“They ratted ‘em out!” Mom yelled from the living room.

I looked over at Bill, who was busy designing user interface screens for our current project.  “Ratted them out?” I whispered.

He shrugged and replied, “You better go check or she’ll come looking for you and by the time she gets here she’ll forget what she wanted to say.”

“Okay,” I sighed as I stood and started making my way toward the other end of the house.

“Who ratted out who?” I asked as I came into the living room.

“All three of them,” she exclaimed.  “I just heard it on the radio.”

“Mom, you don’t have a radio in here,” I commented drily.  “Do you mean you saw it on the TV?”

“No, I heard it.  It must have been on the radio in the other house.”

“You don’t have another… Oh, never mine.  So, who ratted out who?”

“I told you, the three of them.  They all got ratted out.”

“What three.  Are you talking about Trump and Hillary?”

“Yes, and the other one.”

“Gary Johnson?”

“No, not him.  I don’t know who that is.  The other one trying to get elected.”

“Elected to President or some other office?”

“No, not an office.  To President.”

Well, Mom, there’s only Hillary, the Donald, and Gary Johnson,” I explained.

“Not a Johnson.  It was Hillary and Trump and the other one.  That’s who got ratted on.”

“And what was the ratting about?”

“I don’t remember, but it was pretty good,” she said with a grin.  “I just know I’m voting for the other guy.”

“What other guy?”

“The one they aren’t ratting on.”


“No, I told you, I don’t know who that is.”

“Don’t worry, neither does anyone else,” I replied.  “But I still don’t know who you’re talking about.  All that’s left is Trump and Clinton.  There isn’t anyone else.”

“Are you sure,” she asked, squinting her eyes and looking at me suspiciously.

“Yes, I’m sure,” I concluded, turning to leave.

“Well that’s a pretty crappy choice.”

“Yup, pretty much,” I said, as I started back down the hall.  “I’ll talk to you later.”

“I think you’re wrong and I’m voting for the other guy!” she called after me.

“Okay, Mom, you do that.  An imaginary guy couldn’t be much worse.”

Hillary & Donald



“Who was that yeller?” Mom asked from the office doorway.

“That was Lynn, the guy we write bids for,” I replied.  “We just got off a conference call.”

“Oh?  Did you get new a job?”

“No, just a new project.  It came in a couple of weeks ago.”

“So you’re not retired anymore?  You’re free-lancing?”

“Yes, no, sort of.  We’re still retired but we do occasional work for Lynn when he needs us.”

“Then why was he yelling at you.  Did you do something wrong?” she continued, looking a little concerned.

“No, we didn’t do anything wrong.  He just has to talk loud on the conference call so everyone will hear him.”

“Well then I guess everyone heard him alright.  I’m almost deaf and I could hear him.”  She turned to go, then paused.  “Did he say anything important?” she asked

“I suppose to some people.  It was mainly about other stuff that didn’t matter me or Bill.”

“Then maybe he should go into politics.”

“Why do you say that.”

“Because politicians talk really loud and don’t say anything that really matters either,” she offered as she motored away.


The Ballad People

“They screwed up the presidential ballads,” Mom hollered.

I stopped reading and put down my Kindle with a sigh.

“Better go check out the latest crisis,” Bill said with a grin.  “You never know what kind of national emergency might be looming.”

“Oh, shut up,” I muttered, as I stood and walked from the Arizona Room into the living room.

“Okay, who screwed up what?” I asked as I plopped down in the recliner next to her loveseat.

“They did,” she exclaimed, pointing at the television.

“Who?  Cory McCloskey, the weather guy?”

“No, the ballad people,” she said.  “They’ve screwed up the election and they have to mail out new ballads.”

“Well it’s a long way until the election so they have plenty of time.”

“No they don’t, it’s next month.”

“No it isn’t, that’s a special election, not the presidential election.”

