A week or two ago I described how my father made sure nurses and aides checked on my mom frequently. He did it by placing a huge sack of candy in her room, free to anyone who wandered by, somewhat like corn scattered at a deer stand. It worked as if her room had been enchanted by elves.

When I spoke to my mom last night, she told me that the latest bag of chocolate bars had been depleted, and that my father had decided against bringing another giant candy lure. She also reported that almost no one came by the room anymore unless they needed to shove something down her throat, stick something into her arm, or wake her up in the early hours to take her vitals and generally fiddle around with stuff. The courtesy calls have ended.

My friends, bribery works miracles.