Kickass, the doorstop dog, says the keeper grieves for those friends who suffer the indignity and dispiriting dementia resulting from certain aging breakdowns. It is a universal fear in his age group, according to the keeper, and in what he says is a proactive move, he has been working at developing “conditioned dementia”, in which unpleasant reality is molded into something not just acceptable but actually pleasant.
The most recent snowfall that now clogs his driveway, for example, is seen as white sand which he plans to go out and play in later, albeit not in beach clothes but in sweaters and parkas and heavy boots, which he views as water skis for use in/on transformed water. The snow shovel, of course, is a fish pole.
Under the terms of “conditioned dementia” the prolonged period of bitter cold is not viewed as something that will freeze off your damn nose, but rather a refreshing opportunity—if not a direct command, to stay in the house and nap.