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Grandpa Still has a Sense of Humor

by Rundy on November 13, 2006

If you see Grandpa at his worst one might think he is “lost” in the disease. He can’t think, he can’t communicate, he can’t do anything (you think) . . . his very personality had disappeared. So you might think if you saw him at his worst. But a passing observation doesn’t give a fair picture. Grandpa isn’t at his worst every day, and he hasn’t disappeared beneath the disease.

Grandpa still has his sense of humor. When he is most befuddled and confused his humor is lost, like everything else, but on a normal day flashes of his humor will come out–a flicker of the old Grandpa from before the world became such a confusing and uncertain place. There are two recent examples.

Some days ago Uncle D was over and Grandma was singing the praises of my book. Uncle D turned to Grandpa and said, “Have you read it?” Grandpa looked at Uncle D and dead-panned, “No, I don’t read that type of trash.”

Then yesterday morning Grandpa and I were in the kitchen when M staggered in, looking as if she had just woke up. “What is that thing in the bathroom?” she mumbled.

“What?” I said.

“What is that thing in the bathroom?”

I stared at her, puzzled. By the way she said it one would be forgiven for thinking she found some revolting mess on the bathroom floor. I started toward the bathroom to check when I finally guessed what she was talking about. The previous day Grandma had bought a new toilet plunger–a strange hi-tech plunger.

“You mean this,” I said, returning from the bathroom with the plunger. “This is our lipo-suction device.”

“Oh. It’s a plunger,” M said, finally waking up enough to recognize the device.

Fifteen minutes later, life had moved on. M had left, and I was working at the sink. Then Grandpa started laughing.

“What?” I said.

He looked at me. “What is that thing?” he said, parroting M.

Grandpa can still see humor in life, and he can still make jokes.

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