That’s Life – Keep Swinging


Just in!  Washington D.C.  The Obammer administration today announced the cancellation of Christmas in the Nation’s Capitol.  It turns out after several exhaustive searches it was impossible to locate three wise men or a virgin.  More updates as they become available.  Remember, you heard it here first.

Not being one of these joyous festive folks you find in the stores and malls of America I often sink into some kind of slow moving morass of emotions at this time of the year.  I am not the happy-sappy-jolly old St. Nick type, I am more or less comparable to your typical “stand in the street until I can get the truck started” or “Where is my chainsaw” type of person.  Or as my grand-daughter is quite fond of saying, “Don’t get ugly Grandpa.”

So today my friends, will not be a day of memories made or good things coming your way, it is more than likely just not going to happen.  Falla-Lalla-Oh-ha-ha.  Just this week I received an email that more or less summed it up for me.  When he sent it, the first thing he did was tag it with “I just read this, and could not help but think of you.”

Which also reminded me …. One of these days I need to write a piece on “Self Image.”

I did not write this, but it sure hits close to the house on some notes.  It was entitled “$5.37.”   I found it amusing, so I am passing it on to the rest of you.

$5.37!? That’s what the kid behind the counter at Taco Bell said to me. I dug into my pocket and pulled out some lint and two dimes and something that used to be a Jolly Rancher. Having already handed the kid a five-spot, I started to head back out to the truck to grab some change when the kid with the Elmo hairdo said the hardest thing anyone has ever said to me. He said, “It’s OK. I’ll just give you the senior citizen discount.”

I turned to see who he was talking to and then heard the sound of change hitting the counter in front of me. “Only $4.68” he said cheerfully.  I stood there stupefied. I am 56, not even 60 yet? A mere child! Senior citizen?

I took my burrito and walked out to the truck wondering what was wrong with Elmo. Was he blind? As I sat in the truck, my blood began to boil. Old? Me?  I’ll show him, I thought. I opened the door and headed back inside. I strode to the counter, and there he was waiting with a smile.

Before I could say a word, he held up something and jingled it in front of me, like I could be that easily distracted! What am I now? A toddler?  “Dude! Can’t get too far without your car keys, eh?” I stared with utter disdain at the keys. I began to rationalize in my mind!

“Leaving keys behind hardly makes a man elderly! It could happen to anyone!”

I turned and headed back to the truck. I slipped the key into the ignition, but it wouldn’t turn. What now? I checked my keys and tried another. Still nothing.  That’s when I noticed the purple beads hanging from my rear view mirror. I had no purple beads hanging from my rear view mirror.

Then, a few other objects came into focus:  The car seat in the back seat.  Happy Meal toys spread all over the floorboard.  A partially eaten doughnut on the dashboard.

Faster than you can say ginkgo biloba, I flew out of the alien vehicle.

Moments later I was speeding out of the parking lot, relieved to finally be leaving this nightmarish stop in my life. That is when I felt it, deep in the bowels of my stomach: hunger! My stomach growled and churned, and I reached to grab my burrito, only it was nowhere to be found.

I swung the truck around, gathered my courage, and strode back into the restaurant one final time. There Elmo stood, draped in youth and black nail polish. All I could think was, “What is the world coming to?”

All I could say was, “Did I leave my food and drink in here”? At this point I was ready to ask a Boy Scout to help me back to my vehicle, and then go straight home and apply for Social Security benefits.

Elmo had no clue I walked back out to the truck, and suddenly a young lad came up and tugged on my jeans to get my attention. He was holding up a drink and a bag. His mother explained, “I think you left this in my truck by mistake.”  I took the food and drink from the little boy and sheepishly apologized.

She offered these kind words: “It’s OK. My grandfather does stuff like this all the time.”

All of this is to explain how I got a ticket doing 85 in a 40 mph zone. Yessss, I was racing some punk kid in a Toyota Prius. And no, I told the officer, I’m not too old to be driving this fast.

As I walked in the front door, my wife met me halfway down the hall. I handed her a bag of cold food and a $300 speeding ticket I promptly sat in my rocking chair and covered up my legs with a blankey.  The good news was I had successfully found my way home.

You guys have a Great Day!  Think of me fondly, sitting here in the basement of life, waiting on the truck to come by, and pump into the upper window a generous dose of sunshine.  If today is for you as it is for me, “a slow day.”  Pass this post on to the other “old fogies” on your mail list.  You might want to use the larger type.  (That’s for those of us who have trouble reading.  And of course, all those other poor souls who get crabby and irritated during Christmas)

Might be time for a small glass of Egg Nog, small dose of nut-meg, sprinkle of cinnamon, little Jack Daniels, warmed for one minute in the Microwave.  A little taste of some holiday cheer the common cure for Holiday Blues.  I guess if everything went my way … it could get very boring very quickly … That’s life.

Have a Great Weekend and Merry Christmas, see you all on Monday