Sunday, March 18, 2007

Birthday Interview with a Grammy

How old are you?
I am 92. It's terrible.

What advice do you have for the youngsters?
Take care of your teeth.

What do you think about Mark Twain's hair style?
It's ok. I'm indifferent.

I heard you got your very first massage for your birthday. How was it?
The masseuse said my underwear was very small. How often can you get a massage? Your mom said only once a month, but I'm sure I could go more often than that. I also got two boxes of chocolate, Turkish cotton tea towels (very soft), cider, and face cream. I'm getting English Breakfast tea sent to me, but I didn't get it yet.

Would you wear platform high heels if they were comfortable?
No. High heels are not speedy.

If you were going to learn to speak another language, which would it be?
Spanish. The face cream I got for my birthday even has Spanish on the label. Plus, I heard it was easy. I would have learned French but my French teacher wasn't really French. How can you learn French if your French teacher isn't even French?

When was the last time you went bowling?
Two, three years ago. I bowled over 100. Everyone said I did really well.

Why don't you have a shed?
I don't need a shed.

Would you consider getting a cat?

What is your favorite color?
Medium blue.

Recently, you learned how to use a computer. How do you like being a techy?
Everyone needs a computer for the email. I tried to pay a bill online but I took a break. Sometimes my computer talks to me and tells me politely when I'm doing something wrong. I appreciate that.

Are you addicted to the computer?
No not me. I'm too busy. I know a woman who spent hours on the computer every day. But I think she had some kind of illness. And those blogs are awful. The ones that come at you. Pop up ads, I mean.

Is there anything you are looking to accomplish in the digital era?
A man I know said you can put your pictures into the computer. And the blogs. To read the blogs.

What do you do with your photocopier?
Golly. I photocopy a lot of things. Articles. Letters. Other people's letters. I have a whole pile of things to photocopy. I don't know what I would do without my photocopier.

Which do you like better, hard pretzels or soft pretzels?
The hard pretzels are bad for your teeth. You have to take care of your teeth. When I lived in Lancaster we used to buy brokers at the market.

Lancaster is no Wall Street. What do the brokers there do all day?
You know. Broken pretzels. They were cheaper. I never put mustard on them.

What is your goal this year?
To go to Owen's graduation. I have gone to every one of my grandchildrens' high school and college graduations. I haven't missed one. And to meet my great-grandchildren. That's a big goal.

What do you think your great-grandchildren should be named?
I don't know.

How about Carl?
With a 'C' or a 'K'?

A 'K.'
Ok, that's better.

Let me ask it this way: What should the babies NOT be named?
Certainly not a bible name.

Like Mary?
Oh. Mary is ok.

Or Seth?
Oh. Seth is ok. I meant not like Blanche.

Is Blanche a bible name?
Well it's old fashioned. No old fashioned names. Your great-grandma Thomas was named Bessie. Like a cow. Mary Bessie. I don't know why they didn't call her Mary. She didn't like her name. She told me. I wouldn't name the babies Paul or Pauline, either. Or one of those new trendy names like Jordan.

Isn't Jordan Whitney's middle name?
Oh. Well it's ok if it's a family name or a middle name. Holly's real name was Helen Mar. I like that. But Phyllis couldn't pronounce Helen, so we started to call her Holly. I wouldn't name a child Rachel either.

How about a cat? Would you name a cat Rachel.
No. I would not name a cat Rachel.

What was the meanest trick you ever played on anyone?
I would go out to the mailbox and steal Holly's magazines. I would hide them in my clothing. I would hide books in my clothing too. One time I left Holly's book out in the rain. Some sappy Gothic romance. You know what I mean.

I know what you mean. Did she ever find out and beat you up?
We never came to blows. We did fight.

Do you agree that Edie Sedgewick could be considered the quintessential "It Girl?"
Andy Warhol died from appendicitis. I never knew that until recently.

you ever dissect a frog?
No. I don't even like to cut up earthworms. Poor little things.

Have you ever fired a side arm?
Yes. In Finland.

Really? So you were at home on the range?
There were a lot of mosquitoes.

Did you ever smoke a cigarette?
Yes. I was keeping a child in Lancaster and the woman smoked and she left cigarettes lying around. I don't remember if they were Marlboro Reds. I didn't like it. There was a girl in college who smoked. The only one. She wanted me to go along with her as a lookout. She would have been expelled if she'd been caught.

Did you ever smoke a peace pipe?
I pretended to because I was kind of at the end and when it finally got around to me... I mean they were wiping it off between people but...

But you didn't inhale?
I would like to say that the interviewer is very charming.

Are you trying to distract me from this line of questioning with gratuitous flattery?
You like poems that rhyme. Unlike your mother. She doesn't like poems that rhyme. She told me she didn't like a poem by Ogden Nash. She probably doesn't even like the Cat and the Hat. I forgot to ask her if she liked the Cat in the Hat.

Does she think that rhyming precludes profundity?
I bet she doesn't even like Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. But your mom is fun. She's very interesting. She read a whole book while she was here.

Did she hide it in her clothing?
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