Bling in the Nursing Home

by Richard Martin


At the ripe old age of 60 (60 is the new 50), George "Georgie Boy" Hammer bought a pair of exquisitely priced dark brown Arrowhead II Kiltie Tassel loafers from an exclusive men's shoe store Extravagant Feet located in the heart of Smog City and nestled between the outrageously popular Bling Factory Outlet and the monstrously engaging (and commercially related) Bling Factory Outlet's Outlet. These beloved jewelry and accoutrement stores catered to the young and hip (hop), which "Georgie Boy" despite recent clandestine hair plug work and chin-chin-chinny tucks along with starburst white, laboratory-enhanced teeth {pling remember that sound, as in heavy sexual (though retro-commercial) overtones from the lost 80's (say Ultra Bright toothpaste) prior to ubiquitous dissolving whitening strips and advanced laser polishing by disinterested dental hygienists} was not.

"Gerogie Boy" had missed the hip bus and the hip hop bus too (by golly) from the very moment of his conception and/or reincarnation. In fact, he came into his planetary existence a prisoner (at the very least a victim) of staid and conventional dress (outfit-challenged). Although he would never be accused of looking like a cadet in the Red Army of Mao Se Tung, he did come across as an entrenched resident of Drabsville, and was duly christened by highly critical family members (the whole clan of them parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins) with the moniker The Man Without Style, before the first sex pheromones sashayed (wafted) through the pubescent atmosphere of (in his case) his late teenage years.

For example, during the wild and whacky period of bell-bottom jeans (circa late 60's 70's), "Georgie Boy" did not only shun the pealing denim (including those adored with peace and astrological signs), but also conventional wranglers, preferring instead to stick with khaki slacks and a pressed short-sleeve madras shirt. Interestingly (if you're a style buff {00N}), he seemed to hold up quite well, even as he was dismissed by one young lady after another (during a time when it was quite permissible {circa late 60's - early 70's} and even encouraged {collective wish fulfillment}for young men and women to participate fully and freely in the blissful moments of love suddenly throwing a "wrench" in the ordinary sense of planetary time the inexorable and implacable march of centuries to some unknown teleological end {known in more erudite circles as the inevitable and relentless operation (implementation) of the second law of thermodynamics) as a regrettable, lamentable, and entropic oddball.

"Nope," "Georgie Boy" would say. "If I can't get any because of the way I dress, than I shall remain a Bachelor in the Universe of Things, a single-minded Columbus on the fourth-dimensional timeline of my tiny sea."

Of course, nobody in his family (the whole clan of them parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins) knew what the hell he was talking about.

"He's a freaking nincompoop," his brother, Pete, exhorted during the ever popular Disco Period (circa mid to late 70's), when everyone, who was anyone, danced beneath shining crystal balls to a relentless four-on-the-floor beat laced with reverberated vocals in rhinestone-studded leisure suits and see-thru sheer red dresses on the very edges of platform shoes and spiked heels, respectively.

"That's for...for sure," his sister Matilda stuttered during a glitch in time (text time) which mysteriously supported (via the misguided or misused elliptic gap) her penchant for dreadlocks and smoking splefs in the back of luxury sedans while cruising the beach scenes in coastal cites around the globe (circa anytime).

"Style ain't for everyone," "Georgie Boy" told himself, actually repeated it like a mantra of OM, if you will, while every screen (computer, movie, television, cell phone) in the Western World flashed the following subliminal message: Style is Substance, varying it on occasion to burrow into the brain (along with an irresistible craving for popcorn and Coke) as Substance is Dead.

Still, time in its bugle-weariness marched on (hut, two, three, four) while Georgie Boy shuddered in his lonely kingdom (secretly plotting a hair plug revolution) of conservative (compassionate) blue suits, muted tie, and ancient wing-tips a connect-the- dot trajectory from the short-sleeve white shirts and clip-on tie from his boyhood days and sadly, dear reader, the following semi-intrusive "Georgie Boy" diary entry comes from those bleak days: Dear Diary, Today, mom made sure my shirt was tucked in and she matted by cowlick with mom spit. She also made me wear black rubbers over my new combat boots with the cool army guys with their bayonets. Of course, I got beat up by the other kids. What kind of choice did they have? (Author's Note: "Georgie Boy" Hammer could never hear the phrase Your mother wears combat boots without recalling this humiliating episode from his early life. More than likely, incidents like this {or maybe just this one} propelled him to change his name from Smith to Hammer. He would have preferred Hammered, but the folks at the Office of Fictional Names and False Identities (OFNFI) were opposed to verbs as valid, fake names.) to his present work (and attire) as an actuary in the firm of Grey, Grey & Sons.

