Today’s challenges and changes for all us seniors

This week's Hammertime and the challenges for seniors

There is no doubt that all of us will have those days when we get into a bit of a ‘grouchy fluster’ where nothing seems to go right ,and instead of taking a deep breath to cool down for a moment, we quite often try to blame it on getting older, on someone else or make some other silly excuse. Last week I had one of those very forgettable mornings, which started off by stubbing my toe jumping out of bed, discovered that I did not have any of my quick acting bran because I forgot to put it on the grocery list, went to the store to buy tickets and realized that I had left my wallet in my other pants, and then got home and picked up a message from my favourite doctor that I needed to report in soon for my annual 73,000 mile check-up and stress test.

I returned home still grumbling and wondering what might happen next, but thanks to my very patient, younger and also now retired wife, I had a nice lunch, took my noon pills and was sent for a nap in the cluttered little office where I create all these zany columns and history stories. An hour later, I woke up on the right side of the bed, scolded myself for having a geriatric meltdown and headed out to enjoy what was left of a great sunny day with family and friends. A few days later, while browsing through my email, I laughed long and hard at an article from an old buddy that really touches on some of those ‘senior situations’ which we may now have to face in our so-called ‘Golden Years’, and would love to share it with all of you, just for fun with a friendly warning to the younger generation.

Have a nice day….Sir..

The gentleman had the morning planned perfectly as he headed out the door on the way to the fast food shop to buy a breakfast treat for himself and his honey. $5.37, that’s what the kid behind the counter said to him when the order was ready, and after handing the clerk a $5.00 bill, he dug through his pockets for the change and came up with some lint, two dimes, and a couple of very hard sticks of gum and explained that he was going to go out to the truck and grab some change. Right away the kid with the Elmo hairdo came out with the hardest thing that anyone had ever said to him, uttering, ‘It’s O.K. sir, I’ll just give you the senior citizen’s discount.’. The man quickly looked around to see who he was talking to when he heard the sound of change hitting the counter in front of him and the server was cheerfully explaining that it was only $4.68.

He stood there stupefied and tried to justify to himself that indeed he was only 56, not even 60, and only just a mere child and certainly not a senior citizen. He then took his bag of burritos and walked out to the truck, wondering what was wrong with Elmo, was he blind?, and then as he sat in the truck his blood began to boil once again… Old-me? No way. I’ll show him, he thought, so he headed back inside and strode up to the counter where Elmo was waiting with a big smile and happily explained, ‘Dude, you can’t get too far without your keys, eh?’ He stared at the keys with utter disdain, and then began to rationalize in his mind the age old question ‘Leaving keys behind hardly makes a man elderly….it could happen to anyone.’ Now in somewhat of a stressful state, he headed out to the truck, slipped his key into the ignition, but it wouldn’t start, and then with extreme shock he noticed some purple beads hanging from the rear view mirror, a back seat full of Happy Meal toys, and a half a donut on the dash. Quicker than you can say ‘why me?’ he flew out of the alien vehicle, jumped into his own, dashed out of the parking lot and was half way down the block when he realized he didn’t have his bag of burritos.

Back at the Fast Food store just when he was about to gingerly ask Elmo if he had left his food behind, a nice young lad tugged on his jeans to get his attention and explained, “I think you left your food in my truck by mistake”. As he tried to sheepishly apologize, the boy’s mother offered these kind words…..’That’s OK sir, my grandfather does stuff like this all the time.’ At this most frustrating point, he was ready to ask a boy scout to help him back to his vehicle, and then go straight home and apply for social security benefits.

All of this was to explain how he got a ticket doing 85 mph in a 40 mph zone, and yes he was racing some punk in a Toyota Pruis and he also told the cop that he was not too old to be driving this fast. When he got home he handed his wife a crumpled up bag of cold burritos and a $300 speeding ticket, then rushed over to the couch and covered up his legs with a blankey.

No matter what our age, we should always be proud of our accomplishments, cherish our family and friends, and never be too old to ‘let loose’ once in a while. Have a great swinging into fall week, all of you.