You know the players and you seem to love them. Crazy Granny heads the cast of strange family members and their antics. This compilation of short stories grew out of my blog, which grew out of the stories I would tell friends whenever they asked about Granny or my mother. Somewhere along the way, my dear friend Barbara A. convinced me that these tales should be preserved in some written form. After they appeared in the blog, some fans asked for them to be put into a book.
I really didn’t think there was anything much to them, no artistry or imagination on my part was required, I recorded them as they happened or were told to me. However after the first proofs came in, I was astounded by how good and funny they were as a whole and furthermore they are a chronicle of my childhood in a place that, as the great Garcia Marquez wrote, ‘that city of mirrors [ or mirages] would be wiped out by the wind and exiled from the memory of men….because races condemned to one hundred years of solitude did not have a second opportunity on earth.’ Though certainly my parchments too will finish as dust. So without further ado, here is an excerpt from your favorite, Throw Granny off the Balcony:
When Granny first moved into the assisted living facility, she worriedly told my sister, ‘I see people in old fashioned clothes floating on the ceiling in my bedroom.’ My sister, who has a spiritual inclination replied, ‘Those are your departed loved ones. When you are close to the end of your life, they come to help you transition to the other side.’
Granny apparently had a sleepless night over this but the next morning called my sister to triumphantly announce, ‘I want you to know something, I don’t see those people any more.’
Another time, my mother received a hysterical call from Granny when the beauticians came to trim her toenails. ‘Shame on you,’ Granny yelled, ‘I raised you alone after your father died and now you’ve sent these people to cut off my legs!’ My mother takes this all very seriously and tried to convince Granny that they were there to give her a pedicure. Granny imperiously rejoindered, ‘Now you are trying to make me into an imbecile.’
Lately Granny has got it into her head that there is another war on and that she is manning a machine gun. She looks at her arthritic hands and says to my mother, ‘How could you have taken me out of here and sent me to the front at my age. Look what’s happened to my hands from the machine gun.’ Mother, for some reason, feels the need to explain to her, ‘Mama, you were a courier during the war, you never saw action and anyway that was almost seventy years ago.’
‘No,’ Granny says, ‘the war is on-going.’ Personally, I used to think she was paranoid when she said ‘they’ were bugging phones and monitoring conversations, but now it seems that she was right.
Another time when she was temporarily in a rehab center for a medical problem, she determined that experiments were being conducted on the patients. ‘Don’t be surprised if you get a baby brother or sister,’ she tells my mother. Curious, my mother asks, ‘Who did this to you?’ as Granny points out an handsome young doctor. ‘Okay, but don’t tell anyone else,’ my poor mother says.
And so on and so on.