April's Real Blog

Monday, May 07, 2007

Gramps BOXCARred again!

Iris called and told me what happened recently when the guy who takes them 2 Gramps's phys-therapy came by. The guy was all, "Sit down, Jim, and we'll get under way. Yr chariot aw8's!" As Gramps approached the wheelchair the guy had 4 him, Gramps was all, "Yes." When the guy was helping him in2 the van, all "I'll just get U locked in and we'll B all set 2 go," Gramps repeated "Go!" Iris got all xxcited cuz of the "go": "Listen! He sed GO!! Jim, U haven't sed that word B4! Not in its proper context! --U're beginning 2 connect the rite words 2 the rite meanings! Isn't that xxciting?!!" And Gramps was like, "BOXCAR!" U mite remember he let out a "BOXCAR in addition 2 the swears he spat out @ Mike when Mike visited 2 say his book was being published.

Gramps, U potty mouth!


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  • At 12:05 PM, Anonymous Iris Richards said…

    April Dear,

    Isn’t it so exciting that your grandfather is finally starting to associate certain words with actions again? I am so proud of him! He has been working so hard lately. He has such an excellent work ethic, which is one of the many reasons I fell in love and married him. That and he’s a very handsome man – which I know isn’t something you want to hear, but it’s TRUE, dear!

    He does still use the word “boxcar” inappropriately, and I’m not sure where that comes from. Unlike your father, my Jim never had a model train hobby. He did “ride the rails” quite a bit in his younger days when train travel was more common, but that was in passenger railcars, not boxcars like the hobos did. The senior bus is nothing like a boxcar – it’s quite nice, with seats and seatbelts and a carpeted interior. Strokes can do funny things to the mind!

    Tomorrow I will post again with more details of our little outing. Until then, I hope you are having a nice Monday and are enjoying the spring weather.

    Much Love,
    Iris Richards

  • At 12:41 PM, Anonymous liz patterson said…

    April thought I should come on here and let all of you know, the reason you haven't heard from me, well, as you know, I have recently experienced what you might call some personal reverses and I'm trying very hard to hold it all together for the sake of my family but it's very, very hard, and I try not to think about it too much but sometimes I get so overwhelmed that it's hard to breathe, and I fall down on the floor gasping and crying, because it feels like my heart is being ripped out of my chest really slow and painful, but not very often, just every five minutes or so, I tried to go to work today but I only made it out to my car before I started sobbing and pounding my head on the steering wheel, Mom and Dad had to come get me, and Mom noticed I had forgot to get dressed, I was still in my nightgown, and Dad asked Mom, "So, is this P.M.S.?" and Mom said, "No, dummy, this is a N.E.R.V.O.U.S.B.R.E.A.K.D.O.W.N." and Dad said, "Wait, I lost track after 'V', start again," and Mom said, "Men!" and brained him with her coffee cup, well then she took me upstairs and tucked me into bed and called me in sick to work and now she is on the phone talking to someone and I keep hearing her asking the person if we couldn't please speed up me getting a husband, which would be nice I guess, but I don't really care anymore, I think I will just lay here in bed curled up in a ball and try to remember to breathe in and out, until I die, before that happens, you might want to come get your laptop back, also, please don't let Shiimsa eat my dead body, she is staring at me and licking her lips.


  • At 12:56 PM, Anonymous becky mcguire said…

    well, i stopped by mom's bakery this morning 2 get a choc croissant, an' jelly wuz in there w/ connie p. this is what they sed:

