Smiles ‘n Chuckles and Grumpy Old Men

I just glanced at the old fellow as I carried my hockey equipment into Ottawa’s R.A. Arena. At first there was no indication as to how much of an s.o.b. he was.
He looked much older than I do. We all have the right to our own opinion.
But this particular, uh, aging gentleman must have been delusional. You probably know someone like that.
“You’re too old to play hockey,” he cackled as I approached. I looked around, wondering to whom he was talking. There was only a younger couple behind me.I know that I can sometimes be a mite prickly.
“Here, I’ll open the door for you.” I was speaking to the old(er) guy.”I don’t think that you can manage it.”
“Let me carry your hockey equipment. It looks too heavy for you.” The old fellow had moxie, and probably Alzheimer’s as well.
“No,no,” I countered cleverly. “You’d fall. I’d have to step over you on my way through the door.”
“Are you sure you can remember where you are going?” He was obviously enjoying this.
“Hold on, old fellow.” I was starting to get annoyed. I’d also noticed that he was clutching some kind of raquet, but I didn’t want to look at him closely enough to distinguish the type.”I’ll alert them inside the R.A. to get the defibrillator ready and we’ll also call around to see what Seniors’ Home you’ve wandered away from.”

The young couple interrupted our clever repartee. “Do either of you know where the squash courts are?” the woman wondered.
The old fellow obviously figured he had a chance with the attractive young lady, who was probably a good forty years his junior. “I’ll take you there,” he volunteered. “That’s where I’m going.”
“Don’t get lost,” I added helpfully.
“Sorry to break up your reunion,” the young female apologized.
“Reunion? I’ve never laid eyes on this relic before.” I was getting a little too worked up.”And hopefully I won’t again.”
“Oh, I don’t believe that,” she answered. “It sounds like you two have known each other all of your (long) lives !”
That seemed to please the old curmuodgeon. His cackle echoed inside the hallway as we entered the building and I searched for my team’s dressing room.

Scenes such as this will no doubt become the norm as I enter my twilight years. Grumpy old (white) men are entering their senior years in record numbers. I can forsee a future full of wheelchairs, pablum and undercooked runny eggs in expanding neighbourhoods of seniors’ homes. Good place for us.

I happen to have two of these fossils as neighbours. One I’ve nicknamed ‘Smiles’ and the other is ‘Chuckles.’ I’m hoping Canada’s euthanasia laws are soon solidified as I’d like to make the injection myself and put them out of their misery. These old boys don’t seem to get any pleasure in life except to look out on their carefully manicured lawns. And that to me seems to be an outdated point-of-pride best left behind in the 1950s. Which is where these two sullen seniors should have stayed.

They were both out on their driveways when I walked out one day last October with my golf clubs. We glared at each other. “When I want to see a lot of manicured grass I head out to the golf course,” I announced as I flung my clubs in the back of my car. Neither one plays golf, probably because they don’t want to take a break from feeling miserable. One of these two codgers actually throws his Christmas tree out on the lawn on New Year’s Morning? I think to myself… Jeezus, shouldn’t he be a little too hungover to do that ? Of course, who would invite him to a party ? It’s incredible how many people out there need counselling.
Not me , of course.

Of course, I’m not letting myself completely off the hook when it comes to blemishes caused by the passing of the years. I help coach my daughter’s hockey team and sometimes calling out the girls’ names in the heat of battle can be challenging. At a practice after a week off during the Christmas break I called one of our defencepersons Ainslie instead of Ailish. Or did I say Ailish instead of Ainslie ? I also have trouble with my recall. Why can’t people just name their daughters Susan and Debbie and Mary anymore ?
Of course in my own defense I can always find someome worse off than me. Standing in the shower the other day after a hockey game one of my teammates was curious about his linemate’s lineage. “How are you related to Bill Kilrea ?” he inquired of his long-time teammate.
His teammate looked back at him with a curious smile on his face. “I am Bill Kilrea,” he answered in a droll voice.
It’s interesting that my confused teammate was doing audits for the federal government up until a couple of years ago. If that department has come after you during that time period maybe it would be reasonable to appeal their decision.
And a Happy New Year to you all !

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