Sometimes during the course of rotation we’re called upon to do things we otherwise wouldn’t dream of.
Typically these requests for such tasks come from loved ones, co-workers, or the ever-lurking friend in need of heavy lifting. While I believe in a certain quid pro quo when it comes to doing favors, there are lines “you do not cross” in terms of what one person asks another to do.
House sitting, dog sitting, baby sitting, moving, packing, shuttling, lending, guidance, counseling, pick up, drop off, providing the ham, and dish out the occasional cigarette are generally the types of duties one is asked to perform. This genre of favors while not always well timed or welcomed, yet they’re delivered daily, usually without complaint. One of our own crossed the line into odious!
First off I must clearly state our good friend has done big favors for me and others dwelling in the shadows of ‘curmudgeon corner,’ and would gladly do a favor for our associate! Our fellow committee member is well liked by almost everyone, except perhaps the Bagwan who doesn’t like anybody. So suffice it to say he is the biggest name dropper I know, and claims to have had Ruth Gordon!
While walking quietly (highly unusual) down the bar I made it to the east end to secure my usual seat and said, “Hey you goofy dick-head how you doin?” This in most cases would have elicited a snotty retort and launch us into a verbal ping-pong of insults which is of course how we (curmudgeons) communicate.
Instead I got stone cold silence. “What’s wrong with you asshole?” I continued thinking perhaps I wasn’t heard. At last our rotund associate turned toward me but was visibly upset. Our good friend had been crying which given the much too small cowboy hat affixed to his head amplified the pathetic scene, so again I asked what was the matter. Slowly, as if anesthetically impaired, our associate turned to look at me and in a subdued voice asked if I would do a favor. “Of course I will!” I replied without hesitation and further asked, “What can I do for you?”
It seems our fellow curmudgeon’s Uncle Frank had been in his charge as part of a rotating shift amongst willing family members. Evidently Frank needs to be watched given advanced Alzheimer’s. Our good friend needed to attend to pressing issues at work and couldn’t find anyone willing to take this responsibility on.
I was only needed for three hours and assured he’d be back to relieve me. With a few brief instructions on his way out the door I was suddenly alone with Uncle Frank.
Frank completely dressed in his pajamas donned his fedora and explained he had a court date. I suddenly realized I had made a mistake! Refusing to let Uncle Frank pass he got angry and threw his hat at me then turned away and locked himself into a bedroom. He began to scream like a two year old throwing a fit at the grocery store!
The screaming turned into a muffled conversation with someone only Frank could see but seemed to have calmed down. “What the hell” I thought, “At least I know where he is and… what possible harm can he do?”
30 minutes to go and things were calm & quiet. Perhaps a bit too quiet, so I decided to check on the old dude. Unlocking the door I slowly peeked around the door and was knocked to the floor by the stench. I immediately shut the door.
Uncle Frank had made the decision to remove his PJ’s as not to soil them. Uncle Frank had defecated on the bedspread and was now using his own fecal matter to do ‘poop paintings’ on the wall. Jackson Pollack would have been proud! Frank had found his muse.
True to his word my associate returned and began thanking me. I stopped him in his tracks and said there was no need to thank me and told him Frank was in the bedroom and could use some encouragement. After all these were Uncle Franks first of several poop paintings… Without another word I left.
I think it’s safe to say we’re more than even on the ‘favor’ ledger sheet. Jeez.