    connie: so, how's your girl doing?
    elly: terrible. she's suffering from FTW.
    connie: huh?
    elly: failure to wed.
    connie: (gasps) oh no! that can be serious!
    elly: it is. she's lost all higher-order brain function. not that there was much there 2 begin with.
    connie: i don't understand. elizabeth is pretty and popular with the boys.
    elly: yes, but she never understood how to close the deal. you withhold sex and promise the man he'll get it after marriage. you don't move in with the man and hope he'll just decide you're so good he wants to marry you. you don't tell him you just want to be friends. (sighs)
    connie: yes, the way she's handled her love life...not the sharpest tool in the shed, is she?
    elly: i sometimes wonder if maybe liz doesn't have...you know..."special needs."
    connie: hmm. good question.
    elly: well, never mind. the witch will get this straightened out.
    connie: she does usually make things turn out well for your family in the end.
    elly: yes. i hope she has a happy ending in mind for my father, too. have you heard? he's boxcaring again.
    connie: oh my. you should put him away in a home, out in the country, before that story gets all over town.
    elly: it's a disgrace. after months of rehab, this is all he can do? i'd fire iris, but free caretakers don't grow on trees!
    connie: maybe you could marry your girl off to a speech therapist! kill two birds with one stone!
    elly: there are no male speech therapists in milborough. i checked. although, you know the martian?
    connie: how could i forget her? (makes twirling motion by head)
    elly: michael and deanna want a live-in babysitter, so they're talking about adopting her.
    connie: high five girlfriend! it's your dream come true! (hand slaps and cackling)

    ur mom is so messed up.


  • At 5:26 PM, Blogger howard said…


    Now that I have been acquitted, I get to visit with your Grandpa Jim and Iris much more often than I used to when I was in prison. After all, since I found out that Anne Nichols sends some catered food from the Empire Hotel where she works, it would be good for me to make them a meal also, so they wouldn’t have to suffer so much from Anne’s horrible cooking.

    We went on Sunday, and Becky was with me with a copy of her recording of her duet with Mizz Candy Rapper she had made on Saturday. Becky played her new track for Iris and Jim and it was pretty clear they hated it. Of course, to Becky, that’s a good sign for the success of her material. As she phrased it, “Hate from the old, means it’s gold.”

    As I was working in the kitchen, Jim was saying his usual, “Yes, no, good, big” and assorted curse words and the unusual word “Boxcar.” Iris explained, “He can only say a few words easily: yes, no, good, and big. When he's desperate the part of his brain where the ‘forbidden’ words are stored kicks into gear. For some reason, ‘boxcar’ is a word he frequently says. I don't know why! Unlike his son-in-law, John Patterson, my Jim never had a model train hobby, and he didn’t ride the rails in boxcars like the hobos did.”

    Becky said, “Does Jelly have any ideas?” Iris responded, “You mean Elly, don’t you dear? Well, goodness, no. Elly hasn’t been to visit in quite some time. We had a visit from Michael after he got his book contract. 2 weekends ago, Elizabeth showed up right around the time Jim’s helpers, Diane and Carole arrived, and as soon as they were there, she wanted to take me for a walk. She blathered on about her love life for the whole walk, and mentioned she wanted to come by to visit once a month, whenever Jim’s helpers were there. When we got back to the apartment she congratulated herself for forcing me to get out more, then she went over to Jim and said she wished she could have copied down his stories about the war and about his life in Vancouver while he could still tell them to her. I said to her that Jim kept a diary of his life in war time, but she wasn’t interested, and she left just after Diane and Carole were through.”

    I said, “I thought you wrote in your monthly letter about Elly visiting.” Iris said, “Let me tell you, Coward. I send my letter every month to Elly and goodness only knows what she does with them.” Becky said, “April says she edits them a lot from what she gives her mom.” Iris said, “My daughter Sarah wrote up a paragraph once which really took the Patterson family to task for not supporting their father and grandfather. It was edited down to say I had a nice visit with Sarah. Or take my most recent letter, for instance. I wrote ‘Now that she (April) has her driver's license, or at least part of it (I'm given to understand that it goes in stages, now) she's been going out to practice with John, and quite often their route will take them here for a coffee stop.’” At the mention of John, Grandpa Jim said, “Boxcar” a few times. Becky said, “It doesn’t sound too far off. April comes by all the time.” Iris said, “Yes, the sentence that got left out is where I talked about how John stops at the strip mall just down the block for coffee, and April walks over by herself.” Grandpa Jim said, “Boxcar” pretty vigorously. It was getting Iris upset, so she and Becky went into the other room to well, basically say bad things about how your mother treats her dad.

