On Embarrassment

I had a housemate, once, with a mean cat. At the start of every summer, she’d have her cat shaved so he wouldn’t overheat. I always had to watch out for Rocky, her cat. He had a habit of leaping up to bite my legs. He also used to torment my cat, growling and swatting with his claws. Continue reading “On Embarrassment”

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Unlikely Saints

It’s been about a year since I went to emergency with my hockey playing concussed daughter. At the time, all that concerned me was her head, but I instinctively sat between her and the homeless man. Beside him, on the other side, was an old man and a middle-aged woman, his daughter I assumed. I felt sorry for the old man, having to sit next to the homeless guy, not because he smelled, which he did, but because he was edgy, unpredictable. I was watchful, protective, ready to move my daughter, who was playing a game on her phone.

One of the nurses sauntered over to the homeless guy. “Let’s see that foot,” she said.

“It’s kind of dirty.” Continue reading “Unlikely Saints”

The Gentle-Hearted Computer Scammer

Sometimes I like to toy with the scammers on the phone. It’s an exercise in quick thinking, saying whatever comes into my head, messing with them until they hang up in an outraged huff. This time it was the Microsoft scam. You know, they call and say that they’re from Windows and they’ve detected errors on your computer. The conversation went like this.

Him: “I’m calling from Microsoft Windows, Ma’am. We’ve detected dangerous errors on your computer. Do you know that it’s under attack?”

Me: “But I don’t have any computers.” Continue reading “The Gentle-Hearted Computer Scammer”

The Oldest Woman’s Secret

The reporter sits across from me and asks very nicely if he can record our conversation. Video, he says. I know what video is, I tell him. My voice doesn’t sound like my voice. I’m 115 years old. I used to be the second oldest person in the world. Since February, I’ve been the oldest person still alive.

“1900 isn’t that long ago,” I tell him. “It’s still the twentieth century.”

“We’re in the 21st now,” he says kindly. Continue reading “The Oldest Woman’s Secret”