A TGB READER STORY: A Perspective on Time
Age Friendly Adaptations, Adjustments and Workarounds

Crabby Old Lady and the Ghoul

In the scheme of things that is our planet's terrible predicament, this is not important. But it is the first message Crabby Old Lady encountered from the world outside her home on Tuesday morning and it deflated her for an hour.

It shouldn't have done that. But Crabby tires more easily now and it is harder to control her emotions. Mornings are the most difficult until the pain meds kick in. (Actually, Crabby suspects caffeine is easily as potent but she rolls with both to be able to get moving.)

So some random person emailed asking Crabby to promote on her blog an e-book he says he has written about being a hospice musician. Crabby would even receive a free copy, he wrote, plus he wants to publish one of Crabby's blog posts sometime “in the next six months” on his blog which does not, at this time, exist.

What? Not a word of acknowledgment about Crabby's current condition and that his personal money-making schemes might not be on her agenda? Not a word – not, “gee, sorry about your impending demise?”

After Crabby's one-sentence, impolite reply, he asked in response how he was supposed to know Crabby doesn't like to share.


The more Crabby thought about this, the more she realized it is of a piece with the kind of world we live in now since COVID took over. It has become an acceptable position in life to not care about anything beyond our individual selves.

The White House is a ghost town now that the infected president is breathing in all the rooms with no mask. Aides, household workers, the press are afraid to go near him.

Except for the daily count, our 200,000 plus coronavirus dead are barely ever mentioned. Millions of Americans mourn their loved ones, isolated and alone.

We cannot touch. We cannot hug. Certainly not kiss. Now they tell us that 12 feet is a more realistic safe distance than six feet from one another. And some ghoulish stranger wants Crabby Old Lady to sell his book for him while she is dying.

Crabby suspects it's getting close to time for her to go - before she loses all faith in humanity.


How I love Crabby's rants!

It’s the integrity and honesty of TGB that we love and trust.

Crabby, good to see you! Well done.

His values are not yours, but he did not do any reading/thinking to discern that. Good to be in the driver's seat...on at least one thing.

You are afraid of loosing faith in humanity. Well, thanks to you, lovely crabby lady, I gained some faith in humanity. Thank you for all your wit, courage, perseverance, curiosity and rants.

"Ghoul" is exactly the right word, though I can think of lots more. Let's send him to the same faraway island as the creep in the White House.

Please don't let that ass contribute to your loss of faith in humanity!! There are others far more deserving of that, starting at the top....lol

Tell him he should ask Trump the master huckster for a recommendation.They both have the same sensitive nature.

I love you, Crabby Lady, and it's so good to know your crabbiness is so in league with my own. Whether upbeat or downcast, you bring sunshine to me and your readers. So rant on.......

Clearly he didn't/doesn't read your blog and is probably trying to hawk his e-book all over the place. Too bad there isn't an automatic IGNORE button one can hit when these types appear in our emails, on our phones, in our lives. And, trust me, I'm as cynical as they come, but I KNOW there are good people out there...including, with the rare exception you are able to shield us from, all the commenters to your blog. It's just that the bad folks have the megaphones right now. This, too, shall pass.

Love you!

I'm sorry your morning was sidetracked by a jerk, an unconscious being, a drag.
Just being old, let alone old and ill and dealing, literally, with life and death, sensitizes us. It seems so to me. This morning, walking myself and my dog, I felt tired and teary. Putting my head back, seeing only sky and tree tops, the words that came out were, "What am I here for? What am I doing here?!" It had something to do with having to spend so much time on keeping the material world around me spinning, when what's important now is, to me, looking for beauty, being available to love, oh you know, the BIG stuff. I am not naive, children and saints and the very old don't get any breaks from the big "stupid machine." But heh, heh, we at least know of other worlds.
You da bomb, Ronnie!

