Senior Rapids

by Ted Gargiulo — Hey, Sport! A pox on me for a clumsy lout! I never wrote to thank you and Meg for sending us those chocolates last Christmas. All these months, I assumed Jann had written you. However, Jann informs me that she DIDN’T. Why? Because (she says) I told her I was going to write. I did???  I don’t recall making any such promise. Jann swears I did.

Not that I don’t believe her. I suspect I suffer from periodic knucklehead attacks, wherein I simply don’t remember things clearly. Leastways, not the way Jann remembers them. She claims we discussed this matter several times already, and I’m always as amazed as I was the very first time.  (“I really said that?”) Somehow, the light never fully penetrated the thick, protective shell surrounding my brain. It’s like having a demented saboteur running loose inside that shell, pulling strings and forcing me to believe things that aren’t so.

What I do remember is the chocolates arriving. I recall the animal grunts of pleasure I emitted when I bit into one, which is how I normally respond whenever a sweet treat caresses my pleasure spot. And I remember thinking, “Wow, that’s delicious! We must thank these friends of ours!” After that, all is darkness. And I’m not referring to the chocolate. Now Jann’s kicking herself because she’s afraid you’ll think she’s rude and ungrateful for not writing to express our mutual gratitude. 

“Nonsense!” I told her. “Don would never think badly of you! Anyone who knows you, knows how gracious you are. You think Don’s gonna call the Internet Police and have you booted off Facebook Messenger because you didn’t respond within a prescribed time limit? Besides, I’m the one who botched things up. How do you know he doesn’t blame ME for not writing?” 

To which she replied, “Because he already knows you’re a forgetful doo-doo head,” or something to that effect. “But he expects better things of ME, and now I look bad!”

“No you don’t,” I said. “I’m the one who looks bad.”

“No you’re not!  I look bad!”

“No, I look bad!”

Then I said…I mean, SHE said…

Damn, I can’t even remember who’s talking anymore.

I understand that this sort of crazy thing happens when folks get older. I just didn’t think it would happen to me quite so soon. Apparently, the fact that I’m pushing 70 hasn’t quite sunk in either. Jann, though only six months my junior, is generally sharper and more connected than I am, especially when it comes to matters of social etiquette. She only ACTS loopy at times to keep me from feeling bad. Then again, the pendulum does swing both ways. Maybe I’m making these self-deprecating remarks to protect JANN’S feelings(?)

It’s still a few years before you and Meg start cruising down Senior Rapids. Trust me, it’s one helluva trip! Enjoy it! Don’t forget your high boots…and your paddle!

Anyway, I had a brief moment of clarity today and figured I’d better get on Messenger, while the sun was still shining in the proverbial belfry, and tell you guys how much we appreciated the wonderful chocolates you sent. Thank you most kindly. There, I finally said it!  Now everybody’s happy!

So whatever you do, please don’t write back and say, “WHAT CHOCOLATES?”

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