The purchase of tassel loafers at Extravagant Feet signaled something was up (the revolution will not be televised) some rift or split in the "Georgie Boy's" planetary experience was underway. By the time he left the store, the rift had widened and a transformation (transfiguration) of his senses was in full-tilt boogie, enabling him as he hit the street to hear a sound (and ideophone actually): bling and/or the music composed by a ray of light striking a diamond. He stood in hushed awe in the middle of Smog City, with cars, buses, trucks, and the herd all around him. Bling bling rang again and "Georgie-Boy" picked up the sound like the perked ears of dogs snaring silent whistles (Hear fella). He wasn't sure if the sound came from The Bling Factory Outlet or The Bling Factory Outlet's Outlet. It didn't matter. The sound had an electromagnetism to it and pulled him to the right until he found himself gazing at the shining objects in the display window of The Bling Factory Outlet. In a trance, he peered at the glistening objects as he read the store's merchandise guarantee, rendered in flashy atomic-orange neon upper case letters: OUR JEWELRY (OTHER THAN OUR DIAMONDS) IS MADE FROM THE HIGHEST QUALITY AUSTRIAN CRYSTALS WITH THE BEST SILVER PLATING POSSIBLE!

"Georgie Boy" entered the store with the music of the spheres cruising through his body like the exhilaration of a first kiss.

"I'm ready," he said, approaching the first jewelry case and the young woman behind it, radiant as Isis in a golden storm of light, and looking phat in her black V-neck Goddess Top with foil and studs, white Janelle shorts, and Baby Phat Ellen sandals, highlighted by just a single accessory a Diamond Half Moon Pendant Choker gracing her slender neck.

"You're ready for what, sir," the young women politely asked.

"Bling-bling me," "Georgie-Boy" said.

"Don't you mean IcedOutFromHeadToToe?" the young women laughed.

"Proceed," George-Boy said, with a wide and wild smile on his face.

The next day, when "Georgie Boy" showed up at his sister Matilda's house in the exclusive suburbs of Smog-by-the Sea, glowing like a supernova in his conservation (compassionate) blue suit iced out with a 10K White Gold Men's Rope Hip Hop Chain, a Silver Batman Bling Watch, a solid White Leather Belt, a Thug Fashion Five Strand Diamond CZ Hip Hop Bracelet, along with the Arrowhead II Kiltie Tassel loafers on his feet, and bearing a set of Black Glass Pimp Cups for her and her family, she knew something had to be done and done quickly. Mental health clinic or assisted living, she thought, shielding her eyes with her hands from the bling-glare, before pouring herself and "Georgie Boy" a stiff one into the pimp cups.

"Jesus, "Georgie Boy," she said, gulping bourbon and trying to calm herself. "That's quite a look. I think I should call Pete."

"Bling-bling," "Georgie Boy" said, sipping from his pimp cup.

After conferring with her brother Pete over the phone (whose only response was what a freaking nincompoop) over "Georgie Boy's" new and sudden style shifts (including the aforementioned hair plugs, chin-chin-chinny tucks, and starburst white laboratory-enhanced teeth), it seemed plausible (and preferable) to place (register) him (60 is the new 80) in The Sunshine and Darkness Nursing Home and Independent Living Complex for the Young at Heart, a well known (and fairly expensive) facility for the elderly, semi-elderly, and want-to-be elderly in Smog City.

"Georgie Boy" enthralled and dazzled by his sparkling new personality seemed to care less where he lived (forced retirement and all) until he saw the sign (upper case letters in fuchsia script) posted on the front door of his new abode upon his arrival the following week with his stressed siblings: BLING IN THE NURSING HOME IS STRICTLY FORBIDDEN (and in small print near the bottom of the sign: for insurance reasons and the deleterious effect of ideophones on the aged).

Then the fight was on.