Mom warned me that when you retire, you no longer have any influences to keep you normal. No boss to say,"What is your problem," only loved ones who won't call you on your weird behavior.
That is why I have been struck by a number of off-the-wall things Gary has said recently. Things that evidence a departure from normal society, specifically: the way normal people eat.
For example, the in-laws celebrated a 91st birthday recently, and they were going to serve hot dogs. Gary wanted to bring some fried rice as well. Fried rice. With hot dogs? I questioned this decision.
He said, "What goes better with hot dogs than Chinese food? Nothing! Nothing!"
He held fast to his Chinese food decision until the very last minute. Thankfully, I was able to convince him there wouldn't be time to pick up the order before the party.
That left Gary with a Fried Rice Deficiency, and so early this week he started to assemble the ingredients to make some. "I have white rice, water chestnuts, pork, eggs, green onions, asparagus, and soy sauce."
"Hold up," I said. "Asparagus?"
"Yes. Just the tips. It will be delicious."
"Uhh... It will be fusion, maybe." Like, Irish-Chinese fusion. I was able to talk him out of the asparagus the first night, but then every night he would "freshen" the leftover fried rice by adding a new ingredient. By the last night it was fried rice with pork, water chestnuts, steak, ham, peas, Vidalia onion, and asparagus. Even he noticed it was not great.
After the fried rice I was at the supermarket Thursday and I called to see what he'd like me to pick up. He said, "Get some bananas and chips. There's a debate tonight."
My stomach froze, until I realized he meant, "Get some bananas, because were are out, and on an unrelated note, get some chips we can snack on to make the democratic debate seem more entertaining." For a moment I through I was in for some banana casserole topped with crushed-up potato chips.