Thursday, January 23, 2014

January 23, 2014

Dear Grandbabies,

In honor of our gig in Philadelphia, PA next week, where we'll be matching up our young, flexible grandbaby artists to perform together live, without any previous rehearsal at all, we wanted to tell you about the time Myrtle J and Jane B met, which was the first ever performance of Fantasy Grandma.

It was another quiet day at the Silent View Home for the Elderly in Tucson, Arizona. Myrtle had accidentally traded her carrot cake for applesauce by falling asleep when Mr. Hofsted was near her table. She had been letting him get familiar and watch Wheel of Fortune in the her doorway since he didn't have a television. That was a fault of her own, but to her credit, the man was a cake thief. We all knew it. Bless his departed soul.

As it so happened, I had endured an accidental substitution that day as well. The nurse, Helen, who would be fired two years later for a similar but more serious infraction, had switched out my blood pressure medications with Dorothy Moore's anti-anxiety pills. This resulted in Dorothy having to see a specialist and me being as hopped up as a lit firecracker in a gumbo truck. I took to the keyboard to relieve some of the tension, as I always did on Sundays for church meeting and whenever I needed to cure my loneliness.

After I managed to call one of the aides over to plug the dern thing in, I began to play one of my favorite hymns, "Up From the Grave He Arose", but grand babies, something was very, very wrong. Gone were the familiar chords in all their rigorous Protestant pacing. My fingers were flying all over the place, like a drunk cardinal, and as I tried to sing, the words were coming so fast from my mouth they sounded like Latin.

It was at that moment that I knew I was a Catholic. And I have been ever since.

And that is just that. I love you too. Goodnight. What?

Alright. I'm sorry, I was supposed to be telling you about the first time Fantasy Grandma played music together. Myrtle, don't hit me.

Myrtle had just woken up to a bowl of apple sauce, and was in a pensive mood anyway because her financial situation was, quite frankly, desperate, and she had been informed she would soon have to share a room with Arlene, who has wild eyes and spitting night terrors. So, in this irritable state, and with me banging along on the keyboard some crazy new religion, she marched right over and tried to switch the keyboard off.

Of course, Myrtle has never been very good with technology, and when she started mashing her old rheumatic fingers all over the buttons, she made a hip hop beat come out. One of the preset ones that came with the keyboard.

And suddenly, it all came together, the rapid jabbering, the Catholic key ticklin', and "Up From the Grave He Arose", as you kids say, got gangster. I was making raps. And soon, Myrtle was too.

After that, Myrtle and I were best friends. We learned about the Wu Tang clan and Old Dirty Bastard and Tupac Shakur. We watched MTV and learned about Teen Moms, which wasn't such a big deal in our day, I'll tell you that.

We got down to Digital Underground and Lil Wayne and, to get to the Happily Ever After, Myrtle moved into my deluxe suite, because my ex-husband was a bastard if he wasn't a rich one, and I had too much space anyway. We've been best lesbians ever since and your Fantasy Grandmas. And I'm still Catholic.

So if your Grandmas can do it, so can you. Throw caution to the wind and let a new friend blow you over. If you know what I mean.

We love you. Hope you can make it to Philly to see us next Thursday. It would be a shame to miss you when you're this close by.

We'll be at the Christ Church Neighborhood House at 8pm. Earlier for drinks.

You can RSVP here on the Facial Book: