Betty’s Brain Fog

Brain Fog will be the death of me.

My wife’s mother, Betty, frets about her memory; I quizz Betty, hoping to convince her that she has all her marbles.


Jaron: How are we feeling today?

Betty: We? I don’t know about you but at 99 –I don’t need to remind you it’s really 99 and seven months — BRAIN FOG will be the death of me.

Jaron: We’ll get you some fog lights.

Betty: And, maybe you should develop a bit more compassion. I CAN’T REMEMBER A DAMN THING.

Jaron: How many daughters do you have?

Betty: Two.

Jaron: Exactly. And how many times have they been married?

Betty: Twice each. The oldest one had two practice husbands. Your wife only had one. You are what’s left of the four.

Jaron: So that would make me your best son-in-law.

Betty: Duh. You’re the only husband that’s left. So I could say you’re also the worst.

Jaron: And how many husbands did you have?

Betty. One. In my day one was enough. And, sometimes it was too many. Harry and I loved each other.

Jaron: And how long has he been gone?

Betty: Ten years and there is not a day I don’t think of him.

Jaron: It doesn’t sound like you have brain fog to me.

Betty: Things that happened decades ago I remember. My short term memory is burned out. Brain fog.

Jaron: What did you eat yesterday?

Betty: Some pasta and soup. It was tasty. Just the right amount of salt.

Jaron: Your short term memory seems fine.

Betty: I’ve been knocking back pasta and soup for the last 90 years. When I say I have brain fog that means I can’t remember new experiences.

Jaron: That makes sense.

Betty: Do you come by to confuse and taunt me because I’m almost 100?

Jaron: I came by to pick up the $75 you borrowed from me last Friday.

Betty: What did I borrow the money for?

Jaron: Beats me. You wanted the money so I gave it to you. It was about two pm, Friday, after lunch. I gave you a fifty. A twenty and a five. All new bills.

Betty: I don’t remember that.

Jaron: Well, I happen to have a selfie of you getting the money.

Betty: Let’s see that selfie.

Jaron: I don’t have my phone with me. Just give me the money.

Betty: I never borrowed jack sh*t from you.

Jaron: Your word against mine. I don’t have brain fog.

Betty: No room for fog between your ears.  Too many idiot cells. 

Jaron: Not a nice way to talk to your favorite son-in-law.

Betty: Your assessment, not mine. Stop hustling me. I never borrowed any $75 from you, did I?

Jaron: No.

Betty: No what? Explain.

Jaron: I made up the $75 to illustrate that your short term memory is fine. You remembered I didn’t get the money.

Betty: You’re committing elder FRAUD.

Jaron: By acting like you have brain fog, you’re probably committing a “medical felony.”

Betty: I WANT to have brain fog. I long to forget things. Like how pretty I was. They said I was beautiful. Look at me. Can’t hear. Can’t see. Can’t walk. Time for you to go.

Jaron: OK.

Betty: Kiss me goodbye.

I did.

Betty: Scram before I report you to the brain fog authorities.

Betty when she was 16 — 83 years
and five months ago. In 1921 ….

(c) jaron summers 2021



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Jaron Summers wrote dozens of primetime television and radio programs, including those for HBO, CBS, ACCESS TV and CBC. He conceived the TV and Film Institute of Canada. Funded by the University of Alberta and ITV, Jaron ran the Institute for 12 years, donating his services for a decade.

1 Comment

  • Jim McGivern (Seamus , the Olde Cargo pilot) says:

    Funny that I read Betty’s Brain Fog just before lunch, where MY Mother-in-law, 95 and sister-in-law, June were about to eat. I laughed at your article, as usual, and thought about the coincidence of the moment. Oddly, all three of us have tested positive for Covid, are quarantined together and in our first week of hell. Wife, Laney, was playing in a golf event, which she won with her team and happily missed the infection and has tested negative. She now lives in mom’s great room, sleeps on a comfy couch and lives in a completely disinfected environment. I was vaxed properly back in February, the other two, not, but we all have the same systems and all are taking ivermectin which does seem to slow it getting any worse. I read them your and Betty’s article (God bless her—Kate too) and your article has been the first laugh we’ve had for three or four days. Thanks, Jaron. (call me on my cell; we’re all here in Western, PA).

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