I notice that people are starting to treat me a little differently as I slide into my dotage. Waiters speak a little louder when they read the daily specials, if I ask a store clerk to repeat something, it takes all the restraint they have (which ain't much) to keep the eyes from rolling back in the head, and smiling young people go out of their way to hold doors open for me. Maybe I should feel insulted that I'm now viewed as a senior citizen, but actually, I think it's great. People will tolerate so much more from someone who they think is a couple of burned-out brain cells away from a permanent address at Shady Pines.
First of all I can leave the house wearing virtually anything I want. I can wear my underwear outside my pants and people will only shake their heads in that knowing way and think, ".....aw how cute, at least the old guy dressed himself today". I go through all my sons' clothing discards before they get donated to charity. Somewhere out there is a homeless person wearing a New York Rangers t-shirt that I passed up. I'm turning into my father-in-law. The few articles of clothing Ray threw away, even the homeless didn't want. One day my wife got so frustrated seeing him in a cardigan sweater held together with a safety pin that she took the sweater and started jumping up and down on it while screaming at him for even thinking of wearing it again.
Restaurants also afford good opportunities for playing the "old man" get-out-of-jail-free card. Not only do I ask that all our leftovers be doggie-bagged, but I don't hesitate to ask for a different table, to turn the air-conditioning up or down, or to play different music if I don't like what's on. My wife winces when I slip into this mode since she cares
far more than I what people might think. I pushed the envelope the other night when we were out for dinner. The couple next to us finished their meal and left nearly half a bottle of wine on the table. I reached over and filled our glasses before the waiter could get to it. My spouse berated me of course, but I noticed she drained her glass.
My behavior in theaters has become so bad that she refuses to go to the movies with me anymore. Excuse me for living, but when I pay to see a movie, I'd like to be able to hear it! In today's very small mini-theaters, the patron noise problem is worse than ever. I always get seated in front of the moron who laughs so loud and long at the obvious jokes that you miss the two subtle ones that follow. Another favorite is the kid who kicks the back of my seat for the entire performance while his cow of a mother buries her face in the family-sized bucket of popcorn, oblivious to what her devil-spawn is doing. I'll shush them once or twice to be polite, and when that doesn't work (and it never does with these people) I'll bring out the colorful adjectives I learned on the stoop in Brooklyn.
As the old saying goes: "Age has its privileges". After 67 years, I'm tired of tolerating a**holes. How will they know they're a**holes unless somebody tells them? Fair warning to the parents who sit there placidly in church while their child screams so loud that you can't hear the sermon (although that's not always a bad thing); to the woman in front of me at the theater ticket window inquiring about seats for every performance between now and Christmas; to the guy who tries to cut into a line of cars patiently waiting to exit the parkway; to the deli clerk with the bad haircut who acts as if waiting on you was a big favor; and last, but not least, the jerks on bikes who ride recklessly on pedestrian walking paths, this old man is mad as hell and not taking it anymore.
SEE DATES ABOVE RIGHT FOR OTHER POSTS FROM "BRAINDROPS". ALSO, READ MY OTHER BLOG: SPALDEEN DREAMS