Two detours

Two for one today in response to the Divine Denise’s Six Sentence Challenge, with the prompt word of ‘detour’.


It began with her putting the kettle in the fridge and calling everybody ‘darling’ because she couldn’t remember their names. Then she copied the young women’s craze for ash-blond streaks in her hair and started sending money to the man in Africa that she’d met on a dating site. Her rooms were soon full with goods that she’d bought online, boxes unopened. Only when she bought a gleaming white sports convertible and drove it into town to browse the clothes shops, wearing only a fur coat and her underwear, did her daughters put her in a nursing home. In her garage they found her collection: No Stopping. No U-turn. One Way. Steep Descent. All the signs were there.

Ted’s famous cattle drive

Ted watched his grandson, Artemus, alight from the school bus and they began their weekday ritual of walking home, where Grandma Rose would be waiting with home-made biscuits warm from the oven and chocolate-flavoured milk. Ted said “Ya know, Artie, (damned if he was going to call him by that pretentious name his son and daughter-in-law had picked) when I was your age we walked three miles to school, even if it was snowing.”

Artie sighed “You did not, Grandpa, Great Aunt Sally told me you lived practically next door.”

That bloody sister of mine and her big mouth again, thought Ted as they walked on in silence for a while, until he said “Ya know, Artie, I once drove a mob of cattle from Queensland to Tasmania.”

“Grandpa, Tasmania is an island, so how did you cross Bass Strait?”

Smart Alec kid, thought Ted and said “I took a detour.”

32 thoughts on “Two detours

  1. Your first story made me smile, Doug. Then I wanted to weep. And then I crossed my fingers that I might never live this. The humour emphasising the very serious point and most people’s – every person’s? – biggest fear.
    And i loved the ‘Grumpy Old Man’ with the vivid imagination and the quick retort.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Many thanks, Jenne. I find difficult subjects are sometimes best raised seemingly lightly e.g. getting someone to write a will by telling that if they don’t the current government will pocket the lot. 😉 The grumpy old man was my late father and the clever lad my nephew, who is now a medical scientist working on a cure for gastroenteritis.


  2. Am I the only one who thought the first story was funny? The ending, that is. Dementia is sad and very serious and we all hope we won’t be the ones afflicted with it. That said, there are funny times, too, even for the one who has it. But the line “all the signs were there,” made me laugh. That was a double whammy, too because dementia can cause clutter and collections of stuff no one should collect – like signs. Anyway, two great stories.

    Liked by 1 person

    • No, Marsha, you’re not the only one. Sickos are everywhere. 🙂 Seriously, the responses have been split fairly evenly but the key
      outcome of people engaging with a serious issue was achieved I think. Even more importanter is that you liked them both. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • We had a few story chats like that. I’m not sure the authors even intended there to be a serious issue, but these issues have a way of making themselves heard. The one you presented is something we have all had to face in someone we loved, I’m sure. I pray that it doesn’t happen to us. There are three of us that moved to Prescott and one child between the three of us who lives about 12 hours of driving away from us. If we all head down that path, well… Let’s hope the signs are positive. 🙂 No pedestrian signs without heads.

        Liked by 1 person

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