A few years go Grumpy spent some time in the hospital due to acute renal failure. He was unconscious for several days, and when he finally woke up he was… confused. Ultimately it was a few months before his mind was “normal” again, but in the first few days he was what you might call childlike. He said whatever popped into his head, at any time. He insulted all of the nurses with his blunt, uncensored comments. If it were possible to die of embarrassment, I wouldn’t have lasted half a day.
On about the third day, it was decided that he needed to start eating solid food. They brought him breakfast, but he refused to eat. They brought him lunch, and still he refused to eat. They tried to talk him into trying, but it didn’t take long for their priority to change from getting him to eat, to getting out of his room, so, no lunch.
At dinner time there was a new nurse on duty who hadn’t yet had the pleasure of meeting Grumpy. I liked her immediately. She had a wonderful, cheerful attitude. Nothing he said bothered her, and when he insulted her she insulted him right back. Before long, she was insulting him first. She obviously had a special understanding that the other nurses didn’t have. And she had a beautiful Celtic accent, which of course, all Americans love.
When Grumpy’s dinner arrived our favorite nurse was there. As usual, he refused to eat. She did her best to persuade him, but he was stubborn. She continued the attack, telling him over and over, “You need noor-r-r-rishment. You can’t heal without noor-r-r-rishment”. Finally he snapped, bellowing at her, “I don’t need noooooor-r-r-r-rishment! Get away from me, you Irish witch!”.
This was far from the first insult that he had hurled at her, but this time was different. As soon as the words escaped his lip her eyes widened and she took a step back, almost gasping. She squared her shoulders, and shouted, “I’m a Scottish witch!!!”.