    I said to Jim, “Why do you say ‘boxcar’ all the time?” Jim had this odd look on his face, like he had been waiting for someone to ask that question. He pointed to a book, which at first I thought was his picture book for trying to communicate, but then it turned out to be a diary. Jim turned the pages with some difficulty and stopped on a page listed as June 28, 1975. It read:

    Dear Diary,

    Elly brought John to visit Marian and me again today. I think it was because it was the same weekend as the Vancouver Train Exposition. I hate to think of my darling little girl, so delicate and attentive, being saddled with this nut. He claims to have been brought up on a farm, but he tells these crazy stories which are outright lies, in order to try to impress me. The only impression I get is that he is a big liar. He loves his hay baling story. He tells it over and over again, and the numbers change each time. One time he says, “One day we put up 1500 bales.” The next time he says, “We put up 1500 bales in two days of 85 degree heat.” I don’t know if he really thinks we are stupid enough to believe him, but we don’t say anything about it, so we don’t embarrass Elly. I fear one day he will change my little girl so that she’s just as big a liar as he is. I had a nightmare about it the other night. I dreamed I saw my daughter 30 years in the future from the back, and when she turned around she looked just like John with his hair in a bun. I woke up screaming, and Marian had to calm me down. She said, “Jim, you idiot. People’s bodies don’t change like that.” Marian is right, as usual. It could never happen.

    Well, diary. The worst part about the visit occurred the next day, when the newspaper printed a picture of the boxcar exhibit from the Vancouver Train Exposition. Elly and John insisted we all go to the Exposition, but then they ran off and left me and Marian wondering how they could just leave us behind and ignore us. I told Marian, “This doesn’t look good for the future, Marian. When we get old, they’re not going to take care of us.” Marian told me it was foolishness, because we had raised our daughter to be one of the kindest and most caring women we knew. Well, John and Elly caught up with us later on and I didn’t think much about their absence until the next day when the newspaper came out. After seeing that picture, I couldn’t stand to even think about boxcars without getting mad. I swear I’m never saying “boxcar” again, just like it is a curse word you shouldn’t say.

    Then on the next page, there was a newspaper clipping of the Vancouver Train Exposition, dated June 28, 1975. Becky came back into the room while I was looking at it. She said, “Oh, you found a picture of boxcars. Oh my God, there are two people in that open boxcar and they’re…I mean right in front of everyone.” I said, “Do you recognize them?” Becky said, “One of them looks like a really young version of April’s dad and the other one looks like kind of like a young Liz Patterson.” I said, “It’s not Liz.” Becky said, “Oh my God. You mean it’s… and right there in public. They must have thought no one could see them in that boxcar.” I said, “Possibly one side was one-way glass for the exhibition.” Jim said, “Boxcar.”

    Then Iris popped in and said, “Has Jim been showing you his diary again? He keeps trying to show it to me, but it has all this stuff about his first wife I would rather not read.” Becky said, “It’s more interesting reading than I would have thought.” Iris said, “Well, maybe I’ll take a look sometime. Thanks so much for coming over to make us lunch, Coward. It was delicious as always, even better than Anne Nichols’ food.” Then she leaned over to Becky and said in a voice she thought I couldn’t hear, “I have to say that, of course. Male ego. When you two are married, you’ll learn men have to be flattered all the time.” Becky gave her a knowing wink and then we left.

    Anyway, that was our visit. I thought you might be interested in hearing about it.

    Howard Bunt

  • At 6:40 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    iris, yes, it's v. exciting news! and i m sorry 2 hear abt all the editing mom's been doing 2 yr monthly letters. i know i h8 it when she does that w/mine.

    liz, shiimsa was looking @ u like that cuz u 4got 2 feed her 2day. 1ce i got her sum kitty food, she was much happier.

    becks, gah, it figs mom wants 2 get rid of me an' connie thinx i'm crayzee.

    howard, thanx 4 sharing that story fr. gramps's diary. poor gramps, it must b so painful 4 his nitemare 2 come true like it has. and ew on the boxcar in vancouver. ew, ew, ew.


