Sometimes I wonder how many old men who “have” dementia are really faking it, acting as any smart opportunist would in taking advantage of the biggest loophole in life—one that allows them to finally take it easy and do and say whatever they want. Consider the situation in which most old men find themselves:
- You’ve been living with the same women for 55 years and have heard every possible thing that woman has to say at least 7 times before.
- You’re tired and slow and arthritic and ornery. You don’t want to hear about Opal’s uncouth behavior at bridge today, take out the garbage, or feign interest in your great-grandson’s tap dancing competition.
- You need an airtight excuse to ride out the rest of your time on earth watching game shows, Matlock, and 60 Minutes all day.
Think about that and you’ll start to wonder if all men with dementia aren’t faking it. What incentive do they have to not fake dementia? None. What incentives do they have to fake it? All of them.
Wife: “Dear, do you think my sister Erma is pretty?”
Dementia Faker: “Erma? Why, I’ve always thought she was easily the prettiest of all you gals.”
Wife: “What did you just say?!”
Dementia Faker: “Whaa, huh? I didn’t…there’s… a dog on the ceiling! Get him off!
Wife: “Glen, you just told me you thought Erma is prettier than me. Glen, do you understand me? Glen, Glen, I’m talking to you. You know Erma has had work done on her tricep skin, Glen. And her hair isn’t naturally purple like that. Glen is that true what you just said?”
Dementia Faker: “AHHHH, the Krauts have us surrounded! Call Patton and get us some artillery, stat! I’m hit, Big Mike, I’m hit! Get me a sandwich, woman. With pickles and a coke and those cheesy puffs on the side. I need a sandwich and those cheesy puffs and the Reader’s Digest with Al Roker in the basement bathroom or I might run outside naked and wave my pistol around! The pants are coming off!”
Wife: Pull your pants up, why I never! I’ll get your sandwich, already, just put your pants on and watch the television for goodness sake!”
Wife leaves and Dementia Faker smiles wide and winks at himself in the mirror.