“How do you know?” she asked somewhat skeptically.  “Maybe it’s a special presidential election and now they can’t do it here because the ballads are screwed up.”

“Because I already heard the news story.  They put the same title in Spanish for Prop 123 and 124, so they have to reprint the ballads.”

“Well I already sent mine in,” she whined.  “Will I have to fill out the new one in Spanish?  I don’t speak Mexican, you know.”

“No, Mom, you can just mark the English line and send it in again.  It’ll be fine,” I reassured her as I left to go back to my book.

“Well it better be,” she called after me.  “I’d hate to think I was voting for that Trump guy just because I couldn’t read Mexican.”


Politics and Other Acts of Stupidity

I must admit, this 2016 election has been very, very interesting, extremely entertaining, and quite enlightening here on the old Sun City home front.  Even with Mom’s slowly progressing dementia, she still usually makes more sense than most of the politicians and the pundits put together.  Take the Indiana primary that happened yesterday on May 3rd.


Bill and I were in the kitchen, cleaning up after dinner when Mom called out from the living room.  “He’s doing it again.  I can’t believe he’s doing it again!”

I rolled my eyes, passed a handful silverware to Bill to put in the dishwasher, and walked into the living room.

“Who’s doing what?” I asked with a sigh.

“That Trump guy.  He’s winning more elections.  I can’t believe he keeps winning stuff.”

“And why can’t you believe it?”

“Because he’s such a phony and a big mouth and a liar and I can’t believe people are so stupid that they’re voting for him.”

“I guess there are a lot of angry people out there,” I commented.

“Well I would think so.  I’d be pretty angry too at all of these idiots voting for Trump!”

“No, Mom, I mean people are angry at the government so they’re voting for Trump.”

“Well you aren’t, are you?”

“Angry at the government or voting for Trump?”

“Either.  Both.  Are you?” she asked again, squinting up at me suspiciously.

“Yes, I’m angry and no, I didn’t vote for Trump in our primary.”

“Well good,” she replied with a smile, which quickly turned to a frown.  “Are your brothers voting for Trump?”

“Oh, I seriously doubt that they’d ever vote for Trump.  They’d write-in Michael Moore before they’d vote for a republican.  Besides, Michigan already had its primary.”

“Oh, good,” she said, visibly relaxing.  “Who won?”

“Trump and Sanders,” I informed her with a disbelieving shake of my head.

“Sanders?” she asked.  “Which one is he?”

“He’s the old socialist running against Hillary.”

“Well what the heck is the matter with everybody in Michigan?” she exclaimed.  “I can’t believe I used to live there.  I’d be turning over in my grave if I was dead!”

“Well now you can just turn over in your bed,” I chuckled as I walked away to join Bill back in the kitchen.

“I guess so.  In fact, that’s a good idea.  I’m going to take a nap and try to forget about all of this stupid politicky stuff,” she exclaimed as she pushed up from the loveseat and plopped down on the wheelchair seat.

“Okay, see you later.  I’m sure you’ll forget all about it by the time you wake up,” I called after her.

“What?” she yelled, a few seconds later from the hall.  “Forget about what?  Did I forget something?”

“No, Mom,” I laughed, shouting back.  “Nothing important.”

IRS Scammers

“The scammers are doing it again,” Mom called out from the living room.

“Doing what again?” I called back from the kitchen.

“Trying to get money,” she yelled.

I finished pouring Coke into my cup of ice and rum, picked up both my and Bill’s drinks and walked into the living room.

“What’s the latest scam,” I asked, pausing before heading out to the patio with our adult beverages.

“They call you up and try to get money for the election.”

“Whose election?”

“The IRS,” she exclaimed.

IRS agent

“I’m sorry,” I replied, “I didn’t realize the IRS was running for anything.”

“Well they probably aren’t, but the scammers are trying to get them reelected.”

“Reelected to what?”

“I don’t know.  The Tax department I guess.  Isn’t that what they do.  Tax stuff?”