  • At 9:19 PM, Anonymous Honoria Delaney-Forsythe said…


    Dearest future sister. I could hardly believe what I read today. Your sister is having nervous breakdown. Your mother is thinking about letting your brother adopt you. I want you to know that I am thinking of you, and I hope your entire family can make its way to good mental health. Please let me know what I can do to help.

    It also sounds like your grandmother is so excited about any improvement your grandfather makes; she assumes that when he demonstrates echolalia, which is the “the immediate and involuntary repetition of words or phrases just spoken by others”, she thinks he is making progress with his aphasia. Pater is an expert in psychiatry, so I have picked up a thing or two just listening to him talk around the dinner table. Usually it’s when he says to brother, “Say you’re sorry to your sister” and brother says, “You’re sorry to your sister” and then Pater says, “Don’t be echolalic, Gerald. Give Honoria a real apology.”

    I almost feel embarrassed to share with you the difficulties I am having with my Jeremy flower. I was so impressed by his ability to DJ at the last minute at the Cinco de Mayo party, when I heard the people setting up the ShakespeareWorks' Theatre by the football field at R.P. Boire were having a difficult time finding someone who knew how to handle the lights and the sound for their upcoming production of the drama club play, A Midsummers Night Dream, I volunteered my Jeremy flower. Apparently last year’s drama club production of MacBeth nearly ruined the cafetorium with smoke damage, and they blamed Jeremy for it, and he had been banned forever from doing sound or lights for any school production. But I took it up with the principal and pointed out my Jeremy had gotten a Corbeil Certificate of Goodness, and if he was good enough for Corbeil he should be good enough for R.P. Boire. They agreed to let Jeremy do it, I think because the person or persons who sold the ShakespeareWorks' Theatre didn’t leave instructions on how to operate the lights and sound, but it didn’t really matter to me. I was so excited. I couldn’t wait to tell my Jeremy flower all about it.

    Then when I did, I did not get the hugs and kisses and praise I expected. He was very cross with me. He said his ex-girlfriend and the man she left him for were both in that production and he didn’t want to have anything to do with it. Then when I told him a true gentleman would accept a gift from his girlfriend and from a lady graciously and say he liked it, so he wouldn’t hurt her feelings; and Jeremy told me that if gentlemen are liars, then he would never be a gentleman. Can you imagine, dearest sister, your man saying something so cruel? Oh pardon, I forgot for just a moment you were dating my brother. Well, pretend you had a boyfriend you thought was a true gentleman, and then he said those things to you. It broke my heart to hear them. My former boyfriend, Bronson van Daam, would never have been so mean to me.

    When I got home, I went straight to my room crying, but not screaming like your sister, since it is not ladylike. Ladies prefer soft, muted weeping. Gerald tried to tell Pater I had P.M.S., but then Gerald had to explain to Pater he wasn’t talking about Pre-Marital Sex, and then he got a lecture about things brothers shouldn’t be thinking about with respect to their sisters and an impromptu psychology session about brother’s psychosexual health. While this was going on, I looked at your Real Blog and I was shocked at all the horrible things happening to your family. It put things into perspective for me. What was it if my boyfriend was not a gentleman, when your sister was going insane, and your parents were trying to get rid of you, and your grandmother was misdiagnosing your grandfather? I feel for you, dearest future sister.

    I still wish Jeremy hadn’t been so mean to me though. I haven't decided if I should forgive him or remove him from my heart for his cruelty. What do you think, dearest sister? I value your opinion.

    Honoria Delaney-Forsythe

  • At 9:27 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    honoria, i don't know if there is nething ne1 can do 2 help w/my fam's sitch, but it's nice 2 know u'd like 2 if u cd.

    abt jeremy, he's a good guy. he was even a good guy b4 he got the cert, but now i guess it's official. BUT he will tell u the truth, even when there r times when u feel a small lie wd b more polite. he's not gonna change, so it's important 4 u 2 figure out whether this is a deal breaker 4 u. if it is, u shd look sumwhere else 4 a bf. tho he'll b a good friend 2 u, even so.


