The bumper sticker on his wheelchair read "Your mother wears Army boots". It was my first clue that Manny wasn't your normal resident.
Between three packs of Marlboros, the 65 year old stroke survivor managed to offend just about everyone in the entire nursing home.
Whenever the 500 lb. dietary consultant waddled to her office, he found enough breath to shriek "GALLEY CAT JERKY! TERRAPIN SOUP!"Lucky for him, the Vietnam veteran cook slipped him large helpings after he was banned from the cafeteria for performing a self-bunionectomy during dinner one summer night.
Many of the white haired socialites turned their heads in disgust as he propelled his wheelchair up and down the halls with his crotch exposed. If anyone dared to make direct eye contact, Manny would proudly point to his genitals and exclaim for all to hear: TO ALL THE GIRLS I'VE LOVED BEFORE, EAT YOUR HEARTS OUT NOW!
Six months into his stay, he broke into the administrator's office and ordered seventeen pizzas using the name Bat Segundo. It would have earned him points had he not specified anchovies and goat cheese as the only toppings.
Three months later, Manny suffered a second stroke that affected only his speech. Our speech therapist, Miss Snark, spent two hours a day with him but the only thing he would clearly say for her was 'promenading poodles'. It was his third pinch to her rear that ended his speech therapy sessions forever.
On Manny's 66th birthday, he grabbed a walker and demanded I teach him how to escape. Somewhere between the fourth and fifth session, he admitted to me how much he missed baseball.
"Not your family?" I asked between stretching his legs.
"Nah, they aren't worth spitting on. It's the roar of the greasepaint, smell of the crowd that gets my blood boiling." Drool dripped down the left side of his chin. "You get me walking, little missy, and I'll be at opening day just as sure as you're standing there."
Opening day came, and Manny went missing. The administrator called all of the family, Adult Protective services, and even the local house of ill repute, but no Manny. He magically appeared at breakfast the next day wearing a brand new Chicago Cubs shirt and camouflage pants.
"And just where have you been?"I whispered in his ear.
"All in good time, my dear. "He patted my cheek.
Manny died that night while watching Jeopardy. A scrap of paper found in his Bible read "don't muddle through life".
And he didn't.
Well, no wonder the poor guy croaked....he's a damn CUBS fan.
Scoring (never a given, given it's the Cubs) to come.