Please don’t lose all faith in humanity, Crabby! After all, there’s you - and all your readers, the community you’ve built right here on this blog. This self-centered idiot and his ilk have always existed in our culture, but in the last four years it seems like even more of them have crept out from under their rocks. I am firmly convinced that human- centered values like ours will prevail eventually. And your writing and perspective help to cement my conviction.

Like the present occupant of the White House, your Ghoul has no manners, no empathy and no compassion. Let's hope your faith in humanity can be restored in four weeks time and we can go back to a world where people care for others.

One would think, him being a hospice musician, that he might have been a bit more enlightened and not sent his request in the first place.
Maybe he'll actually read your blog now, see this post and the responses, and have a learning experience from this.

I love you, Crabby! You remind me that it's always ok to snap back at these losers.

Excellent. Crab On Ronni! Sad to say that these days there seem to be more selfish, heartless, narrow minded jerks among us. Too often patience and understanding is wasted on them. Let them be.

Ciao, dear Crabby. It is NOT acceptable here, in the haven of sanity you have created. It is NOT acceptable in many hearts and lives. This is not losing faith in humanity but a demonstration of your belief in it.
As an article in "The Guardian" today pointed out, *rump is a "hideous kink in the arc of history, giving the most dangerous balcony performance since Michael Jackson had his baby crowdsurf off one. The American people are all Blanket now."
Sorry you had to start off your day with a jerk but your venting was cathartic for me and my day. FC for a good golden moment later on today to make up for your yucky morning.
Thank you.

Bravo, Crabby! Regrettable what comes out of the woodwork now because of a belligerent, boastful, bully narcissist. I am continually amazed at loved ones who whine on and on not wanting to have to share or see things from another point of view let alone do their own homework.

This is perhaps a bit off topic, but it comes to mind too frequently. I actually have a "friend?" that is a vacuous Trumper who believes everything he says and whines about benefits that actually help all of us. But, when the first stimulus check was being discussed she was very vocal fearing some people might get something she didn't. Turns out her fears of being left out were unfounded, and she got her check. Seems she's a socialist and doesn't know it.

Take heart we all love you and respect your strength. Hope you can find some solace in the face of the self-imploding POTUS. November 3 is just around the corner.

Just got off a community ZOOM talking about Yiddish, and many of the words you might have used on this guy, a gonif? tell him to, well not going to share a lot more here, however the language and comedians and back handed humor or whatever along with the Evil Eye... seems good to share, crazy worlds have come and gone before...and documenting some here on the blog and remarks is good for our shared souls.

Well, Crabby, I get the crabbiness, absolutely. Why must you be annoyed by some self-centered jerk?

One bit of good news, at least for me: I just read the New York Times full-page editorial
endorsing Joe Biden for President! It's a fine piece - and since I just heard Biden a few days ago - and since I've been reading countless endorsements from individuals and groups -- I feel hope for the first time in a long time.

The editorial is called "Elect Joe Biden, America." It is quite worth reading.. And it should
show up online soon, I hope.

cheers, ruth-ellen

Kick him in the ass, Crabby! Let your blood boil! He deserves a comeuppance and who better to give it to him than a lady who knows whereof she speaks.

If it's any consolation, I think human nature hasn't worsened -- it's just that every jerk in the world is just a click away now, so it seems like there are many more of them.

He's one in a million, well today maybe one in a thousand a**h**** who have come out of the social media world. Yes, have a good rant and then cast him into the unknown and never think of him/it again. What a twerp (have a much better word but can't bring myself to write it).

Many years ago, before the online world existed and not long after my young husband's death, I got a call from the woman who edited the neighborhood directory. When I told her my husband had died, she replied, "Oh. We'll just cross him off!"

Carry on, Crabby. As long as you can. Those wretches have always been with us.

We are all with you, no matter what! Please know that we all have your back and support you every day. How you feel about something - for me - will always be valid. This person wasn't worth one second of your time!!

You're better than that, Crabby. Of all the reasons to check out, creeps aren't eligible. F* 'em all, starting with this one.

