Tuesday, February 23, 2010
"Hey honey, look at this," he said.
"Mmmhmm." I was engrossed in feeding paper to my new shredder which arrived this morning. I had already jammed it twice. I am not good with machines, but I love them.
"You've got to see this," he persisted. I walked over to his computer and saw "Search for stuff to buy" on his Google home page. He was particularly intrigued with an item called a rat zapper.
"Do you want to shoot rats at the city dump?" I asked nervously. Alzheimer's is brutal, horrifying, tragic and maddening, but also fascinating. His mind travels to places I cannot follow, which I can best liken to an acid trip although I only know of them by repute. Since I would never hurt an animal, he had my attention. I wondered where this might be going.
He nodded, eyes shining. "But I want my own," he said. I did the quick mental evaluation that has become second nature. He didn't look like someone who would murder helpless wildlife. Always a relief. He moved down the list to an item called half-life.
"What's that?" I asked. "Einstein," he replied. I looked it up. "Half-life is the period of time it takes for a substance undergoing decay to decrease by half. The name originally was used to describe a characteristic of unstable atoms, but may apply to any quantity which follows a set-rate decay." A lot of formulas followed which had to do with nuclear science.
Interesting. I wonder what the application is to a brain decaying from Alzheimer's. As nearly as can be determined, there is no set rate. The disease is capricious. It amuses itself by darting in and stealing brain cells seemingly at random.
Google also offered butterfly houses, stuffed monkeys, left-handed guitars and pregnancy tests. Speak of random. I could find no connection other than that every item listed is offered for sale somewhere. Rat zapper is like Chinese cleaver is like Swiss Army knife is like -- barbecue sauce? I'm not sure if the BBQ sauce is applied before or after the animal is zapped, though. I think it depends on whether one is preparing dinner or not. Also offered was a Hulk Hand, Tiffany lamps and steaks. Let's put the latter in the same column with the dead rats and BBQ sauce. The stuffed monkey requires further investigation, though. I need to know if we are talking Curious George or taxidermy.
Meanwhile, Flip has found something to covet other than a rat zapper. He has decided that he needs a bazooka. I wonder if he'll settle for Bazooka bubble gum.
I'm beginning to think that Evgeni Plushenko also suffers from Alzheimer's as he now claims that he won a platinum medal at the Vancouver Olympics. His website even features a photo of this medal, which seems to have been whipped up for the occasion. He is clearly delusional. I would have thought that a seasoned competitor who has won many awards for his figure skating including the silver medal a few days ago would understand that good sportsmanship is the main commodity at such events. The judges gave the gold to Evan Lysacek of the United States. Some critics have stated that it should have gone to Plushenko because he attempted a quadruple jump while Lysacek did not, but the points were awarded on form, grace and power, as well as when in the 4-minute program certain jumps were executed.
Plushenko does not seem to care that he represents not only himself and his considerable talent, but his country. Sadly, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin also made a statement that "Plushenko performed the most accomplished program on the Vancouver ice." Maybe so. Maybe not. But the whole purpose of the Olympics, to bring superb athletes from all countries together in peaceful competition, is being sullied by Plushenko's disgraceful performance off the ice.
That rat zapper might come in handy after all.