If you would like to read “The Quiet Ones, Part 11” click on the title.
Triiiiiing! Triiiiiing! Bob’s pleasant slumber was interrupted abruptly by the shrill screech of the house phone. He had been dreaming he was a boy, enjoying an ice cream cone on a warm spring day. His time was his own, and he had no real responsibilities, other than to get decent grades and help around the house a bit. He didn’t have to worry about anyone else. In fact it was someone else’s job to worry about him.
“Can I speak with Mary Bell?”
“Mary Bell Shubert”
“I’m sorry, there’s no one here by that name.”
“Uhh, can I speak to the lady of the house?”
“You can, but she won’t speak back to you.”
“Oh, well tell her this isn’t a sales call.”
“She still won’t talk to you. She has aphasia.”
“Oh, I’m sorry. My aunt had that, but she had surgery on her hips, and now she’s better.”
“No, she has aphasia. That means she can’t speak.”
“Oh, are you her husband?”
“I can’t really say. Did you know one of your neighbors had their house broken into recently?”
“You can’t say! What’s the matter, did you leave your name tag at home?”
“I’m just trying to offer you an opportunity…”
“You don’t know who you are, because you forgot your name tag?”
“No sir, we’re offering free…”
“Free name tags? So we won’t forget who we are too?”
“No, I know who I am.”
“Do we ever really know who we are son? It’s kinda like that song, “Does anyone really know what time it is? Does anyone really care?” Click.
Bingo! Ten points for Bob, although he usually deducted two points from his score when he had to resort to singing to get the damned phone solicitors to hang up on him. Bob couldn’t carry a tune in a shoe box, so that was just playing dirty pool.
Bob’s son, Terry, had put both the house phone and Bob’s cell phone on the national Do Not Call registry, but that clearly meant nothing to the charlatans who preyed on the elderly, relying on their wavering mental capacity and quaint, obsolete manners to open doors slammed shut by their more wary descendants. Bob was neither dull witted nor indiscriminately polite, and he viewed anyone who entered his home uninvited as fair game.
Bob glanced over at Mabeline, still sleeping in her geri chair. She had been there since about 2:35, after her last trip to the bathroom. It was after 6:00. His daughter-in-law, Brenda, was coming by to help him take Mabeline to the bathroom and feed her dinner. Unfortunately, Brenda worked down town, so it was usually at least 6:15 and sometimes 6:30 before she could get to their house. By the time they got Mabeline out of her chair it was often soaked. That meant changing all of her clothes, the pad and sheet underneath her. It also meant that she could have been sitting in urine for up to four hours.
If you would like to read “The Quiet Ones, Part 13,” click the title.
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