives Charlie more than his fair share of jelly (sorry, jello – force of habit!) will become a friend for life.

        Actually, I think food-bribery works with most people… although for me it’s most effective with chocolate.

      • Don't Make That Face April 15, 2011 at 10:50 am #

        Food bribery totally works! It doesn’t take much for me, either. Got a sandwhich? I’ll name my first born after you.

  12. sportsattitudes April 15, 2011 at 11:40 am #

    There is ALWAYS room for Jell-O! Hopefully, food bribery will never become a crime, or at least…not a felony.

  13. Melissa April 15, 2011 at 4:13 pm #

    This is the funniest post on the internet. Hands down.

    • Don't Make That Face April 15, 2011 at 4:16 pm #

      Thanks! I just wish I could have witnessed it first hand. I would have needed a pair of those fancy underpants all of the old people are wearing these days. You know, the ones you can pee in.

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