Today I had that lying Julie for a dinner partner at the senior meal site. Julie went to the meal site dinner just because Harold was there putting on a birthday party for Dot. Dot’s eighty-four, though you wouldn’t say she’s a day over seventy-five. Dot’s an old maid and proud of it.
Julie said, “You know they used to tell us to eat the potato, skins and all, but now they say those skins are toxic.” She talked loud so that Harold would hear her.
“Not if you wash them,” I said. “Just like cukes or anything like that. You wash off whatever they spray on them to make them grow.”
She said, “You can’t wash this off them. They’re toxic.”
She was talking about the skin itself becoming toxic, not something they’d added to it—well, how was I was to know that?
“Then don’t eat them,” I said.
She looked at Harold, but he wasn’t paying the least attention to her. So that ended the conversation, plain and simple.
Harold drives in from Eden every morning to have breakfast at the senior housing, and Julie’s always inviting him up to her room for a drink, no matter how many times he says he doesn’t drink in the morning. Today he wouldn’t even have a drink in the afternoon. He just sat and talked to Dot.
Julie’s going to be eighty next week and not a peep out of Harold. She can’t stand it.
I had my family at the senior meal site, and that Harry that I want to kill sat at the table just as I was telling how my family couldn’t get their son to go into their hot tub.
“He’s afraid of water,” my daughter says.
My son-in-law, a lout with heavy muscles all covered with fat and hair, doesn’t peep.
Harry says, “My folks took me to a beach in Norfolk, Virginia, and a big wave knocked me down and swept me out to sea, but that didn’t bother me.”
“I had a similar thing happen in Mexico,” I said. “I was scared because—”
Harry goes right on. “You know where I wouldn’t swim? I wouldn’t swim in Monterey. You know why? They have more shark attacks there than any other part of the US. No, sir, I wouldn’t go in those waters. It’s because California protects the seals. There’s a big seal population. The sharks mistake people for seals. You see these seals with gashes down their sides. There was this piece in the news recently where a surfer—you know what surfing is?”
The arrogance of these men.
Harry goes right on. “This surfer had his surfboard bitten—you know a surfboard? fiberglass, about this thick.”
Just high and mighty, Harry is.
“Took a chunk right out of it.”
Like a ninny my daughter asks, “Was the man hurt?”
“A bite in his side,” says Harry.
And all the time my son-in-law sitting right there.
How could they do that— mistake a person for a seal? I jabbed a fork in Harry’s leg.
"Screwing Donald Trump"
“I screwed Donald Trump on that gambling trip,” I told Harriet during dessert at the senior meal site. She hadn’t gone, and I was going to gloat. “On Saturday the bus took us to Atlantic City, to that Trump Place. This hostess, or whatever she was, came onboard the bus and handed out two coupons: one good for ten dollars in quarters right there, the other if you came back a month later.”
“How long did it take Trump to take those back—and more too?” Harriet asked.
“Donald Trump may have thought he was going to get those away from me, but I fooled him. I walked. I walked until the bus came back at two. There wasn’t a place to sit except in front of the machines and every one of them had a tape right across it—IF YOU SIT, YOU MUST PLAY. Even at the vanities in the bathrooms, there weren’t any seats.”
I set that roll of quarters right next to my Jell-O.
“Ten dollars in four hours is two-fifty an hour,” Harriet told me. “That’s about half the minimum wage.”
“It’s not just the money. It’s the screwing I gave that Trump for it.”
“What’s that make you?” Harriet asked me. “And for ten dollars.”
Oh, how I wished Harriet had gone, and now I’d fixed it so we could never go.