‘Puter’s Dad has had difficulty finding words for a while now. ‘Puter first noticed his Dad’s issue a few years ago. In our telephone conversations, Dad would say something like “you know what I mean” instead of using the actual word or words, leaving ‘Puter to fill in the blank. Sometimes, Dad would respond to a question in an off-topic way, seeming to change the subject.
‘Puter didn’t think much of Dad’s bobbles. After all, Dad’s getting older (he’s 68) and recently retired. ‘Puter chalked it up to Dad easing out of the work world and into retirement, not using his brain as much on a day-to-day basis.
But over time, it became apparent to ‘Puter something other than “retirement brain” was going on with Dad. Two years ago, ‘Puter called his sister Mary (every Catholic family needs a Mary) and asked if she had noticed anything odd with Dad’s communication skills. Mary told ‘Puter she hadn’t noticed anything amiss, but ‘Puter asked Mary to keep an eye out.
Mary called ‘Puter about a year ago to tell ‘Puter she’d noticed Dad having trouble with words. So Mary and ‘Puter called Mom to discuss the matter with her. Mom didn’t think anything was amiss with Dad, but ‘Puter and Mary insisted Dad go see his primary care physician to discuss the issues. So off Dad went to his doctor, with Mom riding shotgun in the examination room. Dad was not pleased.
Dad’s doctor immediately referred Dad for neurological testing, MRI, EEG, speech pathologist consult, cognitive testing, the works. On Monday, Dad, Mom and Mary went back to the neurologist to get the results of Dad’s testing.
Dad has primary progressive aphasia, logopenic variant. Basically, it’s a form of Alzheimer’s that attacks the language centers of one’s brain first before moving onto memory. Dad’s condition is similar to what some stroke victims suffer, but Dad’s illness won’t get better with treatment. It will only get worse.
For that matter, there’s really no effective treatment for it, much less a cure. Average life expectancy is eight to ten years from onset. Dad’s had this for sure for at least two years, and more likely for somewhere between three and five years.
Every kid thinks his father’s the best father on Earth, and ‘Puter’s no exception. But ‘Puter’s Dad may actually be one of the best fathers on Earth. Both GorT and Volgi can vouch for that.
‘Puter’s sad he’s starting to say goodbye to his father. But ‘Puter’s immensely thankful that he has the opportunity to do so.
Not everybody gets that chance.
Always right, unless he isn’t, the infallible Ghettoputer F. X. Gormogons claims to be an in-law of the Volgi, although no one really believes this.
’Puter carefully follows economic and financial trends, legal affairs, and serves as the Gormogons’ financial and legal advisor. He successfully defended us against a lawsuit from a liquor distributor worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid deliveries of bootleg shandies.
The Geep has an IQ so high it is untestable and attempts to measure it have resulted in dangerously unstable results as well as injuries to researchers. Coincidentally, he publishes intelligence tests as a side gig.
His sarcasm is so highly developed it borders on the psychic, and he is often able to insult a person even before meeting them. ’Puter enjoys hunting small game with 000 slugs and punt guns, correcting homilies in real time at Mass, and undermining unions. ’Puter likes to wear a hockey mask and carry an axe into public campgrounds, where he bursts into people’s tents and screams. As you might expect, he has been shot several times but remains completely undeterred.
He assures us that his obsessive fawning over news stories involving women teachers sleeping with young students is not Freudian in any way, although he admits something similar once happened to him. Uniquely, ’Puter is unable to speak, read, or write Russian, but he is able to sing it fluently.
Geep joined the order in the mid-1980s. He arrived at the Castle door with dozens of steamer trunks and an inarticulate hissing creature of astonishingly low intelligence he calls “Sleestak.” Ghettoputer appears to make his wishes known to Sleestak, although no one is sure whether this is the result of complex sign language, expert body posture reading, or simply beating Sleestak with a rubber mallet.
‘Puter suggests the Czar suck it.