Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Bad to the Bone

“We were runnin down the road trying to loosen our load” back from the lake when Marshall Tucker, an early 70’s southern rock band came through Sirius singing, “Can’t you see, can’t you see, what that woman is doing to me.” 
I loved The Marshall Tucker Band; I had an eight track tape of one of their first albums until somebody stole all of my eight tracks out of my car.  I hope they all jammed in that person’s eight track tape player.  We also named our big, beautiful, slightly crazy Irish Setter, Tucker (who thought a dog was a good idea in a one bedroom garage apartment?).  I sang with the song, going back 40 years….”Can’t you see, can’t you see….”

The next song on the Sirius play list…..George Thorogood’s Bad to the Bone.  Marty and I listened and I prompted her to sing along.  We used to sing with the radio all of the time, singing loud and proud and at least one of us….off key.   She never sings with the radio anymore, but this time, right in time with the music and the lyrics I hear Marty, in hear quiet voice “Bad to the Bone, B B B B Bad to the Bone”.  

It cracked me up and soon we were both laughing as we drove down Highway 84 out of Mexia singing “Bad to the Bone”.

I told Marty that the next time someone asks her how she was doing her response had to be, “B B B Bad to Bone.”  With Marty’s short term memory loss you have to practice.  We rehearsed as we were driving and we talked about telling Nykkie, our care giver in Waco, that Marty was “B B B Bad to the bone.”

I pulled into our garage and figured we should rehears one more time before unveiling Marty’s new catch phrase to Nykkie. I asked, “How are you today Marty?”  

She turned to her left, looking at me and without any thought at all said, “Fine and f…ing dandy.”
Me, “No Marty, you can’t say that.” 
This was not a new response; in fact, it was an old response, a response from many years ago.
Marty, “Why not, I’m fine and f…ing dandy.”

“You’re supposed to say B B B Bad to the bone, remember?”

“Oh yeah, but I am fine and f…ing dandy too.”

Yes she is.  She used to say that years ago when she wasn’t feeling great, when she was frustrated or angry or just a little out of sorts.  She still, on occasion pops up with that when someone asks about her situation, “I’m fine and f…ing dandy.”

I walked to Marty’s side of the car and put her wheelchair back together and pulled it up to her side of the car.  I unbuckled her and put her pillows in the back seat, chattering the whole time about Bad to the Bone.  I slipped my right arm under her legs and cradled her back with my left and swung her feet out of the car to the garage floor and she says, “I’m B b b bad to the bone.”

We stand up together and while holding her steady with my right hand I pull the wheelchair up with the left and ask her to sit, she sits.   I ask her how she is doing and she says, of course, “Fine and f…..ing dandy.”

“No not that, remember, B b b bad to the bone.”

“Right, right.” She says.

I push her to her room and Nykkie greats us and takes Marty’s chair and we move Marty to her bed.

Me, to Nykkie, “Ask her how she’s doing.”
Nykkie to me with a note of skepticism, “Why would I do that?”

“Just ask”

Nykkie, “Marty, how are you?”

Marty, “B b b bad to the b b b b bone’”

Marty, to me, “Don’t you owe me some money for that or something?”

I offer cash and ask her one more time, just because I like hearing her say it and I think she now has it down pat, “Marty, how the hell are you?”

“Fine and f….ing dandy.”

Without a doubt, she is both b b b bad to the bone and fine and f…..ing dandy.

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