Wednesday, December 9, 2009


There are times when I think insanity makes my day a little brighter.

Crazy Karen is not someone I generally enjoy interacting with in any way. She scares me, and that’s not something I admit easily.

There was a voice mail from her recently, in which she rambled for a great length of time before getting to the point.

“Greetings to you, whoever you are standing there listening to this. Or sitting there. Or laying there. Or whatever you’re doing. So, greetings to you, whoever you are, doing whatever you’re doing over there while you’re listening to this. Today is Wednesday, December 2nd. December 2nd. The month after November. The day after the 1st. December. D. E. C. E. M. Capital b. Capital e. Capital r. December. Second. The second day of December, the twelfth month of the year.”

And then she finally moved on to her request.

I was laughing my ass off. When she rambles like this, it cracks me up, and I’m grateful that she’s in a good mood and playing with us, even though she’s batshit crazy. As Marina likes to point out, it’s when she snaps and gets angry that you really don’t want to deal with her, and that’s happened often enough that we are scared of her.

Today I got a phone call from her – makes me think Wednesdays are her days to call – and she had me nearly in tears again.


Me: This is Nikki.

Oooh, Nikki, hi honey. I haven’t talked to you in a while.

Me: Hi, is this Karen?

Karen (laughing): Yeah! Would you look at us, all familiar with each other like this?

Me (trying not to laugh):

Karen: You know, I’m standing here in Kmart looking at this book, and I was wondering if you have it at the library.

She gave me the information, I looked it up, and no, we would have to interlibrary loan it for her, which she decided was not worth the effort.

She went on to read me many lines from the book, randomly, until she found one with my name in it and became excited.

Karen: You’re in this book!

Me (laughing): Oh really? I’m famous?

Karen (laughing): YOU ARE! It says you brought a casserole to the party! Do you like to cook?

Me: Yes, actually, I do.

Karen: It IS you! You’re in this book!

Me: I guess I am! And I don’t even know that author!

Karen: That’s amazing! I just had to tell you that. You’re in this book. Isn’t that great?

Me: Yes, that’s fabulous. Thanks for letting me know.

Karen: Okay, sorryforwastingtime, bye.

She hung up abruptly and I just sat there cracking up for quite a while. If she’s not screaming at someone, claiming to be the mother of Jesus, or calling someone else an idiot because they cannot understand her bizarre blathering to find what she’s looking for, then she tends to be amusing.

Once she called and began to derail and rambled about something not even remotely lucid, and when she came back to our conversation she apologized and explained that she has a photographic memory, so sometimes she slips back into a memory and completely relives it. For example, one Thanksgiving she went to dinner at the home of some friends, had an argument with them, stormed out, and she can STILL remember exactly what skirt she was wearing at the time. And then she hung up on me.

Yep. Clearly that’s her problem, that troubling photographic memory that allows her to utter half-words and noises briefly because she’s reliving an event and remembering what she wore when she was living it.

I try not to laugh. I try to have sympathy. I try to think that is must be terrible being her, living her life, but she’s not always a nightmare to us. Sometimes she makes me laugh so hard, I choke on my own spit. And I count my lucky stars that she’s not on a rampage this time.

1 comment:

Greg said...

"That's a great post. Here's a website on developing
photographic memory. Check out the tips that they offer. They worked pretty well for me. It's at"