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An Old Joke

When Stan was in his seventies and still playing tennis twice a week, he would sometimes see old people slumped in their wheelchairs and tell his son Rob: "If I ever get like that, promise me you'll push the wheelchair over a cliff."

"Okay," Rob would say, "I promise."

They would share a grim smile and then move on to tennis or good wine or another far more pleasant subject.

Now, Stan was ninety-three, and he slumped badly in his wheelchair, needed diapers, and could barely follow the tennis he sometimes watched on TV. The wheelchair-over-a-cliff joke had stopped being funny years ago. But now Rob thought about it often - much more often than he wanted to - and he wondered if his father ever thought about it too.

Story by:

David Meuel

submitted at 6:06am

10 June 2011