“Yes, Mom, that’s what they do.  Except they aren’t elected.”

“Then how did they get there.”

“It’s a private company under contract with the government.”

“Okay then, so when the contract is over, don’t they have to get reelected again?”

“No, if the contract ends it’s because there’s no more IRS and the world will be a beautiful place,” I commented with a wistful smile.

“So what are the scammers trying to do?”

“I don’t know.  Get money from really stupid people?”

“Well there’s a whole lot of that going around,” she huffed.  “Just look at how that Trump guy keeps getting elected.”

Head Cheese

“Why would the news say that Ted Cruz is head cheese?” Mom said to me as I brought in her glass of OJ and yogurt.

“Who said he’s head cheese?” I asked.

“The people on the news.  I’ve never even heard of head cheese, have you?  Is it like Swiss or Cheddar?”

“No, I don’t think so.  In fact, I don’t think it’s even real cheese,” I replied.  “I think it’s this disgusting concoction made out of meat from a cow’s head or brain or something like that.”

“Well that doesn’t make any sense,” she muttered, shaking her head.

“I don’t think so either, but there’s no accounting for taste I guess,” I said as I turned to go back to the office.

“No, not that.  It doesn’t make sense that the news people would call Ted Cruz head cheese.  I don’t know what that could mean except they think maybe he looks like he has a cow head.”

“Are you sure that’s what they said?”

“Pretty sure,” she said, scrunching her eyebrows and looking thoughtful.

“What else were they talking about when they called him head cheese?” I prompted.

“The election, I think.  He just won somewhere.”

“Wisconsin, he just won the primary in Wisconsin,” I exclaimed.  “It’s cheese head not head cheese.”

“What’s a cheese head?”

“It’s a nickname for people from Wisconsin.  You know, like Hoosiers are from Indiana and Buckeyes are from Ohio.”

“Well that’s stupid.  Why not call them dell heads?  That makes more sense to me.”

“Dell heads?  Like the computer?”

“No, like the Wisconsin Dells.  We took you there on vacation a few years ago, remember?”

“Oh, right, I remember that.  We all went together, aunts and uncles and cousins.  Wow, that was probably over 60 years ago.  I’d say that’s a little more than a few.”

“50, 60, whatever.  When you get to be 90, everything else is a few.”


Jimmy, Karen, Patty, David, Joanne – 1954 at the Dells


“I think that Trump guy’s running for president,” Mom shouted out.

“Yup, he is,” I shouted back from the kitchen.

“So why did he decide to get in?” she called back.

I stopped cutting carrots for the turkey noodle soup I was making, wiped my hands on a towel, and walked into the living room.  “Do you mean when did he decide to get in?” I asked.

“No, why did he decide to get in.”

“I guess because he thinks he can do a better job at being president than any of the other people who are running,” I said.

“Well why on earth would he think that?” she exclaimed.  “He’s some kind of a TV guy, isn’t he?”

“Among other things, yes,” I replied.  “He’s also a real estate mogul, an entrepreneur and a multi-millionaire.”

“So?  None of that qualifies him to be president,” she huffed.  “Besides, I don’t think he looks much like a president.”

“Oh?  And what does a president look like?”


“Not like him.  For one thing, his hair is really weird.  I think he’s wearing a rug.  A real president wouldn’t wear a rug.”

“Okay, weird hair.  Is that it?”

“No.  He’s got squinty eyes and his face is a funny color.  Like he’s got on lady’s makeup or something.”

“I think it’s a spray tan,” I chuckled.  “Anyway, it doesn’t matter because he’s leading in the polls and he already has the most delegates.”

“Well that just stupid.  Who ever heard of a president with fake hair, fake skin and shifty, squinty eyes?  I’m voting for the other guy.”

“And which guy is that?” I asked as I walked back to the kitchen.”

“The one with real hair, no makeup and opened up eyes, that’s who!”