Monday, May 19, 2008

Shirley Parker Hates The World

Sometimes I feel it’s my duty to give a voice to those who don’t have one, or who can’t effectively use theirs. And so it is with great pleasure that I present Miss Shirley Parker.

To do this, I return to our favorite haunt-- the Michigan Nursing home where Neighbor Dan works as a nurse’s aide. This is also the home of Shirley Parker Hates The World, an old woman who looks like a pug. She’s got no neck and a bulbous head and she rooms with Bag Balm Betty. Install a camera in that room, and watch ratings soar through the roof.

Shirley Parker wears a pair of old horn-rimmed glasses from the era when she was young and cute. Although Dan suspects she was never young, nor cute, because she used to be a school crossing guard.

There goes the perception of a crossing guard being a quaint, kid-loving good citizen. Shirley Parker hates the world and insists you know it. She swears like a truck driver at shrieking levels, and all the time.

Shirley freaks out when anyone talks to her because she alternately wants one of two things:

1) to be permanently left alone, and
2) to die.

Shirley’s also got diabetes, so her feet hurt constantly. One day, a nurse named Lisa was with her. Dan was down the hall when he heard Shirley’s high pitched, earth shattering scream, “Watch my fucking feet, you CUNT!”

To get her out of bed, the staff uses a mechanical lift, and each morning Shirley begins the day wailing, “Oh good lord, why can’t you just take me now??? Enough of this! WHY THE FUCK AM I STILL HERE???

This really makes Dan crack up. She just really makes him want to laugh, but then he’ll feel sorry for her, and the laughter gets cut short. Dan loves Shirley, if only because she won’t be loved. Then she’ll lash out once more, refusing to shut up, and Dan looks at her bulbous head and pug face and gets the giggles again.

One day, Dan had to give Shirley Parker her shower. In there with her, Shirley blared, “I don’t know why you’re washing me! It’s not like anybody is gonna notice me. Why am I here in this goddamned prison? I’m a fucking hostage in this GOD-DAMNED PRISON!

This realization became too much to bear and Shirley Parker’s tears began to mix with the trickling shower. Being a good nurses aide, Dan tries talking Shirley into a “happy place.” Which switches her from boo-hoo, right back to bitch.

Shirley Parker begins screaming at the top of her lungs: “RAPE! RAPE! RAPE!”

Dan’s eyes pop out of their sockets—like, no way is she screaming rape while he’s giving her a shower! He says emphatically, “I’m just trying to give you a shower to get you all nice and clean. Why are you screaming rape?”

Shirley snarls, " I just want people to know I’m in here."

Judging by her volume, people knew. Shirley Parker hates the world. She could very well be the only lucid patient at the nursing home, and maybe that’s her problem: She knows where she is.

And what Shirley wants is all anybody wants. For others to know she’s here.

Shirley Parker is screaming. Can you hear her?

Are you listening?


Shane said...

I always wondered what became of The Golden Girls.

Now we know.

Dorothy is Shirley Parker.

Blanche lost her battle with the "Chips Ahoy" and has ballooned into Bam Bam Betty.

Rose is President of the American Association of Mortgage Lenders.

Anonymous said...

The day I cannot take care of myself is the day I want to die. Time to legalize euthanasia!

Mark in DE said...

It must take a special kind of person to work with people like this. I could not do it. I would have to give Shirley what she wants one day to put her out of her misery and mine.

Mark :-)

Anonymous said...

what a great story!

Stephen M