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Among Ma's more constant frustrations with Pa is his stubborn fixation with whatever idea or other notion that catches his attention. Long-time readers of these pages will know that we periodically check-up to see how Ma and Pa are doing.

Pa's latest interest is nature programs. For the last several days he has scanned the TV continually, watching programs about apes, dogs and cats, sharks, and whatever other varmints have been the subject of recent cable documentaries.

This naturally interfered with Ma's schedule, as Pa declined to take an interest in much else. Somewhat perturbed but not to be put off, Ma accordingly set about her errands alone.

"Cash, check or charge?" The clerk asked, after folding items Ma wished to purchase. As she fumbled for her wallet he notice a remote control for a television set in her purse.

"Do you always carry your TV remote?" He asked.

"No," Ma replied. "But Pa refused to come shopping with me, so I figured turning the set to Opera and taking the remote was the most evil thing I could do to him ..."