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Preheat the Microwave.Com
by Jerry Guarino

Instead of complaining about old people, Lisa decided to make lemonade. She got the idea during a visit to her grandmother. “Nana, what do you want for dinner?” she said.

“There’s some chicken in the freezer, Lisa. That would be good.” Nana filled a plastic measuring cup with water and put it in the microwave, set the timer to three minutes and pressed start.

“I can make your tea, Nana. You relax and watch your show.”

Nana put her hand on Lisa’s arm. “No dear. You have to preheat the microwave.” Lisa paused silently, realizing that her grandmother was completely serious.

So Lisa made a deal with the maintenance guy to put hidden cameras and audio bugs in and around her Nana’s elderly housing apartments, in the dining room, laundry room and in the elevator. They created an Internet site, Preheat the Microwave.Com. “Oh Mike, this will be so funny” she said touching his arm. If Lisa and Mike weren’t married to others, this might have been the start of something. “These old timers never go on the Internet and we’re not going to use any names. Besides, I checked with a lawyer and he said there’s no problem.”

Unit 204: “Where’s the remote control?” said Sam.

“Here, eat your oatmeal dear,” said his wife Alice.

“My show is coming on and I need the remote.”

“Look, I left the lumps in, just like you like it.”

“What lumps? I don’t want lumps in my oatmeal. Lumps are for cream of wheat!”

Alice watched Sam search for the remote. “Did you take your medicine dear?”

Sam poked his oatmeal with a spoon. “How do you make lumps in oatmeal anyway? Are these raisins or something?” A bell rings from the kitchen. “Phone” said Sam.

“No, that’s the bread I’m baking dear. The lumps are fiber, they’re good for you.”

Sam reaches into the seat cushion. “It’s got to be here somewhere.” As he shifts, the television starts up. “See, it went on.” A telephone from the show rings. “Alice, the phone is still ringing.”

“That’s the TV dear, eat your oatmeal.”

Sam finds the remote. “Ha, got it. I don’t want lumps of fiber, I want lumps of cream of wheat.” The doorbell rings. “Alice, please get the phone!”

Alice walks to the door. “That’s the doorbell dear. Eat your oatmeal. The doctor said it’s good for you. Oh, hi Cathy. What brings you here?”

Cathy peeks in at Sam. “Hi Sam. I just wanted to tell you guys, the movie tonight is supposed to be ‘R’ rated!”

Alice giggles. “R, how about that? OK, see you there. Sam did you hear that?”

Sam strains to get out of his chair. “I have to go to the bathroom.”

The Laundry Room: Ralph was doing the laundry for his wife. He put her clothes and detergent in the washer, turned the temperature dial to hot and waited. When they were done, he put them in the dryer and sat reading the sports page. Bzzz. Clothes were dry. “I told her I could do laundry.” He folded the red dress and pink underwear, put it in the cart and headed back to the apartment.

The Dining Room: A conspiracy theory was going around that the serving lady didn’t like short people. One of the smaller residents compared her meal to the others. “See, your fish is twice as big as mine. And you have more vegetables too.”

Her dining companions looked at her sympathetically. A man replied, “I have the chicken with rice.”

The Elevator: Margaret pulled her vacuum cleaner while carrying her laundry basket. She walked into the elevator and pressed one for the laundry room. Unfortunately, the cord for the vacuum cleaner had come undone as she walked. A few seconds later Margaret heard a whipping sound, the cord catching between the elevator and the floor she had left. The vacuum cleaner started to bounce up and down from the tension. She took refuge in the corner until the elevator stopped.

Juan, a San Francisco policeman, found the bugs when visiting his mom; the prints came back to Lisa, so he got a techie to reverse the signal on the camera and audio bug, along with a transmitter and placed it in Nana’s apartment. The wireless signal was then sent to a police surveillance website.

The tenants were gathering to watch the movie. “Who is this, Clara?”

“Oh, this is my grandson Jeffrey,” said Clara.

“What do you do dear?”

Jeffrey said, “I’m an attorney.”

After he walked away, Clara whispered. “It’s sad, he thinks he’s a lawyer, but he just got released from the psych unit at Stanford.”

With Nana upstairs at the movie, Lisa arranged to meet Mike at her apartment to look at some of the videos. Lisa pulled up the website and selected her favorite. “This is great, I still can’t believe that vacuum cleaner clip,” she said laughing. The laughter turned to passion and Mike grabbed Lisa and pulled her to him. Lisa yielded eagerly and within minutes their clothes were off and they were on the living room floor.

But somehow the router in the building picked up the video signal. In the community room where the residents had gathered to watch the movie, Mike and Lisa were now on the big screen. Suddenly, dozens of elderly citizens were being treated to an X-rated show, with Mike the maintenance guy in a leading role!

“This is ‘R’ rated,” said Ralph. “What’s the name of this movie? I want to get the DVD.”

One of the dining room staff even walked around with refreshments. “Would you like some lemonade?”

An elderly woman reached over and said, “Do you have any popcorn?”

The cook said, “In a minute, we’re preheating the microwave.”