Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Alarming circumstances

I had an over-accessorized and over-colorized old lady return an alarm clock this weekend. She obviously never got the Coco Chanel memo "Take one thing before you leave the house." That, and that not EVERYTHING on the body needs to be the same color.

Imagine, if you will, an old woman, pushing 70, wearing a solid red dress, with red heels, a red chunky bracelet, a red chunky wooden neck chain thing, a red hair band (in some frightfully bad blonde hair, seriously, conditioner is your friend!) and red lipstick and red nail polish.

Some idiot mall makeup counter girl or some crazy Mary Kay woman who preys on the elderly must have said "Oh, you look good in red" and boy, she took that to the last possible extreme. She looked like a hooker - a sad, old nursing home hooker. At least the skirt was of a decent length.

Anyway. She wanted to return this alarm clock.

She rolls the cart up and clunks the bag with the clock and the receipt on the counter. I take in the gigantic poppy field explosion of red and find the clock on the receipt.

I start the return and get to the part where I can print out a defective slip or not. I ask her "Is anything wrong with it?"

She just sort of looks at me with big cow eyes. I notice she's got costume jewelry with red moonstones on too. And a watch with a red bezel. Wow, that's a lot of red. I wonder if she's a red hat lady? Don't they wear purple though?

Old people are hard of hearing. I raise my voice. "Ma'am, is anything wrong with it."

That's gets a response. But not much of one. "What?"

I see the problem. I lean over and try to get directly into her ear. "IS ANYTHING WRONG WITH THE CLOCK?"

She starts nodding frantically and then proves she's a deaf as a post. She practically brings down the house and yells out "IT AIN'T LOUD ENOUGH. I CAN'T HEAR NOTHING FROM THAT ALARM. I'M GOING TO GET ME A LOUD ONE."

Seriously. Good luck with that. I think she's going to need a tilting bed or something.


tj said...

ROFL! I'm picturing a cartoon where the alarm sets off a series of mechanics that ends with the mattress springing into the air and throwing the woman into her red dress, and down an assembly line that puts her makeup on in one big powder puff.

Debo Blue said...


Poor old Maxine.

DolfanDad said...

Anyone who has seen "wallace and grommit" know this exists! The bed tils up, and wallace falls through a trap door into his trousers, and smack at the breakfast table. A fine invention meant for the deafest of us all. Great post!

The Sassy Editorialist said...

Wow, that's a lot of red. I wonder if she's a red hat lady? Don't they wear purple though?

Yes, red hats & purple dresses...something holy save us, please! Maybe the purple dress was at the cleaners.

LOL @ Maxine!

j-yo said...

Thanks for making me snort water out of my nose. Thank goodness it wasn't vodka.

Anonymous said...

Re: Red Hat Ladies...
Did you know that women who are too young to be official Red Hat Ladies can come to meetings anyway as "Ladies in Waiting"? They have to wear pink and lavender.
I wish I were making that up.

grundes said...

I wonder why does she need an alarm clock, anyway? What's the rush?

I'm twice younger than her and I haven't been waking up to a bell for almost a year.

High-Maintenance & Hostile Heidi said...

Great post!

I have a soft spot in my heart for cute little old ladies who are hard of hearing because I used to work in an assisted living/nursing home cafeteria and every day this extremely hard of hearing woman would come through the line and holler, "CUP OF HOT WATER AND CRANBERRY JUICE!!!!" Every day.

She couldn't hear her alarm either and always overslept.