WARNING: All information presented below is NOT real. The April Fools’ pullout is for entertainment purposes only.
SENIOR SPOTLIGHT: BUNNY SEEBy VICTORIA ENGELHARDT
Belle of the Orange
I ask the same questions every week and the answers rarely vary. But this week, something’s a little off. This senior is just not quite right. I let him pick the place, and instead of the Caf or the Mulberry, he asked me to meet him at Cracker Barrel—I should have realized this was not going to be the typical Senior Spotlight. My first question, “Has being a senior really hit you yet?” evoked a blood-red face and a werewolf-like howl out of Bunny See. After the aforementioned dramatics, he stared me down and said, “Has being a senior really hit me yet? Has it HIT me yet? It has, thanks to a mean Burger King worker who saw me at the drive-thru and gave me ‘the discount.’”
Out of nowhere, he jumped out of the rocker, pushed some small children out of the way, then stood up on the checkers table and announced that he was going to tell me a story. My heart raced, as I was afraid all the physical activity he just did was going to give him a heart attack before he could tell me his story. But then, when I didn’t expect it, I heard a guttural scream and, “I blinked, and now I’m an old man!!! What the…? Suddenly, the sky turned black, the wind howled, and there was no oxygen in my car. I gasped and tried to scream, but no one could hear my gut-wrenching cries. My car seat instantly converted into a rocker, and my lower jaw began chewing some type of octogenarian cud rather vigorously. When I looked into the rear view mirror, my shades had turned into coke bottle lenses. “My eyebrows were three feet tall. Next I had this overwhelming urge to peel out of the Burger King drivethrough without paying and head to CVS to purchase a large container of Metamucil—maybe even two containers if it happened to be on sale. Well, that’s what I wanted to do, but I couldn’t. After all, it was now nap time, even though it was only 8 o’clock in the morning. Yes, friends, that was my first senior experience, and things have gone downhill from there.”
After announcing this to everyone waiting outside at Cracker Barrel— did I mention this was a Sunday around lunch time?—he quietly asked me for help getting off of the checkers table and sat back down in his rocker. While I knew that some seniors I interview are hesitant to reveal their GPA to me, and though he had thoroughly scared the crap out of me in the moments before, I had to continue with the interview, so I took a deep breath and just asked. See was more than happy to oblige, saying, “Oddly enough, even at my age, people still ask about my GPA. While that is sort of a private matter, I find that the older I get, the less I mind imparting personal information to people. I’m pleased to say that my Geriatric Pants Altitude is about 10 inches above the waist. I don’t give a hoot what it looks like! That’s right—not one hoot! Young people can make fun of seniors all they like. All it would take to end the snickering would be for any one of us seniors to drop our drawers. And maybe we should? After that, young people would be thanking us profusely for wearing our pants around our chests.”
My jaw was already on the floor when he mumbled to himself, “Okay, ‘drop trou’ is now on the to-do list.” Before I could even think to ask him another question, he said, “Tell those young people that being a senior doesn’t mean one can’t have hobbies. I mean, once the thrill of shuffleboard wears off, what the heck have you got? I like to secretly play practical jokes on my fellow seniors. There’s nothing like the joy of seeing a senior who really has to get to the restroom get nowhere fast because I’ve greased the wheels of his chair. Or putting some ornamental grapes from the seniorcenter lobby onto someone’s dinner tray can be very entertaining. Sometimes a few of us will place bets as to whether or not the victim’s false teeth will pull out. And not much in this life is funnier than putting a senior’s metal bed pan into the freezer for about half an hour before the attendant delivers it.” Note to self—never, ever hang out with this crazy senior again.
Graduation is also a subject that seems to come up a lot when one is a senior, so I asked him about it. See’s response was that “We’re all going to graduate one day. A lot of my friends have already graduated, in fact. It’s always so sad when they do. Seeing that ambulance pull up to the back of the home and cart them off brings a lump to one’s throat. That feeling doesn’t last long, though, when one realizes that there will be more of that tasty Milk of Magnesia to go around at the Saturday night card games.”
As a senior with much knowledge and experience in the ways of the world, I wondered if See would have done anything differently, looking back over the course of his life. “Well, heck yeah! Only a danged fool would make the same mistakes twice. I only wish I could remember what they were.” I thought it would be nice to ask if he had ever won any awards or received any honors. After rocking for a few minutes, looking pensive, he answered, “One year I was honored to have been voted Senior of the Month. Fellow residents are asked to say nice things about you or they go without their dinner. One of the most touching things someone ever said about me—and it nearly brought tears to my cataract-covered eyes—was: ‘He’s the kind of guy who would wheel down to the drugstore in the middle of the night during a thunderstorm and pick up a package of Depends for you.’ We’re freakin’ SENIORS and that’s what we do for each other!”
I could see the glazed look coming back over his eyes, and knew I only had time for one more question before he slipped back into Alzheimer’s land. I wasn’t sure how much time he still had with us, so I decided to ask See what his advice for underclassmen was. You can tell by his reply that he was retreating back into his own little world—he looked me dead in the eye and said, “When YOU get to be a senior, there are just a few simple things to keep in mind in order to have a successful social life. Don’t eat a large helping of collard greens before going out for a night on the town. Don’t forget to check your pants before you leave the house to make sure they’re not on backwards. And don’t confuse your nitroglycerin pills with your Tic- Tac breath mints.”