Authors: Getting Old Is Murder
GETTING OLD IS MURDER
GETTING OLD IS MURDER
MY BELOVED MOTHER, GLADYS,
Who coulda, woulda, shoulda
been Gladdy Gold
MY DEAREST AUNT ANN
Who inspired me all my life
You know that old trees just grow stronger
And old rivers grow wilder every day
But old people just grow lonesome
Waiting for someone to say,
"Hello in there. Hello."
Hello in There
"Let's face it.
We all have the same five relatives."
If one life matters
Then all life matters
A Christian meditation
"The golden years have come at last
Well, the golden years can kiss my ass."
Hy Binder, taken from the Internet
Introduction to Our Characters
GLADDY & HER GLADIATORS
Gladys (Gladdy) Gold, 75
Our heroine, and
funny, adorable, sometimes impossible partners:
Evelyn (Evvie) Markowitz, 73
Logical, a regular Sherlock Holmes
Ida Franz, 71
Stubborn, mean, great for
Bella Fox, 83
"The shadow." She's so
forgettable, she's perfect for surveillance, but smarter than you think
Sophie Meyerbeer, 80
Master of disguises,
lives for color-coordination
Francie Charles, 77
Gladdy's best friend
YENTAS, KIBITZERS, SUFFERERS:
THE INHABITANTS OF PHASE TWO
Hy Binder, 88
A man of a thousand jokes, all
of them tasteless
Lola Binder, 78
His wife, who hasn't a
thought in her head that he hasn't put there
Denny Ryan, 42
The handyman. Sweet, kind,
Enya Slovak, 84
Survivor of "the camps" but
Harriet Feder, 44
"Poor Harriet," stuck with
caring for her mother
Esther Feder, 77
Harriet's mom in a
wheelchair. What a nag
Tessie Hoffman, 56
Chubby, in mourning for
her best friend
Millie Weiss, 80
Suffering with Alzheimer's,
Irving Weiss, 86
Suffering because she's
Mary Mueller, 60
John Mueller, 60
ODDBALLS AND FRUITCAKES
The Canadians, 30ish
Young, tan, and clueless
Leo (Mr. Sleaze) Slezak, 50
Greta Kronk, 88
Crazy like a fox
Sol Spankowitz, 79
A lech after the ladies
THE COP AND THE COP'S POP
Morgan (Morrie) Langford, 35
sweet, and smart
Jack Langford, 75
Handsome and romantic
THE LIBRARY MAVENS
Conchetta Aguilar, 38
Her Cuban coffee could
grow hair on your chest
Barney Schwartz, 27
Loves a good puzzle
Yolanda Diaz, 22
Her English is bad, but her
heart is good
Yiddish (meaning Jewish) came into being between the
ninth and twelfth centuries in Germany as adaptation of German dialect
to the special uses of Jewish religious life.
In the early twentieth century, Yiddish was spoken by
eleven million Jews in Eastern Europe and the United States. Its use
declined radically. However, lately there has been a renewed interest
in embracing Yiddish once again as a connection to Jewish culture.
a curse on you (get cholera)
a klog iz mi
woe is me
rest in peace
lecherous old men
a lot of nonsense
Gott im Himmel
God in heaven
groats & bowtie noodles
someone offering unwanted
meat or potato filled
like a wonton
whining & complaining
someone who knows
an exclamation for
an anguished cry
a squirt, a nobody
pastry with fillings
dragging a load
to coat with butter or
on pins and needles
vay iz mir
woe is me
Death by Delivery
he poison was in the pot
In a few hours Selma Beller would be dead. This was
regrettable because tomorrow was her birthday and she was so looking
forward to it. Her husband, Ernie, had keeled over at seventy-nine.
Having beaten him at gin rummy and shuffleboard, she had gleefully
intended to beat him yet again, this time to the big eight-oh. Alas,
While she was waiting to die, Selma was dusting.
Dust was her enemy. And she battled mightily. No
fragile feather duster for her. And forget that sissy stuff like lemon
Pledge. She used good old-fashioned Lysol, confident that neither dust
nor germ escaped its lethal dose. Death to dust, she thought and then
laughed, dust to dust.
Looking up, Selma glanced at the clock. Where
afternoon gone? It was nearly dinnertime. Too bad her best (and only)
friend, Tessie, was busy tonight with out-of-town visitors. She should
have gone shopping this morning. Oh, well, there was always cottage
cheese, with a piece of cut-up peach and some sour cream. She wrinkled
up her nose. What she really craved was red meat. Bloody and rare.
There was a knock on the door.
Selma groped around for her glasses, misplaced, as
usual. Giving up, she moved as quickly as she could manage toward the
door, automatically straightening the doily on the arm of her emerald
green recliner. Glancing toward the array of grandchildren's photos on
her foyer table, she blew a kiss at the smiling faces.
"Who is it?" she trilled. She would never open the
door to a stranger.
"Delivery. Meals on Wheels."
Squinting through the peephole, Selma, though her
vision was blurred, identified the familiar shopping bags with the
Meals on Wheels logo. A volunteer wearing jeans, a windbreaker, a
baseball cap, and sunglasses stood there, arms full.
"Wrong apartment," she said wistfully.
"Mrs. Beller? Apartment two-fifteen?"
"Yes, but I didn't order--"
"Happy birthday to you from Meals on Wheels. A
special introductory order."
"Really?" Selma was feeling the beginnings of hope.
"Something smells wonderful. What's in the bags?"
The volunteer consulted a piece of paper. "Pot
Stuffed cabbage rolls. Mushroom and barley soup, potato pancakes with
sour cream, and apple strudel for dessert."
Practically drooling, Selma unlocked the deadbolt
son, Heshy, had installed, then the other two safety locks.
She squinted again as the volunteer entered with the
packages. "Don't I know you? You look familiar. . . ." But Selma was
distracted as she sniffed the air in appreciation. "I can't wait," she
said as she took the bags and carried them into her spotless kitchen.
She quickly unwrapped the containers and began setting them out on her
best Melmac dishes on her small white Formica dinette table.
"I just hope the soup isn't too salty. My blood
pressure, you know."
A wrought-iron chair was pulled out for her.
she let herself be seated.
"At your service, Mrs. Beller."
"What a way to go." Selma giggled, tucking her
Those were Selma Beller's final words. The last
saw as she was starting to lose consciousness was the logo on the Meals
on Wheels shopping bags as the killer calmly refolded them, and her
last fading thought was that the pot roast had been a little stringy. .