MY GRANDPA WAS A CHAINSAW MANIAC
I never expected to see grandpa waving his chainsaw around at the old age center. They don't like to call it an old age center for retirement folks but that's what it is. Those are the hard cold facts.
One has to keep his whits about him when you walk into a retirement center for psychos. Never know when one some old fart is going to sneak up behind you in a wheel chair and try to stab you or chop something off.
They may be weak and can barely swing. Some have lost the strength to thrust and can barely puncture your skin but they are still dangerous.
Grandpa had been there for three years now and he was always complaining. He'd become a chronic complainer ever since he'd moved in there. Guess I couldn't blame him. It's a big change after having lived on a farm for practically his entire life and having to one day pack a few things up and be driven off to retirement village.
I never liked the smell of retirement homes. Carpets smelling of must and mildew and when you walked past the rooms there was always the smell of pneumonia from pea stains and bedpans.
People on the verge of their last days moaning and groaning as their joints are in such severe pain they are praying for the sweet reward of death,
My feet sticking on my floor and squeak as I pick up some unknown substance on the bottom of my shoe and lets out with that annoying squeak as I walk down the hallway.
The more I think about it, I guess it wasn't that usual to find a chainsaw in grandpa's closet but it did catch me off guard.
I heard a loud revving sound. The sound I'd hard a thousand times before.
I thought, no way.
Surely, grandpas didn't bring his chainsaw with him.
I heard people screaming.
One old woman was hobbling down the hallway on her walker.
“What's going on?” I dared to ask.
“Some ole coot has done lost his mind,” she said.
I new that old coot she was talking about could be no other than grandpa, He just wouldn't let it go.
More people came running, more like hobbling along the best they could with their eighty year old crooked limbs and canes nd walker.
“Don't go back there!” He passed me in a wheelchair at mach speed for for a guy his age.
The revving is getting louder and louder. I hear grandpa screaming. “I go you all this time. I got you all this time.”
I walked into the recreation center. Gran pa had the entrance barricaded with wheelchairs and desks. He as in the process of cutting off the arms of some old lady.
The arm flew off and nearly hit me.
Blood splattering everywhere.
What a nasty mess.
He stopped mid-chop.”Well. Who are you?”
I thought, here we go again. I've got to go through the entire family tree to prove we are related. This was the hard part when you're dealing with a grandpa on Alzheimer Mom and dad used to stop by and visit him but dad got tired of having to go through the whole thing again and just finally gave it up.
He said it wasn't worth it and told me not to waste too much time with him cause grandpa wasn't really the man I think he is.
Dad called him a bad man, which made me even more curious.
That goes back to the day when grandpa and I used to be tight. Real tight. Inseparable. I've always been fascinated by his chainsaw collection. He had various makes and models hanging on the walls in the barn. He explained them all to me but I couldn't remember all that. I was just impressed with his collection.
That's when he told me he was a chainsaw maniac. I remember thinking wow. Cool. I was pretty young then so I thought things like that were pretty awesome.
“You mean, like kill people and stuff?”
“Yep. I chopm' in pieces.”
Looking at the guy you wouldn't think he was ever capable of commit such horrendous acts of violence. They there's a little in all of us though and grandpa is living proof. Grandpa only stood about five foot four if that. Hardly the intimidating type. His arms were thin and seemed out of place hanging from his egg shaped frame.
He took out albums and showed me pictures of the oleo he dismembered.
I guess that would explain why dad didn't want to have much to do with him.
As I was reintroducing myself to grandpa an old woman charged down the hallway with a shotgun and started blasting.
I felt the wind on the side of my cheek from the bullet as the glass shelf beside me shattered.
The nurse was running after her trying to catch her.
At the same time running behind the nurse was a man wearing a black cape hobbling along on his cane slashing at the air with a machete,
Thankfully he was tackled down by the large male nurses, strapped in a jacket and carried away.
Meanwhile grandpa went back to business and started slicing away at people. He was in the middle of a huge fight with another who was trying to chop his head off with an axe but his arms were still too weak.
Grandpa laughed at him and called him a woos. I guess they must've known each other because I heard grandpa tell him that he never was any good at chopping people and how he should've retired his ax years ago.
Then grandpa sliced off his arm.
He jumped up on the table, holding the chainsaw high above his head, waving it Texas Chainsaw fashion while revving the motor.
Oil flying off the blade splattering on the tables. “I still got it, Sonny.”
“You sure do, grandpa.”
While he was busy getting all ego on himself a woman sliced at his leg with a knife but not with the great speed she probably once did when she was in her prime.
Behind me I hear, “There he is. There's our boy.”
I turned and saw it was Bob hobbling along with his walker. Bob and grandpa used to be neighbors. Bob was an explosive expert back in his day. When Bobby was in his prime it wasn't unusual to hear a building explode every once in a while. He sued to get the biggest kicks from that.
'How doing , Sonny?” He tossed a grenade and I watched it slowly roll toward my feet,
“Bob, you can't be dong stuff like that. Now, stop it. You're gonna kill too many people.”
“I know. Ain't it great?”
“Not when one of them is me.”
I tossed picked up the grenade and threw it through the window and it exploded in the parking lot.
“Ahhh, you always were a quick one,” Bobby said.
He had this knack for giggling in demonic ways that sent chills up my spine. “But not quick enough.”
The nurse station exploded. Apparently, he'd tossed that grenade to distract while at the same time tossed one at the nurses station.
Then I hear grandpa say. “Drat.” he always used words like that, Words that replaced curse words because he never believed in cursing.
“What's the matter, grandpa?”
“Ran outta gas.”
Alarms sounded off as five large men wearing white outfits took grandpa down.
“Take care of my chainsaw, Sonny.”
I picked it up and took it with me. The handle felt good in my hand. It wasn't a heavy one like some of the others I'd seen. It was a little smaller and much lighter. It was going to go back up on the shelf with all his others.
Things quieted down after that. Grandpa had a way about him for stirring up trouble. Every time he got a wild hair up his butt to want to cut him up somebody things would get out of control at the center.
I guess its' not too bad. He can be a hand full at times and I really wish that mom and dad would give him more attention.
The following Wednesday I went back to visit and grandpa was actually in his room this time.
I knocked n the door and entered.
He looked at me with blank expression. “Who are you?” he asked.
As usual I reintroduced myself to grandpa. Every time I did that it seemed to strike a cord with him and he would be okay with it.
On the wall were pictures of mom, dad, and my two sisters. I made a comment about how nice it was to see he had just put family pictures on the wall. I wasn't really sure just how severe his Alzheimer's was but I was surprised to see that. Either that or mom and dad stopped by.
“Nice pictures,” I said. “Did mom and dad hang those for you?”
“Mom and dad. You know, my parents? Bill and Deborah?”
His eyes squinted as he bit his lower lip. “I don't know any Bill or Deborah.”
“Of course you do. They're my parents. The pictures you have on the wall.”
He giggled in that demonic way again and I knew something wasn't right. “Oh the? They're my next victims.”
He sat at the edge of his bed sharpening several types of knives.
I thought then it would be best if mom and dad didn't stop by after all.