In the final few years of my Dad’s life, when he was living in a care home, whenever my younger brother, Carleton, heard him make a cute (or comically inappropriate) comment, he would jot it down. Not surprisingly, my little bro collected some real gems of “Dadisms” over the years.
Although my Dad had dementia, thankfully his sense of humour, spectacular vocabulary, exquisite grammar, extensive knowledge and astute observation skills still surfaced…on occasion.
In life, my Dad wasn’t a Cheerful Charlie, easy-go-lucky, go-with-the-flow, positive kind of guy.
He was more like Spock from Star Trek: logical, intelligent, rational…with an encyclopedia for a mind. In the early days of dementia, his memory loss caused him to be extremely anxious—and understandably so. And yet his wry sense of humour and unrelenting candour still shone through—often with rather comical results.
Here are a few funny Dadisms to brighten your day:
“Her name is Dr. Besterd? I would have changed my name.”
“The girls are REALLY nice to me in here. Probably because there’s no competition. There are a lot of really ancient people in here. They’re like statues. They just lie in bed and don’t move. I feel like I’m in a mausoleum.”
“I’m not going to see Dr Besterd anymore? But she’s gorgeous! I’m going to have to have a heart attack.”
“It’s been a pretty pulchritudinous bunch of girls who’ve been taking care of me!”
“I’m fine for the moment but I’m a walking bundle of anxieties, large and small…but strokes of genius just come to me.”
“These hot nights cause a lot of sweat and stickiness in my unventilated areas.”
While pointing finger into empty glass of red wine at Thanksgiving dinner in care home: “Oh, wine steward……might I have a little more?”
“All these little demons are driving me around the bend…I’m getting to the point that I don’t want to do anything. I just want to worry about it, then go to sleep, and try not to wet the bed.”
“One of the great dangers around here is getting nailed by commentarists…certain types of talkers who get hold of you and hold on indefinitely. I’m deathly afraid of these clingers.”
“This really is a nice walk…I just hope that I don’t pass out and die on you.”
On aging: “The almighty should have thought this all out better…he’s just created a lot of trouble for everyone!”
“I would prefer to live with relatives, but I’d just be a nuisance…I’m an expert at complaining.”
To a caregiver who came to assist him in the bathroom: “Sorry, I just had my pants down and was powdering my behind.”
“It appears that I’m lost…but I’ve found the bar!”
“After 8 o’clock, this place is just like a tomb.”
On a picnic day-trip: “This outhouse is only suitable for corpse disposal…it has this gaping maw that is waiting to swallow you whole.”
“I feel like there’s a big black sheet of rolling doom & gloom…with superficial flashes of humour that don’t last long.”
“When you push that plate towards me, my vomit reflex starts to churn.”
“I think I’m going to lose consciousness…should I do it here? Or somewhere else?”
“I’ve got enough misery of my own to be able to deal with other people’s follies.”
After man finishes saying grace, Dad (an atheist) stands up and exclaims: “I feel kind of sick!”
“It’s true…we are temporary artifacts…sometimes temporary accidents.”
“I’ve dirtied a lot of diapers this way. Sorry…Pull-Ups!”
Previously Published on Pink Gazelle