The Old Woman and the Paddle

The cats looked at her now with veneration
as she gave chase with her ping pong paddle
after every success she’d say a quick, almost involuntary “sorry”
she’d never killed so much in such a short amount of time
but it had to be done
She couldn’t very well corral them all
out the door
they weren’t cows for gosh sakes
they were miserable little things
carrying diseases on their feet
said the computer
At some point she decided she needed a break from the carnage
and sat down for some coffee and a biscuit
She began to think about how various people she knew from TV
would handle the unique situation in which she found herself
say Angela Lansbury pulled up the blinds to find 35 flies inside of her kitchen
buzzing in unison
like several windup toys operating at the same time
(they’d gotten in, she’d guessed, through some unseen weak spot in the kitchen window design)
what might she do?
Lansbury would take more thought but she thought she had Oprah pinned
Pictured her not having any qualms about systematically smashing them to pieces (though Oprah probably had someone to do that for her)
she didn’t think Tom Brokaw, her favorite newsman, had it in him, though
A few years ago she might have asked her husband or her son
to figure out a solution
but her husband was dead
and her son had (she crossed herself here) moved out and found his own apartment
besides there was something invigorating about the work
it gave her purpose
she was deciding whether something lived or died
and after losing her license
and gaining a twice a week home aide
this was like a gift from up on high somewhere
her sons encouraged her to do crossword puzzles
in order to keep her sharp and “on the ball”
their words
but maybe all she needed was a bag’s worth of bugs and a paddle
to keep her her
She suddenly saw that a fly had landed on her coffee cup
and that’s when she picked up the paddle
and went back to work.
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2 thoughts on “The Old Woman and the Paddle

  1. Brieuse Bernhard Piers-Gûdmönd says:

    I laughed out aloud! This is fantastic!

  2. thanks! unfortunately, for my wife, myself, and the flies, this was based on a true story 😦

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