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From the Neck Down

June 28, 2021

My sister took my 88-year-old mother to the doctor today. We like her GP (he and Mum are on a first name basis). He’s a good doctor and has a sense of humour. He’s told Marion he enjoys her visits because he can have fun with her. From the neck up, he said, Mum is tip top, sharp as a tack. From the neck down, however. He raised his eyebrows, ‘Hmmm.’

He’s right about her brain. It’s ferocious. She can remember everyone’s telephone number, her family’s, the neighbours’, you name it. She used to be a telephone operator in the days of switchboards and party lines and must have picked up a method for memorising numbers. Or maybe she just has one of those minds. It’s a great party trick.

The last time I took her to see her doctor we were discussing her various ailments and, being a killjoy by nature, I brought up the subject of alcohol. The GP didn’t see any problem with Marion having a drink a day. What about two drinks? I asked.

Mum gave me a look. ‘You make me sound like an alcoholic,’ she said.

The doctor raised his eyebrows. ‘Almost.’

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