Sunday, August 30, 2009

Tulip Loves Old People and Children.

Tulip is a nurse at the Almost There Home for the Elderly and Senile in Cloverdale. Her happy and cheerful disposition springs from her love of children and old people. World peace was another plank in her life’s Mission Statement, but because of all the unrest in the world as witness every evening on the Confederacy News, and a recent quarrel with a neighbor over a certain willow tree with an enormous appetite for sky, she removed that sentence from the statement and replaced it with Inner Peace.

Tulip dabbled with Scientology when it made a brief appearance in Cloverdale with the arrival of the Dillard family in 1996 but gave it up when the eldest son lost interest in her as a potential mate. One year later Mormonism was her flavor of choice until Pete Simmons bid all adieu and left the Confederacy of Dunces on the Coastal Express to become a missionary in some distant and unpronounceable geolocation in the Other World. Currently Unitarianism occupies the spiritual void in her life while she waits for the next eligible bachelor unlucky enough to cross her path while visiting an elderly grandparent at the Almost There Home for the Elderly and Senile.

As mentioned in the paragraph above, Tulip loves old people and children. She is surrounded by old people every day at work. She baths them, dresses them, feeds some of them and medicates all of them. What’s missing is children, her own children to be exact. Children yet unborn. You see, Tulip is a woman born to be a mom and according to Tulip's moral principles, motherhood requires a husband. A white house with picket fence follows the exchanging of maritial vows if Tulip keeps to her life's schedule. Give her nine months and her plan envisions a sand box and swing set in the back yard and a twelve year supply of diapers for all her little ones in the nursery.

Tulip has trained to be a mom ever since she started at the Home. She does everything a mom does, including changing dirty diapers. She points out that her ‘babies’ are on the other end of the age spectrum but other than that, it is all pretty much the same.

Tulip is kind to all the ‘old buzzards’ as she lovingly calls the elderly at the Home but reserves a extra helping of attention to those with handsome unmarried grandsons within a sneeze of her age. Family photos kept on the resident’s night stands help her identify potential mates. Several bedside conversations are used to clarify marital status and overall compatibility. Lucky is the grandparent of someone she fancies. They receive extra helpings in the cafeteria line, if they can stand that long. They are read to one or more evenings during the week and occasionally, on the days when they expect family visits, their meds are delivered by Tulip’s alter ego - Tulip the Clown.

During the taking of meds, Tulip strikes up a conversation with the intended grandchild. If she feels a fluttering heart and a change in her blood's chemistry she sits with the family and outlines her special transportation services. For no extra charge she is willing to transport the senior to special family functions. This service includes round the clock and personal service by Tulip herself. She will stay with the grandparent seeing to their needs during the length of the visit. Again, all in the line of duty and because she loves old people and children.

Some day Tulip will meet her Prince Charming. She hopes and prays that day will not come while she's changing out a bed pan.

Friends, I give you Tulip. A proud and valuable citizen in our Confederacy of Dunces.

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