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Monday, January 25, 2016

LET ME GRAB MY CANE & WE'LL WALK DOWN MEMORY LANE TOGETHER




Although my husband claims some of my best memories never happened, I say what's the difference, as long as they’re good memories?  Besides, it doesn't have to really have happened to be true!!  Some things I definitely remember:

My late sister-in-law Jackie was one of those people who could eat & eat—which she did--& never gain an ounce.  (Don’t  you just hate those?)  We were double dating one evening & were at Rand’s Roundup, an all-you-can-eat buffet restaurant.  The four of us had just finished off two very full plates of food, each.  Jackie got up to get more & asked her date, “Aren’t you going to eat anything?”  Her date-- a large policeman with an appetite to match—could only moan.  

(A sidebar about this restaurant: They had a jukebox in the bar.  There was a small notice on it with the price.  “10 cents a play.  2 for a quarter.”  Such a deal!)

About ten years after the first story, Jackie was taking a bath & her little two year old son Glenn was sitting on the edge of the tub, intently staring at her & looking sad.  She asked him what the problem was & he said, “You got no penis!!  Where your penis go?”   She explained to him that boys & men have a penis, but girls & women don’t.  She said she was a woman so she had never had one & that it was OK.  He said, “I got one.”  She said, “Yes.”  “Michael (his older brother) got one.”  “Yes.”  “Daddy got one.”  “Yes.”  She asked him if he understood.  He thought for a minute & his little face brightened up.  He said, “I know—Daddy buy you one!!”

Matt must have been 7 or 8 when one day I was working at the sink & he started skipping around the kitchen, shadow boxing.  With each jab into the air, he'd say, "Bob!!  Weave!!"  After around six "Bob Weaves"  I shook his hand & said, "Fran Fischer--nice to meet you, Bob!!" 

When I was about 40 or 45 years old I was at the pitch & putt golf course with my friends & we were waiting to tee off.  We were visiting with a bunch of old geezers in the waiting area.  One of them paid me a large compliment--I think.  He looked at me & said, "You must have been really pretty when you were young!!"    

This course was in the San Fernando Valley, close to the Motion Picture Retirement Home, & there were always a bunch of actors (both current & retired) around.  One day we were playing in a group behind Jack Nicholson.  He had forgotten his club & left it on the green.  I returned it to him & he smiled that devilish smile & touched my shoulder when he thanked me!!  I haven’t washed that shoulder since.

A group of us played this course quite often,  Our scores were recorded on the scorecard after our initials.  There was Amy, Barbara, Bernice, the “lene twins”, Char & Ar  (who were not related but just happened to be named Charlene & Arlene) & me.  No matter how hard I studied, everyone else got an A, B or C & I always got an F.  Maybe I should have been an aardvark instead of a fishducky.

I used to play golf (on a full-sized course) in a foursome every Friday with some of my friends.  We could still play--we’re still physically able to reach down & get the ball out of the hole--it’s just that getting up again has become difficult.  We played in an area that was long ago inhabited by a Native American tribe so Barbara gave the four of us Native American names, one of which I'll admit I've forgotten.  She couldn’t ever remember where her ball landed so she called herself “Brain of Sieve”.   Charlene, who could spot (& remember) where anyone’s ball went was “Eye of Eagle”.  I, for some f***ing reason, became “Mouth of Sewer”.  I was never a great player, but I did speak fluent golf!

When my kids were very small I used to trade off babysitting with a neighbor who had a son about my kid's age.  I was bathing them when he noticed Nameless' nipples.  He said, "You've got strawberries, too!!"  She informed him that they were nipples, to which he replied, "In our house they're strawberries!!"

One day while they were playing at my house, they did something very bad--I can't remember what it was.  I do remember saying, very sternly, "One!"  One of my kids grabbed the neighbor's hand & started to run out of the room.  He asked if I wasn't going to count to three, which, I assume would have given him more time to escape.  I remember hearing, as they ran out of the room, "We only get two here!!"


I just thought of this: There used to be a small (102 seats?) theater in Hollywood, The Player's Ring, where they presented live plays, sometimes with quite well known actors.  Bud & I would go quite often & as you can see, the stage was not elevated & the audience was almost on stage. We always sat in the front row although in retrospect that may not have been such a great idea.



After intermission & before the second act started the theater would go black.  I don't mean just dark, I mean black.  We were watching "The Diary of Anne Frank" & I heard a piercing scream which scared the hell out of me.  The head of Anne's bed had been placed directly in front of my seat & the second act began with Anne having a nightmare.  There was also a minor problem when we went to see "Inherit the Wind"--at the beginning of act two, while it was still black, Clarence Darrow dropped his briefcase on my foot!!


I know I've run this before:
Midnight – I wake up and remember
That I left the door open with the groceries outside.
Where the hell did I put my keys? Oh, look here they are
Underneath the TV Guide.
Mem’ry, what became of the short term
I remember the old days, I was sharper back then
If I eat fish and do the crosswords every day
Will the brain cells grow again?

I could swear I put those tickets right here in my wallet,
Now I’m late; I thought the show starts at eight;
I wrote that in my whatchamacallit.
Damn! What did I walk in this room for?
Maybe when I was younger, I took too many ’ludes.
Where’s that ginko biloba that I picked up today?
Oh, I left it at Whole Foods.

What the heck is that guy’s name?
He sings with me in choir.
Did I turn both of the burners off?
Or is my house on fire?

Shoot me, put me out of my misery
Or just leave me to wander Soldier Field Parking Lot.
If they ask, tell them I once had a memory too.
What was the question? I forgot.

But I can't remember if I've run this:
I'm looking for my wallet and car keys 
Well they can't have gone too far 
Just as soon as I find my glasses, I'm sure I'll see just where they are 
Supposed to meet someone for lunch today, but I can't remember where... 
Or who it is that I am meeting? To my organizer somewhere 
I might have left it on the counter, maybe outside in the car... 
The last time I remember driving, was to that memory enhancement seminar... 
What's that far off distant ringing? And that strangely familiar tone? 
Must be the person I am meeting, calling me on my brand new cordless telephone... 
I might have left it under the covers, maybe outside on the lawn... 
and I've got just one more ring to go, before my answering machine kicks on... 
Hi, this is Tom and your call means a lot to me, so leave a message at the tone... 
and I'll do my best to try to remember to call you back when I get home 
*Beep* 
Tom, this is Gwendolyn, and I'm trying not to cry... 
but I've been waiting here for over an hour, I thought you loved me, this is goodbye... 
and the voice sounds familiar, and the name it rings a bell... 
Let's see now, where was I, 
Oh well













A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory----fishducky