The oldest man in the world works in my building, and his name is Harold*. He is a paralegal for Big Law Firm, from which we rent space. Conversations with Harold are a challenge, because he likes to make jokes, but he can’t hear very well. So he’ll say something humorous, and you’ll make a joke back, and then he’ll stare at you blankly through his thick, spotted glasses and say, “Pardon?” And by then the joke has died, but now you have to repeat it loudly and then wait through the long silence until Harold says “. . . Ah.”
Harold doesn’t see too well either, as was made painfully clear by our encounter this morning in the office kitchen.
Harold: What are you making?
Me: I’m not making, I’m just washing.
Harold: Ah. . . . Those are funny little dishes.
Me: They’re not dishes, actually.
Harold: Ah. . . . They’re not dishes?
Me: Um, no. They’re parts for my breast pump.
Harold: . . . Ah.