LIving Dangerously...With Grandma

Visits with my grandmother, either in person or telephonically, eventually lead to the subject of death. Yours or hers, it doesn't matter, either one will do.

Pretty much since I can remember, she's been planning her own funeral. She even has the music picked out, she wants some Tom Jones song played. She seems to have trouble deciding exactly where she wants to be buried though, and in result, has purchased numerous plots/graves which she keeps offering to me like she's offering a stick of gum or something equally as trivial, "You know, I have these extra graves, do you want one?"

Last week, she added to her funeral playlist. After trying to choke down some coffee made in something that looked like a tin can, (seriously, the stuff at my Grandma's house is ancient). The sewing machine is operated by a pedal, the phone is still rotary, as for the washing machine you have to get buckets of water to fill it up and when you're done you have to feed the clothes through a hand crank ringer to get the excess water out. What about the dryer, you ask? Ha! Just don't... Anyway, during the aforementioned coffee choking, the grave plots subject was faithfully revisited. I declined the offer again. This led to a conversation about her memorial services:

Grandma: Oh! I know what I wanted to tell you. I decided I want this other song played at the funeral now.

Me: You mean you don't want that Tom Jones song anymore?

G: Yes, but now I want this one, too: *sings* There's a place for usssssss… know that one?

Me: Oh, yes Grandma, that song was written by my favorite composer.

G: Good. Than you won't go forgetting it.

Me: No, I will be sure they play it Grandma.

G: Oh! Also, I decided I want to get you a limo.

Me: For what?

G: So you can all drive over from the church to the cemetery together! Oh, won't that be nice?!!

Me: *blank stare*

G: Now, I need you to help me count how many people will be riding in the limo.

(we make a count - it will be ten)

Ok, then I will make a reservation for a limo that holds ten. You can have drinks in there. Oh, that will be so nice!

I am sure you'll have a lot of fun all together in that limo!

(long pause)

Damn! I'm going to miss it!

Of course, to her, the Grim Reaper is waiting around every corner. This is a woman who travelled to Paris for New Years Eve, stayed ten days and only left her room once, as she was terrified of getting sick. After all, The Cold is totally her nemesis and can be found lurking anywhere.

Grandma: Oh, I feel so bad today!

Me :
Why? What's wrong Grandma?

Grandma: My throat hurts. Can't you hear it? (followed by some agony appropriate sounds)

Me :
Aww, I'm really sorry

Grandma: Well, you know what it was? Yesterday, I was at a mixer and I was sitting next to a man who had ice in his drink and the cold from the ice jumped out of his glass and into my throat and now I'm sick!

You know how Carrie could move things with her mind and Mr. Blackwood can turn off street lights? Well, my grandma causes accidents. Not on the road, thank goodness...although, driving in a car with my grandmother is pure entertainment. Everyone and everything makes her angry.

We stop at a stoplight and someone is walking across the crosswalk, the WALK sign is illuminated.
"Hurry up stupid! You walk too slow! What's the matter with them? Get out of my way!"

This basic sentence formula is repeated with different pronouns and verbs at just about every juncture of the journey.

An example of her superpower is evident during this recent shopping trip to the market, (in the worst part of East LA, right by where The Night Stalker was caught), to get tuna, which she insists on buying me because it's fifty cents a can. I saw a man accidentally ram his shopping cart into a ten foot high display of tortilla chips, causing the entire thing to tumble to the ground. He actually started laughing and then slunk away. In line, two distracted mothers pushing babies in strollers crashed the strollers into one another and one of the babies fell out. There was a man on the top of a ladder, (maybe fifteen feet high), who almost fell off. Also, ghetto groceries are totally cheap. I got a big bag of Doritos for $1.88!

Anyone who eats at her house is knowingly flirting with death. Mr. Blackwood asked for catsup. After digging around in her fridge for awhile, she handed me a bottle of the stuff that expired in 2006. There's a can of guacamole in there from pre-millenium times, some Coors under the bed from the '80's. We ate the tacos she made yesterday...I guess its time to ask for one of those grave plots.

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