Dear Grandad by Connie Harris

Sorry, where were we? 

Ahh Granddad. Granddad’s 102 this year and he’s still going strong. Still going. 

He shrinks like a raisin with age (he’s half the size he was ten years ago), so at least I won’t have to fork out a lot for a big coffin. By the time he finally tops it I could probably bury him in a matchbox. 

His carers told me to use baby oil for his bad skin. I said: ‘You could use vegetable oil for him’. 

They didn’t find it funny. 

Can’t joke about anything nowadays. 

The world is changing, you know. No sense of rules or respect anymore. I don’t want to go off topic, but I was on my five minute coffee break yesterday, minding my own business having a fag, and my boss, Gary, walks over and says, he says: 

‘Please don’t smoke at work, Diana. It sets a bad example for the children’. The cheek of it! 

‘Diana’. ‘Diana’! Why should he call me by my first name? 

And the tiddlers shouldn’t be looking at me anyway – nosy little bastards. 

Back to Granddad - today he creaked his peanut head round and looked straight at me with his little, freaky eyes. ‘I changed his nappy yesterday,’ I thought, ‘what’s he complaining about now?’ No rest for the wicked. 

And his breath whistles through his teeth - it’s the most… irritating sound. I can’t even describe… I get in from work and I hear that noise coming from upstairs and I think: ‘he’s still here, clinging on for another day’ – the little sucker. 

Oh good news; I’ve found a new insurance company – absolutely massive payout, you wouldn’t believe. I keep my eyes peeled for new offers, and I’m telling you this time it’s paid off. 

The other day, I was bending over to pick up my bag, and I thought I'd accidentally nudged his food pipe out. Oops. 

But when I got back from work, the bed and all his blankets were soaked through. ‘Shit,’ I thought, ‘I’ve knocked his bloody catheter out.’ 

Then I popped him in the shower at the highest temperature, and closed the door. Poor sod didn’t have the strength to shifi it, so he was trapped, scalding away. Bit like browning your meat off when you make a stew. Except the meat doesn’t make such a fuss. He kept mumbling, shrieking and trying to claw at the glass. So I put on ‘Stairway to Heaven’ nice and loud, and was just getting into the groove when the neighbours came to complain about the noise. 

Bloody do gooders, they’re all the same – never do any good. 

Today I tried some of that hypnosis stuff – I saw it on Facebook – and it’s supposed to work: 

‘Close your eyes Granddad – keep them closed. You’re surrounded by dark… Black all around What is that? – do you see something? It’s the light! Go towards it Granddad, walk towards it, that’s right Go on, chop chop Run! Come on, hurry up! You don’t want it disappearing do you? Go on Granddad, run towards the light, run!’ 

Didn’t work. I guess those kinds of things are for people with imagination.

Published in Issue #25

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