They can’t come home again

When you’re still helping your kids but have aging parents, they say you’re in the “sandwich” generation.

Something that never entered my mind as a young moron was what you’re supposed to do with your parents when they get too old to take care of themselves.

For now, the parents are OK but the wife and I have recently begun asking each other what we’re going to do if, and when, either of our set of parents begins pooping in the hamper and sticking the cat in the microwave.

One of the biggest issues with this is that some of our parents are so nutty to begin with.

How will we know when they start to slip?

And let’s say they do come to live with us—where are we going to put them?

I guess I could stick them in the basement like that John Carpenter movie The People Under The Stairs.

How creepy is that going to be when the voices start wafting up from under the floorboards?

“Please feed us, Benjamin, we’re so hungry.”

“Sorry, wife said not to.”

“I’m sorry I called you an ‘uneducated bum.’”

‘No, you’re not.”

“We haven’t seen sunlight for months.”

“You should have thought about that when you bought me women’s swim trunks for ninth-grade pool class.”

I guess we could use it as an excuse to get revenge on our parents.

But I’m not that kind of person.

I mean, I’m not the kind of person who is stupid enough to admit to a crime in writing before I commit it.

On the upside, I’d get to be the one to say, “Don’t make me come down there.”

Of course, I am never going down there.

They’ll be OK if I toss some canned tuna and peanut butter down the steps, right?

There is this old cinder block one-car garage out behind the house that kind of looks like a 1950s bomb shelter.

I could always stuff them in there and hope for the best.

Of course, the neighbors might get suspicious when they see me trotting back and forth with cans of Ensure and bags of cat food.

Not to mention the stench—there’s no bathroom in there.

Nothing but minimally adequate for our elders.

And what happens if both sets of parents have to move in at the same time?

They don’t really care for one another, by which I mean the Bloods and the Cryps don’t really care for one another.

My living room will look like the Gaza Strip.

Oh, they’ll promise Jimmy Carter peace at the breakfast table but by the time Dr. Phil is on, they’ll be hurling insults and rocks, and by then, probably poo, too.

I guess I can keep some canisters of tear gas on hand.

Does Amazon carry tear gas?

We could stick them all in a nursing home but frankly it would be too cruel of treatment for my in-laws and way too nice for my own parents.

I guess we could make things interesting and force the rents to “Thunderdome” it but I don’t think any of them have the vigor necessary to swing swords or chain saws.

There’s no getting around it—if we end up with all four of them at the same time, my house is going to look even more like a Wes Anderson movie than it already does.

I can just picture the scene:

Mom’ll be in the corner painting highly realistic portraits of naked U.S. Presidents.

Father-in-law will spend his time lecturing everyone on the weather patterns he tracked throughout the 1980s.

And, dad will continually interrupt my mother-in-law’s obsessive pulp fiction reading to horrify her with his vast repertoire of dirty jokes, but only until he drinks himself to sleep each noon.

And don’t even get me started on my kids … who are both lovely and awesome and would never ever think of doing any of that terrible shit to me!