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Stacey Graham Headshot

Old People Are a Menace

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There. I said it.

My parents are in their mid-70s, one with advancing Parkinson's Disease but doing well and the other regularly lifted 80 lbs of chicken feed weekly for her crazy brood on her tiny farm. Last year, Father's Day and my birthday landed on the same day, thus received phone calls and made them as per the holiday.

Me: Happy Father's Day, Dad! What's new in the world of Parkinson's? (seriously, it started out like this)

Dad: I feel great. We're moving forward with a new therapy - the hyperbaric chamber. It will push oxygen into my brain to help it function better.

Me: So you'll essentially blow up like a frog in biology class?

Dad: That would be fun, but no.

Me: Can you text me while they're doing it?

Dad: No. But I'll hum.

Me: Hum?

Dad: Yes, it will keep my mind off of things. You know, like, being pumped full of oxygen. And now I'll be thinking of frogs.

Me: Sorry. Can you take photos while you're in there? I haven't seen a hyperbaric chamber before.

Dad: *sigh* No.

Me: You're no fun. Want to see the new tattoo I got for my birthday? I can text you so you have something to look at in the chaaaaaaaamber.

Dad: No... Is it a frog?

Me: No. I'm just kidding. I got a nose piercing instead.

Dad: Good. Save the tattoo for when you hit fifty.

Me: Dad, Bev (sister) told me you like peanuts a lot lately.

Dad: Yeeeeess, why?

Me: I heard you should probably request a blue hearing aid next time too. They don't have the same crunch as a peanut but they are a bit more expensive. Just sayin'.

Dad: Shut up.

Me: What? I can't hear you? I'm enjoying a delicious snack of hearing aid peanuts.

Dad: [hangs up]

While on the phone with my Dad, my Mother called and left a voicemail:

Mom: Staaaacey? Can you wish Bryan (husband) a very happy Father's Day? I hope he has a wonderful day with his fabulous daughters - and you too. I don't want to use up all the tape on this message (tape? on a voicemail?) but I just wanted to tell him Happy Father's Day.

I'll be sure to tell him. Right after I call my shrink about how both parents forgot to wish me a happy birthday though they've both essentially spoken to me that day.

Callback to mom:

Me: Hey, Mom. I told Bryan he's fabulous.

Mom: Thanks. Did you make him a cake? Men like cakes.

Me: Yes, Mom. Chocolate with strawberries. You know, how I like on my birthday.

Mom: Yes, well, about that...

Me: What?

Mom: I forgot to send your card with $5 in it.

Me: No problem, I'll bill you later.

Mom: Oh, you. And tell Bryan his is coming too.

Me: It's not his birthday.

Mom: I know. But I can't make him a cake and your skills are, well, in another direction.

Mom: Why are you humming?