Let’s Make a Deal


Dad’s dementia is kind of interesting. Sometimes he forgets basic things — like the fact that the little yellow dog that’s always in our house (Billy) belongs to me and not the neighbors — giving me the impression that he’s losing it. And sometimes I’m delighted by his brilliance.

The other day he demonstrated that he’s still got it when he offered to make a deal with his nurse Ali. Even though he doesn’t go out much, and certainly never alone, he likes to keep money in his pocket in case he needs to buy anything. Maybe it’s a security thing or maybe he just likes money. At any rate, he’d been keeping track of 2 twenty-dollar bills for several months. In order to not have them stolen, he would hide them from potential thieves by placing them in one drawer one night and a different drawer the next. More than once his tricky tactics caught up with him causing him to forget where he stashed his moolah. Usually it was fine; Mom would help him search and they’d uncover the cash together.
This last time, however, he convinced himself that he’d been robbed and accused Ali of stealing. Understandably offended, Ali respectfully denied having stolen from Dad and suggested he check his nightstand. In the meantime Mom located the cash and devised a plan; she would tell Ali where the money was and then have Ali help Dad find it. What kind of thief leads you right to your stash? Dad would be sure to forgive Ali of any wrongdoing.
But Dad had a different plan. “Let’s make a deal,” he told Ali. “I know you took my money. But give me $40 for the $100 you stole I will forget the whole thing.” Whether Dad really thought Ali had stolen the money or not, it was clever of him to ask and to raise the stakes; it’s as if he knew it would be hard for Ali to turn down her *poor* 90 year-old jefe who’d just lost his cash. Unfortunately for Dad, Ali is just as savvy and likes to hang on to her money just as much as he does. Needless to say, no deal.

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