We went to visit my aunt for her 87th birthday. She broke her hip a while ago and moved into an Assisted Living Center on the south side. The place is a huge, multi-winged single-story labyrinth of a place. It’s a bit of a hike from one end to the other and the first time we went there I got the room numbers confused. The receptionist told me she was in 160A but I heard 168 so we spent nearly twenty minutes wandering back and forth in the halls looking for the right room. After our visit we got lost again (turned around) trying to find the same door we’d come in. Depressed by the atmosphere of the place, a little fatigued from all the walking, and feeling kind of old myself; as we came upon a nurses’ station I asked:
“How the heck do we get out of this place?”
The woman behind the desk deadpanned:
“Oh. Once you come in here you can never leave.”
“Oh, man!” I cried, and we both busted out laughing.
I thought: “I’m not ready! That’s a fine thing to say to gray-haired old man.”