  • At 10:09 PM, Anonymous Honoria Delaney-Forsythe said…


    Dearest future sister. Thanks ever so much for your thoughts on Jeremy. It is quite a dilemma for me. At my former school, Cashwell Day School, each young gentleman there had a trust fund, so if one young man was not a gentleman to you, it was not difficult to find another suitable boyfriend. Most girls were still hotly in competition for the finest young gentleman, and if you landed one as nice as Bronson van Daam, you might be willing to put up with a little ungentlemanly behaviour, since there were so many zeroes at the end of his trust fund.

    At R.P. Boire, the number of young gentlemen with trust funds is few and far between, and as near as I can tell, even fairly uncouth Milborough men with trust funds are hotly contested. I wonder how it is you have managed to stave off your competitors for my brother for the last 4 years, but I suppose such stories are for a time when perhaps we know each other better, and you would feel comfortable sharing your techniques with me.

    I don’t know if I should dismiss Jeremy from my heart as a point of honour. He is awfully cute in a 40-year-old man kind of way, and brother does hate him so. Those are details hard to ignore, even though I don’t want to him to get the idea that he can get away with being cruel to me.

    I have learned first hand from your dealings with my brother, how damaging that can be to a girl’s reputation. The students at R.P. Boire seem to have no sense of decency when it comes to spreading malicious gossip. I am so tired, dearest future sis, of people telling me things you and my brother supposedly did, and hearing their delight in calling you the first Patterson to ever be a roadside gig. Whenever you decide to make a stand against these false accusations, I will stand by you; but as a Grade 8 girl only taking home economics and shop, and as the sister of the slandering brother; my defence means little to the older students.

    I am so confused about what to do about Jeremy. I can’t figure out what to do. I appreciate your kind words about him, particularly when, as I understand it from some people, he tried to kill you with his bicycle some years ago. I suppose I must do what any girl does in these kinds of situations. I must find a daisy and pull each petal off of it, as I say, “He’s my boyfriend” and “He’s a lowly scumdog” in succession.

    Honoria Delaney-Forsythe

  • At 10:10 PM, Anonymous Michael Patterson said…


    Formerly little sis. I see from your Blog entry you are preparing to enter into possibly a week-long discussion about our Grandpa Jim and Iris. Let me assure you, formerly little sis, that after the adoption goes through and when you are my daughter, you will not be forced to be the goodwill ambassador of the Patterson family to Grandpa Jim, as you are now. I know mother makes a big deal about how often she visits Grandpa Jim, although her inconsistency in how often that is makes her practically as inconsistent as a helicopter pilot. In January, she said she was going once a week. In March, she said she was going twice a week. In April, she said she was going whenever she could. But we both know better, formerly little sis. After my visit with Grandpa Jim in February, and I reported that his disease had turned him into a foul-mouthed old man, the only person to keep visiting Grandpa Jim was you, formerly little sis. I know it must be because mom forces you to do it, since you’re a teenager and are accustomed to hearing foul language at your school. You won’t have to do that anymore with Deanna and me.

    Also, do not worry that Deanna and I will be forcing to fulfill dad’s supposed role of apartment-fixer-upper. Mom likes to say that dad is out and about fixing things with other people’s apartments. She says dad fixed things in the Lizardbreath’s new apartment and he fixed things in Grandpa Jim’s apartment, as if the old people where Grandpa Jim lives could stand to live in a place where they have to do their own repairs. We all know dad has been spending all his time preparing his trains for the move to George Stibbs’ house. When you are my daughter, you won’t have to do any repairs for anyone’s place, except your own.

    So, if dad comes by and tells you that if you decide to live with him, he will make a sweet "suite" in the basement for you, it’s just because he doesn’t want to be in a house alone with mom. Maybe it’s because then mom will make him go visit Grandpa Jim, or because then he will be the only person for mom to scream at when she’s frustrated. I don’t know the reason for certain, but I do know you will be better off with Deanna and me as your parents, formerly little sis. So, if dad tries to tempt you to move, you should tell him, “No, dad. I want Mike to be my daddy.” That will set him straight.

    Michael Patterson


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