Saturday, May 10, 2008

What Were "They" Thinking?

Every now and then, I encounter an experience that makes me shake my head and laugh at the sheer absurdity of it all.

Recently, I had two such experiences.

Today, I attended a Mother-Daughter luncheon with my step-mother. She has invited me to these events, held at the retirement village where she and my father live. It is very sweet of her to invite me, and I accept (barring an schedule conflict). But today's event was not the usual. First, it was scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m., but didn't actually get underway until 12 noon. Okay. Then each of the courses was a little slow in being served. Okay again.

However, the "what were they thinking" moment occurred when it was time for dessert. There was a scrumptuous array of petit fours, mini-cream puffs, eclairs, strawberries, marshmallows and a chocolate fountain. Again--OKAY. However, the woman in charge said--this is self-serve so we will ask each table to go one at a time, beginning with Table 13 (we were at Table 4). Normally, this is a somewhat efficient way to serve a large group of people--HOWEVER, many of these dear ladies are in their 80s or 90s and many had canes or walkers.

Have you ever watched 100 elderly women go through a dessert self-serve line--ONE SIDE of the table only (because that's how it was set?) with a chocolate fountain as the FIRST stop? It. . .was. . .so . . .painfully. . .S-L-O-W. And I wasn't the only one annoyed at this arrangement. The woman immediately behind me in line had a walker, and she kept clicking her brakes on and off. I had to laugh--and she sheepishly admitted that she does that when she is annoyed. But the good news is, there were enough goodies for all.

On a much different note, I had a good laugh and a "what were they thinking" moment when I cleaned the bathrooms this week. Normally, cleaning the bathrooms does not set me into gales of laughter. Truth is, I really hate this particular chore. See here.

I was using a new container of toilet bowl cleaner, when I saw it. The warning label on the bottle.

My reaction--honestly, why on EARTH would we need to know that the toilet cleaner can kill the flu virus. Okay, I can understand "kills 99.9% of germs" (whatever that means) but the flu virus? Please. How could ANYONE catch flu from a toilet bowl?


Lynne said...

What WERE they thinking?! How were all those little old ladies supposed to carry their little plates of little goodies back to their tables?

Around here (MN) when most people talk about the flu, they mean the "poo flu" and not respiratory influenza.

JeanMac said...

Happy Mother's Day!

NCmountainwoman said...

I can empathize with you. My mother-in-law spent her last five years in a similar home. Fortunately we brought her to our house for holidays, but there were many "special occasions" which I attended.

My M-I-L did think they did something right. When I noticed there were two separate dining rooms, I asked why. My M-I-L answered quickly (and scornfully), "That's for the droolers, thank God."

The Chlorox folks are capitalizing on the stupidity of folks who do not know that influenza is a respiratory illness. Anyone who has diarrhea says he/she has the "flu." Guess that makes it sufficiently serious to warrant a sick day. And to encourage them to purchase a toilet bowl product that kills the flu virus. You figure.

Anvilcloud said...

That dessert lineup would have necessitated strong drinks for many people.

Maybe killing flu germs and cleaning toilets are two separate functions. Maybe you also clean your nose with it or some such. lol

Mary said...

You have every right to shake your head and wonder...

I'm just glad the food supply lasted after that fiasco.

And, can we catch flu from a toilet bowl? LOL!

Beverly said...

I just have to smile as I picture those seniors with their walkers. A few years ago one of the award-winning Sweet Adelines choruses did a series of songs set in Florida, and some of their choreography used walkers. It was familiar in Florida.

And, speaking of age and aging, when I first started reading your blog, you were reading Water for Elephants and had it in your sidebar. I am enjoying that book so much.

joared said...

Can't believe anyone with any experience working with the elders you describe would expect them to line up for, then carry desserts back to their table.

Qualifying to be allowed in a regular dining room as illness, disease (i.e. Parkinsons, Multiple Sclerosis, ALS, Stroke) affects some, can be a very serious concern for retirement living community residents. Actually, I think they need three dining room levels, as relegation of individuals not severely impaired, but no longer acceptable by others into their regular dining room, can be quite demoralizing, especially when they're still quite mentally sound. Hard decisions in some cases. Can empathize with all concerned.

Let's get those flu germs -- everywhere!!! *grin*

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

The walker is just like the one my friend David has. We all it is truck as he moves blocks of wood on it, about 6 at a time, to place them on the pile. He moved about 15 cord like this last Fall.

I am no big fan of obsessive cleaning as promoted in advertizing.