525. Overheard conversation II


(I’ve just spent a week in a hospital ward – a mixed ward, men and women. It can become tedious, so I jotted down some overheard conversations. Slightly edited!)

Barbara: That was my grandson, Juan. It’s pronounced “Jay-wharn”. You wouldn’t know, but it’s Spanish. Even though he’s only four he has the IQ of a seven year old. I reckon he’s gay because he’s not interested in boys’ toys like trucks and stuff. I call him “my little gay boy”. Of course, I wouldn’t say that to his face; that would be cruel. I am very good with kids. I have two of my own and nine foster children that I call mine. If I won the lottery I would buy an orphanage. My youngest daughter she Chinese. She 17. She come see me this afternoon. She reliable. I ask her who at my house. She tell me. I ask her to water pot plant. She also very bright. Not as bright as “Jay-wharn”. Do you have any children, Naomi, and what do you do?

Naomi: Well, I’m 84, so I’m retired and I…

Barbara: I said to my daughter-in-law that India, that’s another granddaughter, she’s 2, has a “big mouth”. I didn’t mean that she was a blabber-mouth; I meant she could put a lot of food in her mouth at once when she was eating. Of course my daughter-in-law took it the wrong way didn’t she? She’s so sensitive. Too sensitive if you ask me. So do you work, Naomi?

Naomi: Well, I’m 84, so I’m retired and I…

Barbara: Then there’s Riley. He went off the rails. He got his girlfriend pregnant when he was 15. He’s 26 now, and…

Naomi: … and I lectured in Russian at the university.

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