Possibly the Best Octogenarian New Year’s Eve Story of All Time

Many of you have sent me thoughtful messages regarding the passing of my grandmother, Mary, on Friday.  Thank you all for your kindness.

I was asked by my dad to write the eulogy.  My sister will deliver it.

This works very nicely.  It gave me the opportunity to collaborate with my sister.

When we were comparing notes for the big event, my sister told me a great story about my grandparents that I had never heard.


Steppin' Out.

A few years ago, my recently-departed grandparents were young and impulsive 80-somethings.

Instead of sitting home (like their children and grandchildren) on New Year’s Eve, they got spruced up, gassed up the Merc and went out to a party.

“Where would they go?” you might legitimately ask.

No, they did not go to a crystal meth, rave-a-thon at Club Liquide.

They boogied their way over to the local senior center.

Or, as my Grandpa (a regular riot) used to call it, The Senile Center.

Anyhow, two o’clock in the mo’ rolled around and Nana & Grandpa still had not returned to their abode.  My aunt (who resides in an apartment upstairs) began frantically dialing relatives.

My sister was the only one who didn’t check her caller ID concerned enough to answer the  phone.

Although sympathetic, there was really very little that my sis could do to assist the worried aunt.

I’m quite certain that Jimmy Smits and Dennis Frantz were not going to jump up from their desks and roll out in a gumball on New Year’s Izzle on a missing seniors call.

Anyhoo, fast forward to sometime later that night.  Trust: there are no roosters where they live.  But, had there been some, they would have started crowing right about the time that the elders rolled home.

Here’s the story — A very nice lady from the Senior Center whom we’ll call One-Legged Annie had a crush on my Grandfather.  Now, I have changed her name to protect her identity.

Well, actually Annie is her name.  But, she’s really missing an arm not a leg.

Not really.

Who could resist?

Annie attended the ball, and made her affections known to Grandpa during this affair.  I mean, can you fault her?  As you can see from the photo at right, it had to happen.  Annie is only human.

Despite making a bit of a spectacle of herself, my grans gave her a ride home from the soirée.  I totally attribute this to my Nana — as you may have read, she was one of the sweetest people to ever stride the planet.

Although she probably wanted to pull Annie’s fake hair off and Polygrip ™ her to death, Nana put that aside and took the high road.  She was one class act, our Mary.

So, there they are rolling through the streets of Nassau County at an ungodly hour on party night.  Grandpa at the wheel of the Mercedes, Nana in the back.  Annie rode shotgun because of her fake gam and all.

Now, here’s the thing.  Annie forgets where she lives.

I know.  Don’t say it.  It’s just so beautiful.  I wish I could come up with this stuff myself.  I’d make a fortune.

They’re riding around going from dark house to dark house.  Annie’s playing some bizarre version of Extreme Makeover, except no one knocked down and rebuilt the house where she’s lived for the past 50 years while she was at the Seniors party.

Grandpa (not the most patient soul to ever have drawn breath) is probably passing a stone in frustration by this point.  Nana’s in the back, telling him, “Bill, calm down.”  Annie’s in the front seat trying not to spot her Depends®.

Finally, a little light bulb goes on over Annie’s head.  “I know where we can find my address,” she proclaims.

“Where?” Grandpa shouts impatiently.  “We’ve already rifled through that pocketbook [that’s what they call purses where I’m from] of yours 12 times.  There’s nothing in there but old Kleenex©.”

Annie puffs herself up.  She’s about to save the day — or the night.

“On my leg.”

“What do you mean, dear?” asks a perplexed Mary.  In her mind she probably picturing an unfortunate tattoo in a bad place.

Annie explains that her prosthetic limb has a tag on it containing Annie’s vitals written in Sharpie™ in case she  left the leg somewhere (?!?).

“Great,” says an annoyed and tired Grandpa.  He’s unaccustomed to driving at night.  “What does it say?”

Ah, here’s the rub.  You have to remove the leg to read the tag.

They pull over to the side of the road.  Remove the leg.  Read the tag.  And before you can say ‘Bob’s Your Uncle’ they’ve got Annie safely ensconced in her dwelling.

What we’ll never know is if she insisted that Grandpa — her knight in shining armor — assist her inside.  On this issue, I’m sure my Nana would have put her foot down.

Now, all these events took place in 80-year old time.  That’s the opposite of dog years.  Thus, it took all night.

Upon hearing this tale, my 30-something sister was know to quip:

“How sad is it that my grandparents had a much more exciting New Year’s Eve than I’ve ever had?”

That’s it.

If you’ve got a better Octogenarian New Year’s Eve Story, whip it out.

— The Major

The Party Animals


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by LynneLevy on February 28, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    Unbelievable!! but true, and funny. You really can’t make that stuff up! That is a great story. Thanks.


  2. Posted by lisa on February 28, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    I remember That night! Totally forgot about it


  3. Posted by Jennifer on March 1, 2011 at 9:42 am

    When you say, “I am sure nana would have put her foot down” is that a pun? Are you making fun sweet lil’ ol’ Annnie for her lack of appendage?
    Are you anti ADA? Okay, just messing with you. That is one of the best stories I have heard in a long time. Thanks for sharing. Several morals here. I need to start living it up a little more.


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