I'm in St. Louis, visiting my father. He's 84 years old, and has lived longer than anyone in his family. He's had a couple of minor strokes, and suffers from a few memory problems, along with some hearing loss and the usual crotchetyness that afflicts the elderly.
This is a sample conversation I had with him while driving.
"When you get to this light up ahead, take a left. Then take the second right," he instructed me, even though I grew up in this town and know the way as well as he does.
"Right, got it," I said.
"No, left. At this light."
"Got it. Left at the light, then the second right."
"Then take the second right."
"The second right."
"OK I understand. Is there a pharmacy nearby?" I asked.
"A pharmacy? No, there are no pharmacies around here."
"There are pharmacies everywhere in Florida," I tell him.
"Why are there so many pharmacies?"
"Because there is such a large ageing population," I explained, "and they need lots of medication."
"Why do Asian people need more medication than anyone else?" he asked.
"Not Asian, ageing."
"They're people just like me and you. They shouldn't need more medication."
"AGEING. Not Asian. AGEING."
"Oh. Take this left at the light."
"OK, then the second right. I've got it."
"Then the second right."
"You won't find a pharmacy around here."
"Where do people go for medication?" I asked.
"Most people go to the supermarket. There's a pharmacy in the supermarket."
"Where is the supermarket?"
"I can't remember."