Why does Aunt Mae Griswold answer Grandma's questions with the wrong answers in "A Long Way From Chicago"?Centennial Summer - pages 121-145
Aunt Mae Griswold answers Grandma's questions incorrectly because she has difficulties hearing!
Although her exact age is not given, Aunt Mae is the wife of Uncle Grady Griswold, who is a hundred and three years old, so she most likely is no spring chicken herself. When Grandma and Joey arrive at the Griswold place, Grandma cordially asks, "How you been, Aunt Mae?" When Aunt Mae answers, "Oh yes...very warm for the time of year", Grandma realizes that Aunt Mae does not hear well, and "thunder(s)" her next question at her, inquiring, "How are your feet?" Aunt Mae again answers incorrectly, commenting about the chickens instead of her own anatomy, and then humorously warns Grandma, who is about to speak to Uncle Grady, to "Speak right up to him...he's a little hard of hearing". Aunt Mae apparently is quite aware of Uncle Grady's hearing problem, while being oblivious to her own.
Aunt Mae is not completely deaf, however. Later in the chapter, when Grandma "howl(s)" at her, "Can I borrow Uncle Grady for the day on Saturday, Aunt Mae?", the old woman responds brightly, "You sure can, honey...in fact, you can keep him!" As Joey notes, "she'd heard every word!" (Centennial Summer 1935).