Pysma (pys’-ma): The asking of multiple questions successively (which would together require a complex reply). A rhetorical use of the question.
I retired too early. It wasn’t a choice. My arthritis froze up my hand to the point where I couldn’t do my job any more.
Now, I long for the good old days working at Entermann’s Bakery as an egg cracker for the crumb cake batter and the Stollen at Christmas time. I miss my little white hat, the smell of egg yolk, and the frequent sneezing from the flour in the air. I miss my comrades too, especially Hans Wieder who made 300 lbs of white icing everyday. He would stir it with a spatula that looked like a snow shovel, whistling “Edelweiss” like a Nightengale, and doling out paper cups full of icing to us all, to have as desert with our lunches. I had started bringing just two slices of bread to work to smear with Hans’ delicious icing. It was perfect. Then, Hans was fired for being “too generous” with “the product.” He chained himself to the icing vat and started swinging his spatula. He hit Mr. Entermann’s son in the face, who then shot at Hans, and Hans clubbed him with his spatula and killed him in “self defense.” Hans was tried and convicted of “purposeful manslaughter” and was sentenced to 4 years in Rahway State Prison. Someday, I will visit Hans, but for now, I try keep myself busy on my own. What do you think I do? How do you think I spend my time? What does a 67-year-old single man do from dawn until dusk?
In the morning I watch Martha Stewart and have been following her home decor recommendations. I have lots of ribbons and bows and little things hanging in my windows made of paper or self-hardening clay. Then I watch porn pretty much for the rest of the day. I purchased a copy of “Dirty Dick’s Porno Keywords” that I use to vary my searches for different porn site themes. It is an excellent resource for people like me who’re beginning to forget most of their own experiences and need to prop up their porno experiences with reference materials. When I get tired of the porn, I listen to oldies on XM radio. Finally, I go the bed with Bonanza. I think I have some kind of crush on Hoss, but I’m not ready to admit it yet. I like to think about riding my 10-speed bike through a hole in a burning map of Lake Tahoe. I would have “Born to be Wild” playing in the background and I’d be wearing a fringed leather coat like Billy in “Easy Rider,” mannn.
My therapist tells me I should get out more often. So, it is a little unorthodox, but I’m going out on Halloween. I was racking my brain about who or what to be. As usual, I was listening to the “Oldies Station” on XM radio. They were playing a Beatles’ retrospective and “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” came on. I thought “That’s perfect. I can be Maxwell.” I went down in the basement and found my hammer. I went to the Ace hardware store and bought a can of silver spray paint. I painted my hammer silver and went to Oxfam and got some schoolboy clothing to wear—black shoes, white socks, short pants, while shirt, matching blazer and random middle school beanie. I was ready! Two more days until Halloween! I downloaded “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” and played it over and over for inspiration. I couldn’t wait.
Halloween came and I donned my costume. I went to the door of my first house. I pounded on the door and held my silver hammer up in the air over my head and yelled “Get ready to die!” A woman answered the door, took one look at me a screamed “Call 911!” Her husband came running out of the living room. I was so stunned I hadn’t moved and still was holding the hammer over my head. He yelled “You perverted bastard” and shot me with his service revolver. He was an off-duty policeman.
When I was checked into the hospital with a gunshot wound to my ear, I found out it was Sept 30. I do not know how I got my dates so screwed up, but I do know why they panicked and I got shot. Thank god it was just my ear, another inch or two to the left and I’d be dead.
As a remedy to my time and date problem, I got a special clock from AARP that mimics a smoke alarm and yells the date and time every two hours. I also hired “Remember Your Life” to keep track of my appointments and text my cellphone every fifteen minutes on days when I have appointments.
They’re holding a Halloween party at the senior center. I’ve been invited. I know from all my time and date keeping gizmos that it’s actually October 31 when they are holding the party. I was thinking of going as the Grim Reaper looking over a papier-mâché effigy of an old guy on a gurney being euthanized. It has a modern ring to it and may help some of the guests with their end of life decisions. I can make a hole in the old guy’s chest and fill it with Medicare cards and candy.
Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu)
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