Shopping Cart Dings

Paul waddles through his wallpapered foyer
complaining of the hips
he had replaced last year
while stroking his liver-spotted forehead.

"The problem is," he confides
"your mother didn't give you life.
She gave you death."
A benign grin creeps across his face
as he blooms into the likeness
of an Italian Rodney Dangerfield
waiting for the rimshot
that would have come
in his bygone black-and-white television era.

I finish working on his boiler
and bring my tools through the garage
only to catch him dancing
to '40s Big Band 8-track tapes--
cane in one hand, Death's neck in the other.

The best men I've ever met
were also the best liars.
He tipped me five bucks
and told me to buy a cigar.

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