You'll probably say I'm going to hell for asking this, but what is it with old people, our elderly brethren with the overly decorated flower beds and peculiar lawn ornaments? I admit it; I'm a terrible person. But just the same, is it something in the water or prune juice they drink? Does getting older entitle them not only to senior discounts but the right to drive others nuts? Or, are they just grouchy?
When you get stuck behind a car doing half the legal speed limit, you can bet its being driven by an old man in a hat, sometimes with a small dog on his lap, or an old woman who wears too much perfume and just got a new perm on her thinning scalp. As you pass by you pray she won't have to step on the brakes because her nose is approximately four inches from the dashboard.
Don't you want to kindly suggest that perhaps they don't have the luxury of driving so slowly. Time is running out. If they give it just a bit more gas, they're going to get to where they're heading sooner. Then they'll have more time to take Gigi the pet poodle to the pet palace for a bath and a perm before finally putting the car in park for eternity.
“John, you rotten, heartless bastard” you say. “Someday you'll grow old and I hope it happens to you, only worse.” Geez. Talk about getting personal. But, if it does and I end up completely oblivious, then it won't matter because I won't know what is going on around me anyway. But, I don't believe most old people really are oblivious. I've met plenty who were lucid, alert and great to be with, right until the very end. The rest, I think, just want to be coddled. Or they've turned ornery, like old mutts.
(I know I've mentioned in previous blogs that I am getting older too, but as soon as I remember my computer password and where I left my glasses, probably under the AARP magazine, I'm going back to erase those entries.)
So, why do I sound so bent out of shape?
The other day as I was heading to the house after feeding our animals, I saw a large, very clean and shiny sedan parked in our driveway. It was the kind of car that clearly said, “Single owner, garage kept, driven by an old lady going to church.” Sure enough, in it was an old lady waving a piece of paper at me as if to say, “Young man, could you come here please.” As if I had a choice.
In the car was the driver, a woman who I would guess was in her seventies. Seated next to her in the front seat was another slightly older woman probably in her eighties, and in the back seat was Harry, an old man wearing a hat, probably in his eighties also. He looked grouchy, possibly because the two women forced him to sit in the back alone. (There's a hot tip for all you entrepreneurs: car seats for guys like Harry.)
The conversation went as follows, but I should warn you, if you have any problem at all with foul language, STOP NOW, because there are two dialogues taking place, one between the passengers in the car and the pleasant, courteous Nice Outer Me, and another with the EVIL INNER ME saying what I'm really thinking.
“Excuse me,” said the driver in her seventies. “Could you tell me how to get to Division Road?”
Nice Outer Me: “Sure, it's easy. Just follow this gravel road,” I said, pointing south. “When you hit the paved road, take a left, go a short distance to Otis Road, turn left again and in about a half mile you'll reach Division.”
EVIL INNER ME: “ WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU STARING AT. JUST FOLLOW THE ROAD.”
Nice Outer me: “Really, its easy. Just go to the street, turn left, then left again to Division.
More blank stares.
EVIL INNER ME: “I'M SPEAKING FUCKING ENGLISH. IS THERE A PROBLEM?”
Driver in her seventies: “We're looking for Division Road. I think we might have passed it.”
EVIL INNER ME: “NO SHIT YOU PASSED IT. THAT'S WHY YOU'RE LOST HERE IN THE WOODS. JUST DO WHAT I TELL YOU AND YOU'LL GET THERE.”
Nice Outer Me: “Well it's back that way,” I said, pointing north. “Just go out this road, go left to Otis Road then left again to Division.”
More blank stares.
EVIL INNER ME: “EXCUSE ME, BUT ARE YOU PEOPLE FUCKING RETARDED? HOW MUCH SIMPLER CAN IT GET?”
Nice Outer Me: “Just go straight out this gravel lane to the paved road, it's called Snyder Road. Then turn left to the first main road. It's called Otis Road. It's the only street that bisects Snyder Road. If you turn right, you'll go over the railroad tracks. You don't want to do that. Go left and it will take you straight to Division.”
Female passenger in her eighties: “Did you get that Harry? Harry actually has the best memory of all of us.” Harry just shrugs like I'm there to fill up his gas tank.
EVIL OUTER ME: “YOU LOUSY DECREPIT SON-OF-A-BITCH. IF I'M GOING TO STAND OUT HERE FREEZING MY FUCKING ASS OFF, THE LEAST YOU COULD DO IS ACT LIKE YOU GIVE A SHIT.”
Nice Outer Me: “Trust me you can't miss it because there are no other cross streets. Just go to Otis Road, then left.
Older passenger in her eighties: “Is that by that building there? Is there a church or something around there.”
EVIL INNER ME: “FUCK THE GODDAMN CHURCH. WHO SAID ANYTHING ABOUT A FUCKING CHURCH? THAT'S ON CHURCH STREET. IF YOU TURN BY THE CHURCH YOU'LL END UP IN A FUCKING SWAMP, YOU OLD BAT.”
Nice Outer Me: “There is a church nearby. It's called St. Mary's. The building you're talking about is their hall. But just turn left at Otis Road. You can't miss it.”
Driver in her seventies: “I guess we can find it. What do you think Harry?” Another casual shrug.
EVIL INNER ME: “I HOPE YOU CHOKE ON YOUR DENTURES YOU FUCKING PRICK!”
Driver in her seventies: “Thank you.”
Nice Outer Me: “No problem.”
EVIL INNER ME: “I'M GOING TO HAVE TO WRITE A BLOG ABOUT THIS.”
2 years ago