And cv19 has brought out an unfathomable amount of good in people. E.g., a total stranger offered me help in the supermarket on the eve of lockdown in March. She drove my groceries to my bldg and schlepped the bags up three flights. Several days later she texted, offering to replenish my provisions--shopping and delivering. That happened repeatedly till I again felt secure in public in June. If your life has been anything like mine, unsolicited generosity like that has emerged countless times in desperate situations.

We can only mourn AgentOrange's innocent victims. You'll never convince me his response to the crisis has formed a model for anyone but his MAGAts, whose ranks he seems determined to decimate.

Savor the day, Ronni.

I suspect that person is regretting his lack of due diligence in scouting out where, to whom and how to promote his book. A sad example of someone who thinks more about themselves than others. I would have been crabby in response, too.

Sadly, while many people are very generous and self-sacrificing, we have been in an age of growing narcissism for a while now and it doesn't look too promising that it will make a retreat soon. However, if things get much worse economically and otherwise we will have no choice, if we are to survive as a civilized society, to re-learn how to trust and depend on others, and do a better job of offering kindness, care and justice to everyone -- people and other animals, plants, and the earth. Can we do it? That remains to be seen. A good friend of mine told me not long ago that she thinks Homo sapiens may turn out to be a failed species and she could be right. If so, at least we had a good run, even if we ultimately blew it. Trying to keep my hopes up!

When I was overseas as a young g.i., I saw many (too many in a foreign land) "Ugly Americans". However, in the past four years they have sprung out of their holes in our country. Recognizing that they are accepted by "45" as legit, they have spread their own poisonous venom and expect everyone to be on board. I haven't drank the kool-aid and hope that in November the insanity is quelled. Please stick around Ronnie, after you talked about being here to see a new direction, I have been pulling for you. It's extremely hard especially when people see just the outside of someone without knowing what is going on inside. I hope the jerk understands his ghoulishness, if not now hopefully in his lifetime. It was crude, unfeeling and boorish. Wishing you hugs, Ronnie

I'm glad you stood up to him. And I'm sorry you had to. As soon as I read his request, I said, oh, boy, does he have it coming, she's going to give it to him...and then you undoubtedly gave it to him. Ronni, you don't disappoint.

We who know you well, know that such a request is so outlandish to make it ridiculous. We who know you well, want you to be with us and keep reminding us to look out for one another, to choose our words carefully and wisely, and to understand the there are many who are hurting and need compassion, not demands to think like we do.

Always enjoy Crabby Lady’s rants.

Keep them coming.


Dude thinks he can sneak in through the back door of Ronni’s NYC Cafe?

Think again.

Ronni wasn’t born yesterday, nor were her “million fans can’t be wrong” blog friends.

Looking forward to KH vs MP debate tonight.

Let the best woman win!

So you're a 'Crabby Old Lady", huh??
I don't think so, Ronni. Really. Maybe COL can be best described as your own version of Algernon's 'Bunbury' in 'The Importance of Being Earnest'. Here's that description: "Bunbury," or "Bunburyism," refers to the imaginary friend of Algernon called Bunbury that he uses to enable him to get out of awkward social engagements and to lead a double life." As a basically gentle soul, when pushed, I think you conveniently adapt your own 'Bunbury' - - a character who finds a certain pleasure in eviscerating the fools and ingrates of this world. And then, 'crabby-ing' complete, you reassume your Ronni personality.

YAY YOU! Perfectly done.

And given that this ghoul (even too early for his holiday) didn't bother to acknowledge your health while pretending to know your blog ... harrumph.

The amount of selling-because-I-need-biz-but-clearly-I-don't-care-about-you is rampant in my world of hospitality. A speaker (I don't know) wrote today to tell me how FAB he was and weren't my clients just so anxious to hire him. Uh. No.

So you, oh crabby role model, continue to be.

We'd rather you not check out yet. At least wait for the Electoral College to meet and confirm Joe!

