Retirees Watching Out for Each Other
by Jane Curtis, TX
I was in the store the other day. We all looked like a bunch of bandits waiting to check out. I noticed a woman in another line was purchasing a small gun. I looked at this white haired woman and wondered if the news of the day had caused her to make such a purchase.
Then she started to check out. The cashier's cell phone rang, he did not look up but started playing with his cell phone. Without looking up he said, "Strip down." Now, the poor woman shrugged her shoulders and removed her hat. Ooh, I understood the hat now...bad hair day for sure. Then she took off her jacket, then she started to raise her blouse. I stepped over to her and said, "I know it is hot and a lot of us want to take the layers off but," I put the hat back on her head, "Keep your hat on dear." I pointed to the cashier and said, "These kids can be so rude sometimes." Imagine not even looking up to tell you to put the strip side of your debit card down." I took the debit card out of her hand and pointed to the strip on the back of the card, then turned it facing down.
She suddenly breathed a sigh of relief, patted her chest, fluttered her eyelashes. Then said, "I thought that was a lot of rigmarole over getting something to shoot snakes with."
I questioned, "Snakes?"
She answered, "Yes, my neighbor just told me they had a snake round up a week before I moved into my new house. I thought I would be prepared."
I gave her a hug and introduced myself. I told her she did not have to do that. By that time the cashier had looked back up. I said to the nincompoop, "She has decided not to make the purchase. So sorry." With that he put down his cell phone and proceeded to do the no sale. I was glad she had not put her card in or we would have had to deal with that. I told her all about our little snake scare. I also gave her the phone number of the people to call along with mine in case she ever spotted a snake. She gave me a hug and thanked me for stopping her before she stripped any further.
She admitted she had never purchased a gun and thought it was part of the deal now. I mean they could take note of any scares or tattoos or something. You, know, someway to identify the person who bought the gun. I told her when we started to depart that we retirees needed to watch out for each other. She said she had to skedaddle to meet her son. She had asked him to come over. She had not told him she was buying a gun, but he was a hunter like his father, and she felt he could show her how to use it. Made sense to me. She then said he was going to go berserk when she tells him about what she almost did. I said, "Tell me where you live. I will be there to meet your son. You can tell him you invited him over to meet your new neighbor. I would not, however, tell him about what you almost did." She looked at me and grinned... "Jane, you are right. Never give them the bullets to shoot you down."
I said to myself, 'I knew I was going to like her.' I got to meet Bubba. Only his mother called him Jerry. Her name was Lilly Lewis. His birth name was Jerry Lee. Bubba had three sons; Beaver, named after a rodent; Rider, named after a truck; and Gray, named after a crayon. After the introductions Lilly said, "In my day we at least named our kids after people." I thought to myself 'What would expect someone named Jerry Lee Lewis, to name their children?' It was just a private giggle. Heck I was named after my mother... what did I know? Maybe Lilly knew Jerry Lee Lewis...
Everyone calls him Bubba, except his mamma. He started telling me tales about growing up that were funny but quite embarrassing for Lilly. He kept repeating the phrase, "If mamma ain't happy.. ain't no one happy."
Every time he said it Lilly would blush and lower her head a bit. I finally decided I would turn the conversation onto something he just might know a little about. "Does your mamma have enough duct tape?"
I thought his heart had stopped. His eyes were almost spinning, his mouth was open, he had stopped talking. The look on his face was one of total awe. He jumped up and ran to the 'fix it drawer'. She had a hammer, screw driver, nails, screws but no duct tape. He instantly told her he would be
right back. He left to get duct tape.
Lilly, came over and gave me a big hug. "I have never known how to get him to stop telling tales of my mistakes. He loves telling them. If I had told him about today he would never let me live it down. He started telling you and you stopped him and showed me how. Duct tape." She almost started to laugh. She motioned for me to follow her. I did. We went into her bedroom. She pulled open the drawer of the nightstand. There were 3 rolls of duct tape. She put her finger to her lips, "Not a word. I will send him for duct tape when I really just want him to... SHUT UP." Then she made me laugh out loud. "You know, I have used duct tape to fix just about everything but I never thought I would use it to stop my son's motor mouth."
Then she showed me a little notebook she had that listed all the things to use duct tape for. "I am a red neck at heart," she said. "My husband was a red neck, duct tape is part of the package. Bubba," she said with a wink, (when ever he was around she called him Jerry), "will always instantly run out for duct tape for me. All I gotta tell him is you ran out." I gave her a hug and a hand shake so she would know she could use me as an excuse anytime. After all we retirees have to look out or each other.
About two days later, Bubba showed up at my front door. He had brought me a roll of duct tape. I glanced at his truck full of groceries. He said he had picked up his mamma's grocery list for her. He was surprised when I asked to see the list. He pulled it out of his pocket. I knew I was right. She had numbered the items on the list. You know 1. Butter, 2. Eggs, that was fine till we got to 15. Paper Towel. I had seen several sacks full of those 8-pack rolls of paper towels. I asked if he minded if I also took a couple of those 8-packs of paper towel? I promised to settle up with her later with the money. It was just I did not feel like going to the store for just that. He decided it would be okay. I just knew in my mind she was going to be surprised when she got to the last item on that list. Number 25 was an 18-roll pack of toilet paper. I could tell by the truck bed full of paper towel and toilet paper he had been a very good boy. Just before he left he said, "I had to go so several stores to get all she wanted. You know, "If Mamma ain't happy, ain't no one happy." He gave me a wink and left. I closed the door and thought to myself. I think Lilly and her son just complicated my life a little. Lilly was a retiree like me. We were going to have to look after each other. I gotta teach her how to make out a grocery list. Something tells me she never gave him one before today. I was right. After talking to her on the phone later that evening I discovered she had been sitting making out her grocery list when he came by. She was trying to concentrate on what she was putting down when she mentioned that I was out of duct tape and she had to give me the end of her roll. "He snatched my list out of my hand," she said. I had to laugh. It all made sense. She told me to check with her if I ever needed toilet paper... or more paper towel. We both laughed. Then she asked what do you do with 10 five pound sacks of sugar? I told her I would be right over, "We gotta watch out for each other. I got the recipes. We'll make up thank you sacks. You make cookies and bag them. Freeze them, I have a large freezer if you need it. Then when ever you need to thank someone for something you have a gift to go with the thank you card. It also helps when you are coming up on the holidays. Our mailman, chief of police, fire department, trash men. We got lots of thank you bags to give out.
Lilly, gave me a hug when I got there. I even had the cookie cutters to do the task. She said, "I think all retirees need a retiree buddy. Someone to watch out for ya'." I could not agree more. She does not do computers but that is okay. I will be reading to her from this website so she can enjoy it too.