Saturday, March 9, 2013

I Farted and Scared a Burglar Away.




     I’m a very senior widow living in what was once a lovely part of Los Angeles.  The late “Mister” and I used to take long walks on summer nights without a care in the world.  Locking doors was optional, and our two young boys would often “camp out” in the backyard while we laughed at Johnnie Carson’s jokes in bed.  Today, crime is high.  I venture from my apartment only to shop and do laundry.  I have three deadbolts on the door and the only people in the yard are winos and gangbangers.
     But I keep myself busy, so don’t feel sorry for me.  My boys don’t, so why should you?  They have better things to do, like get married, divorced, married, divorced.  They’re like a couple of ping-pong balls.  You need a scorecard.  And work?  They’re just waiting for their inheritance so they can live like bums for another couple more years.

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     Oh, well, we all have our little flaws, don’t we?  And at 48 and 51, they’re still finding themselves.  One even has a great future ahead of him when he graduates from college.  Actually, those layabouts are the real reason I want to go on living as long as I can.  That’s why I pay attention to what I eat, especially fiber.  I believe a cleansing diet of beans, fruit, oat bran, raisins, and the King of Fiber, Metamucil, keeps an older person alive longer if they stick to it, like I do.
     A typical breakfast for me is Raisin Bran, whole-grain toast and a couple of bananas.  Lunch is a small can of ice-cold lima beans or meatless chili and Jell-O topped with crushed raw filberts.  For supper, I usually savor a bowl of five-bean salad followed by celery sticks and a luscious dessert of room-temperature prunes.  Then I sip on a glass of flavored Metamucil while enjoying an evening of my favorite “must-see” programs.  (I firmly believe my friends in the fiber family will add forty years to my life.  My greedy boys won’t lay me to rest until I’m 121—and they’re 88 and 91, giving them just enough time to blow their inheritance on rest homes and Depends.)
     I was viewing the third hour of Action News one evening when I was startled by a scraping noise beneath the window.  Figuring it was just a street person looking for a place to sleep, I rose to turn on the floodlights my landlady had installed.
     It was then I received the fright of my life.  A rock smashed through the window, followed by a hairy arm trying to work the latch.
     “Go away!” I shouted, but my quavering old-lady voice didn’t stop him for a moment.  I was beside myself with fear.
     Now comes the embarrassing part, why I have never told anyone this story before.  As you might imagine, my diet causes a lot of, well, intestinal gas.  Usually, I’m able to censure myself so that the air comes out—silently.  This time it emerged without warning, in three loud bangs that made me jump.  The burglar’s hairy arm withdrew in a flash, followed by the sound of breaking branches as he fled.  Apparently, the pistol-like reports I released made him think I had a gun.
     It took me a month of Sundays to recover.  Eventually, I saw it as just one more benefit of fiber.  Still, I could never bear to go public with my finding, even if it would help other seniors like me.  Maybe I’ll just pin a note to the laundromat bulletin board when nobody else is there.  Yes, that’s what I’ll do.

Sophie in Los Angeles
    


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