Overheard in a restaurant: “I hear Spain is lovely this time of year”. Me: “When I was a child, we used to summer on the Amalfi coast. Myself, my folks, and my grandmother Ester. She was totally insane by this point in her life. She would sit on the stoop every day waiting for the mailman. As he began his daily approach, she would start to curse at him, quite loudly and with much vigor. If he noticed (and he must have noticed), he never said anything.”
“My grandmother, she was quite the character. During Prohibition she used to brew some of the finest bathtub gin that Sandusky, Ohio, had ever tasted. It was called ‘Ester’s Essence’ and was guaranteed to get you blind drunk – sometimes literally. Grampa Terry (bless his soul) once told me that after a particularly nasty batch, he spent nearly 8 hours hunched over the toilet, and he was certain that he had seen at least one kidney enter the bowl before he was done. Ester was able to elude arrest by turning into a small mouse and hiding in the baseboards whenever the police came to the house to ‘investigate’. Usually they just left with a gallon of the bathtub gin and a small stipend for their ‘protection.”
“Yeah, my gramma was a character. Apparently, she’s the woman who first introduced The Chronic to the hipsters of Greenwich Village during the jazz boom of the 1950’s. She counted Alan Ginsberg amongst her closest friends, but would claim that he was nearly 8 feet tall and covered in quills, like a porcupine. I never believed this story, as I’ve seen pictures of Ginsberg, and he was quite short. I’m not sure about the quills, however.”
“To get back to your statement, yes, Spain is lovely this time of year. If you get a chance, go to the cemetery in Amalfi and leave a potted plant on the grave of my Grandmother Ester. She preferred Begonias in life, so I imagine in death she would enjoy them as well. Not like she really has a choice. Unless she’s come back as a zombie. In which case, tell her I said hi, but I don’t think I’ll take her up on her offer to go parasailing in Johannesburg.”
*Note – I never had a grandmother named Ester, and even if I did, you can’t disprove her ability to turn into a mouse when threatened. This story is not true in any way, shape, or form. It evolved out of short text conversation between myself and my friend Jason. Sometimes my mind goes off on tangents.