Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Bugaboo

Part 11 In A Series

All my life I've come up with nicknames for people — mostly for those who I don't know their real names. In the last installment, I wrote about The Imp, The Lesbian Haircut, and The Bitch. Today I introduce you to The Bugaboo.

The Bugaboo moved in around Thanksgiving of last year. She gets along well with my Mom. She's suffering from dementia; she gets the gist of what's going on around her but doesn't understand the full story. I'd guess she's in her mid 70's and just slightly better at reasoning than Mother Dear.

Her most obvious feature is a pointed nose. It's her ears, however, that are the most functional. She can hear a conversation from across the room. It gets her into trouble because she can't help but to go over and put her nose in the other residents' business.

With so many people living in close quarters, many of the residents get irritated rather quickly if their personal space is invaded. And The Bugaboo has earned her fair share of "Get away from me" and "Go somewhere else" comments. It doesn't seem to hurt her feelings. She just wanders on to the next bit of misadventure she can find!

The staff has given her the task of folding clothes. This helps to keep her occupied and out of trouble. One of the Activities Directors (AD) decided that it would be a good idea to get an old iron and cut off the electric cord, and a table top ironing board in order to extend the amount of time she spends doing the clothes. The longer she's kept busy, the better for her and everyone else.

After hearing them all talk about it for a month, yesterday was the day the setup arrived.

AD #1: C'mon, Bugaboo, it's time to work on folding the clothes. Ya gotta earn your keep around here!

The Bugaboo: I don't like the way you're talking to me. Are you trying to show off?

Ha! I remember hearing the same thing from my mother when I was growing up.

AD #1: They aren't my clothes. Mine are at home. These are your friends' clothes.

The Bugaboo wasn't deterred and started folding the clothes and placing them on the table. Activities Director #2 came in with the iron and ironing board, set them up on the table, and asked her to iron the clothes before she folded them.

There wasn't any questioning, and The Bugaboo set to work. Then the light bulb went off...

The Bugaboo: Where's the electric cord on this thing?

AD #2: Oh, that iron is battery operated. It doesn't need a cord.

Hmmm, I thought, that was pretty quick thinking! The Bugaboo was satisfied and went back to work. The light bulb went off again...

The Bugaboo: [Pointing to the remaining stub of the electric cord.] What's this thing for?

AD #2: That's the antenna. The iron uses it to get the charge from the batteries.

That seemed plausible to The Bugaboo and she went back to the task at hand. The light bulb flashed back on again.

The Bugaboo: [Furrowing her brow.] How come this iron isn't hot?

AD #2: It's child proof! It's the latest technology so kids don't get burned!

Damn, this story was getting better and better! I started to laugh and had to cover my face with the newspaper so I didn't spoil it.

The high-school-aged young man came in to offer the residents their afternoon snack. "Ginger ale, cola, or water," he said over and over, like a flight attendant. He was offering a couple of shortbread cookies, too.

As he worked his way down the opposite side of the room, The Bugaboo started going down the same line of questioning. This time, AD #2 spun the tale wider and deeper. She talked about all the scientists involved in creating these newfangled devices, how expensive they were, etc.

Snack boy continued on from one person to the next, but he was listening, and his interest was peaked about this fantastic new iron. We all saw it happening, and as he turned around to ask more about the iron, everyone began to laugh. He blushed. AD #2 was so convincing, he'd bought into the story hook, line and sinker.

AD #2: You oughta know better than to believe anything you hear around here at The Bullshit Hotel!

Also see:
Part 1: The Klepto
Part 2: The Slapper
Part 3: The Baby Mama
Part 4: Socks
Part 5: The Jackrabbit
Part 6: Gidget
Part 7: Twinkle Toes
Part 8: Pittsburg and Tex
Part 9: The Bird Flicker
Part 10: The Imp, The Lesbian Haircut, and The Bitch


Mom said...

Where can I buy an iron like that? Sounds amazing.

ArichNY said...

Great story!

citygirl said...

Amazing how fast you have to be with answers sometimes!