You're worth waay more than to let a bottom feeder interfere with your own continuum. Do it your way and God Bless you with the insight to KNOW when you're really ready, again on your terms.

Outstanding rant! And what a model of empathy that guy is. NOT.

I'm thinking you really shouldn't check out just yet. Think of the schadenfreudische pleasures in the short term: Stephen Miller with Covid, Trump on steroids (literally)--there's just nothing as heartwarming as a little bit of spectacular karma. And you probably already have seen Tim Somebody's tweet about Herman Cain's COVID timeline--by day 27 of his disease he was feeling terrific. And on day 30 he died. So Trump is certainly not out of the woods. But of course, we all hope he survives to go to prison.

That's how saintly *I'm* feeling today. You dance on, Ronni, at least as long as you feel up to it, even a few times a day. XO

Just tell us who he is - we'll take care of it...

Excellent response to the Ghoul! Too bad it was necessary, but these people are who they are.

I get 5 or 6 emails a year from people who want to sponsor my blog or "partner" with me. I doubt whether they have even read it.I just put them on my "block" list.

Really enjoy your rants - they're always real. And, probably, if this had come in last year you would have brushed it off and pitied the poor patients this man was sharing his music with. His energy would not be soothing or helpful.

Sorry you had to rant, Crabby——but can't miss how many of us enjoy your infrequent
vents. That Ghoul got SO MANY of us worked up, it was almost cathartic .

Please do not let somebody so unfeeling make you lose faith in humanity. We want you around for more bouts of Righeous Rantings.

I hope all these comments have lifted your spirits, dear lady.

Like everyone else, I love Crabby's rants. I love that you call yourself Crabby - it is just how I see myself sometimes. I have been reading every one of your TGB posts for the past 18 months. I do not comment because I can't imagine what I could add. Your humour, sharp and salty, observations - not just about aging (which are dead on - oops) but about life and politics and choices, your incredible courage and articulateness- all are so welcome, so needed in this age when so many people beat around the bush and avoid addressing the basic human issues we're all experiencing. Thank you for continuing to write in the face of your own demise. If I could, I'd personally wallop that random asshole for bothering you, failing to acknowledge what you are doing so bravely and honestly. THANK YOU. Hang in there. You totally rock!!

Dear Ronni,
I am the wife of the "ghoul." Thirty seven years. We are both so very sorry for having caused you more pain. My husband was remiss in not doing his due diligence by reading more of your blog posts before emailing you. It was insensitive and crass, unwittingly. He is more like an over-enthusiastic child or puppy with a new toy. He can be awkward, insensitive, and obtuse about nuance and grace, but he is not a ghoul. He has many flaws, but is inherently a good man who cares about people. He doesn't always know how to show it. His memoir explains why. It also describes the unexpected and valuable gift of vulnerability he has received from playing music for hospice patients. He is a huge fan of Kamala Harris.
I can understand why his email upset you. We have lived for four years in an environment of self-serving politicians and a vile POTUS. We are all disillusioned and cynical about human motives.
I have read many of your posts since then, and find that you and I share many of the same attitudes about our current situation. You are bright, witty, and very perceptive. I, too, detest the media's "All Trump, all the time" choices. I hate listening to the "talking heads" battling one another. And Trumpelthinskin's voice literally makes me want to vomit.
I am now subscribing to your blog. I like intelligent commentary. You are fortunate to have so many supporters among your fans, given the comments to this blog post. Blessings to you all!

Oh, Cynthia, I hope you come back to read this. Thank you for following up and responding after hearing us out. Those of us who have read Ronni Bennett for any length of time (I'm fairly new here, only a few years) know her reactions and attitudes well. As you read and share, you will get to know her, too, and hopefully so will your husband. I am hoping she sticks around for a long time, yet, sharing her observations and wisdom.

Thank you for that, dkzody. I, too, look forward to many more of Ronni’s intelligent posts.

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