Ruby is tiny. Five feet tall and ninety-six pounds. She has cancer, but it is now in remission. At one time both her breasts were removed, and the cancer was in her lungs. She has a curly permed head of red hair with only a little bit of gray. Her house and clothing are always neat and clean, but very artificial, with lots of polyester and plastic knick-knacks. She is hard-of-hearing and in the evening watches the news on TV with the sound turned up full blast. She loves news reports of murders and bizarre occurrences and thinks all the criminals are lurking outside her door waiting to steal her purse.