Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Remembering a Man Who Found the Loopholes

I think I can best describe the life of my grandpa Morris, who died Monday, through a single story. He was so cantankerous that he picked up smoking in his 90s as a protest against authorities at his senior living facility.

Let me explain.

Like a lot of people his age, grandpa wasn’t thrilled with being moved to a senior living facility even though he was in his 90s and in desperate need of help. So when he got there, he resisted. This manifested itself in a variety of ways, including securing the code to the automatic door and sneaking outside when people weren’t looking.

As a result, administrators rightfully cracked down on his privileges, including limiting his trips outside the facility. At about this same time, grandpa probably jotted down a grievance in one of his many notepads. He noticed smokers were allowed to leave the facility regularly for 15-minute smoke breaks, while he wasn’t.

So, to level the playing field, he reached the only logical conclusion: Despite being a nonsmoker his entire life, he must pick up smoking immediately.

Can you believe it worked? To his credit, he had discovered a loophole and was soon outside with the others, puffing away. For my mom, this meant now bringing him cigarettes along with his beloved chocolates.

This was the life of my grandpa, a man who stubbornly gamed the system until the very end. God bless him.

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