30 January 2012
Sawgrass & Sandspurs
With Betsey James
THE BRAIN ADJUSTMENT
Yvonne carefully put her car keys up right where she always did. Always. Otherwise, she was liable to lose them. ”Guess my brain has to make it’s ‘old age’ adjustments.” she thought as she hung them on the hook in the front hallway. On her way upstairs, she checked in on Claramae, her sister. As usual, Claramae was conked out on the day bed, a magazine in her hand. The two women were old-maid spinsters who lived in the same Victorian house at the end of the same street they’d lived in all their lives.
They had fifteen cats who slept under the back porch and controlled the mouse population for these elderly sisters. Each cat had a name, a collar, and a bell. When feeding time drew near, you could hear those cat-bells ringing for a block and a half away. This arrangement was part of Yvonne’s ‘brain adjustment’ campaign. It was a sure fire way of remembering to feed that horde of cats.
When Claramae finally roused herself from the day bed, she announced to Yvonne that it was high time they got out of the house and did something fun. Yvonne agreed, as usual, and went on doing what she was doing. In a few moments, they both forgot what they were talking about. After supper, they sat out on the back porch, playing with the cats and discussing the weather. “They got a big ole hurricane out there right now. Looks like it’s coming our way.” said
Claramae. “Is not.” replied Yvonne.
Pretty soon, Claramae decided to ride down to the Quickstop and pick up a couple of lottery tickets. “You better let me drive.” suggested Yvonne, “Last time you tried to pull out of a parking lot, you took two other cars with you.” “Well, okay.” agreed Claramae. So they tooled on down to the convenience store, bought two lottery tickets and ten scratch-offs. “I’ve got that winning feeling.” announced Claramae. Well, it turned out that both sisters won five dollars and a free scratch-off. The scratch-off provided no new revenue, and they piled in the car to go home. “Good Lord!” hollered Claramae as Yvonne narrowly missed a telephone pole backing up. “I had it by a foot!” countered Yvonne defensively. “Did not.” fumed Claramae.
The next morning, the sisters discovered they were out of coffee. “I’ll just run on down to Foodworld and pick us up some.” offered Yvonne as she reached for her keys. But her car keys weren’t there. “Claramae, you forgot to put the keys back on the hook.” she said as she stormed back into the kitchen.
“Excuse me, Miss Always Right. It was you that drove last night.” glared Claramae. “It must have been the excitement of winning.” observed Yvonne with an embarrassed grin. “That’s alright.” laughed her sister as she pulled out a nearby drawer. “What’s all that?” asked Yvonne
as she peered into the drawer. “Seven extra sets.” explained Claramae, “I just figured it would take a while to get used to that ‘brain adjustment’ you’ve been harping about!”