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The Villages
Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Lost in translation

Lisa DeMarco

Years ago, my best friend Joann called to tell me that she and her daughter-in-law, Val, were planning a week’s vacation in Florida. She is in her mid-80s, but she is the most fabulous older lady I know. 

She told me they wanted to stay at a particular campground, but she first needed to ensure the campgrounds were fully equipped. However, she struggles to write her letter to the campground manager because she doesn’t quite know how to say the word “toilet.”

She said, “After much deliberation, I finally came up with the old-fashioned term ‘bathroom commode.’” 

Being old school, she still thought she was too forward when she wrote that down. She started all over again. She rewrote the entire letter and this time referred to the bathroom commode merely as “B.C.” 

“Does the campground have its own B.C?” she said exactly. 

Well, I guess the campground manager wasn’t old-fashioned at all. When he got her letter, he just couldn’t figure out what on Earth she was talking about. The “B.C.” business must have stumped him. 

So much so that he showed the letter to several campers, but they too could not figure out what the woman meant. Finally, the campground manager must have concluded she must be asking about the location of the nearest Baptist Church. 

Joann was now calling me to read his reply, which said:

Dear Ma’am, 

I regret the delay in answering your letter very much. Still, I am pleased to inform you that the B.C is located 9 miles north of the campground and can seat 250 people at one time. I admit it is quite a distance away if you are in the habit of going regularly, but no doubt you will be pleased to know that many people take their lunch along with them and make a day of it. They usually arrive early and stay late. The last time my wife and I went was six years ago, and it was so crowded that we had to stand up the whole time. 

It may interest you that there is a supper plan to raise money to buy more seats right now. That is going to be held in the basement of the B.C. It pains me very much not to be able to go more regularly, but there indeed is no lack of desire on my own part. As we grow older, it seems to be more of an effort, particularly in the cold.

If you do decide to come down to our campgrounds, perhaps I could go with you the first time you go. This way, we can sit together, and I can introduce you to all the folks. Remember, this is a friendly community!

Suddenly, Joann bursts out in uncontrollable laughter. She laughed so hard it sounded like she was about to hurt herself.

I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard it either! It was so good I even had to put it in my first joke book, Serving Up Some Funny!

Cheers to growing old. Too bad this proves the mind is the first to go but the last to get it.

Laugh on. Peace out!

Lisa DeMarco is a columnist for Villages-News.com

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