Home > Everything Else > The Elderly: A Dissertation

The Elderly: A Dissertation

(Before we get to the good stuff, I encourage you to open the hyperlinks as you go along, because I have placed a few tidbits to really make this come alive for you.  At the time of writing this, the links led to safe, family-friendly destinations.  Hopefully the authors of the sites will keep it that way.  I absolve myself of any liability, as I do with hunting accidents and personal items left unattended.  Enjoy!)

God bless old people.  (Not these old people specifically.  I don’t know them.  They could be drug dealers or insurance salesmen.)

I mean this from the bottom of my heart, or at least from somewhere in my small intestine.  I hope I am still functioning as I get closer to eternity.  I’m so curious about what part of my body will quit working first!  I’m taking bets.  Hearing pays 5 to 1, eyesight is 2 to 1 since I already wear contacts, and remorse is the long shot at 20 to 1.

What got me thinking about old people was an interaction I had with an elderly woman (I imagine she looked something like this) at work today over the phone.  It went as such:

Intercom: “Paul Ryser, Line 1 please.”

*I went to the nearest phone and picked up the call*

Me: “Thank you for holding.  This is Paul, how may I help you?”

Old woman (probably named Ruth or Vera, because all elderly women have one of those names): “Sorry, what’s your name?”

(Mind you, I could hear her just fine, and I NEVER have any problem with ANYONE understanding me on that phone.)

Me, louder: “Paul.”

Vera: “Todd?”

Me, perturbed: “PAUL.”

Vera: “Sorry, I still can’t hear you.  One more time?”

Me, shooting white hot knives of fiery hatred through the phone: “PAAUUULLLLLLLLL!”

Vera: “Tom?”

Me, defeated: “Yes.  My name is Tom.”

Vera: “Well, Tom, I’m gonna be in your store this weekend, blah blah blah.”  She was just letting me know she would be in on Saturday to be one of those sample ladies (I swear to you the name was pure coincidence that had me rolling on the floor) who will “bother people until they try my stale crappy pretzel bites that they will spit out of their mouth as soon as they turn the corner.”

Long story short, she made me spell out my last name for her paperwork.  So, if my co-workers are reading this, and some elderly woman comes looking for Tom Ryser this weekend, just smile and nod.

It’s scary to think that old people are out there driving every day, unaware of other motorists, the Internet, or Clay Aiken.  A world without Clay Aiken is like a day without sunshine.  Sometimes I’m honestly afraid to even drive around a parking lot during the hours old people are in the outside world (4-5AM and 10-11AM, the only 2 hours during the entire day that Matlock is not on any channel).  I’m constantly having to dodge oncoming Cadillacs flying at me at a rate of 5 mph (157 kph)!

Beyond the loss of hearing (5 to 1, those are decent odds; make sure to get your bets in), I’ve started considering the health problems associated with aging.

And what about Social Security?  I’ve heard it won’t even be around by the time I reach my minimum retirement age (106).  What am I going to do without that extra $785 (12 euros) coming in every month?  How did people survive without Social Security in the 1850s?  Oh, I remember.  They just died earlier, before the money ran out.

The point is, I love old people.  I hope I’ve made that clear.  Without them, we wouldn’t have adult Velcro sneakers, really bad really strong perfume, or Werthers Originals.

I think it’s even better in French.

Sincerely,

Tom Ryser

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  1. Bob Baxter
    November 19, 2008 at 7:38 pm

    Brad,
    This is your older brother Bob. I can’t believe you are moonlighting as Tom Ryser again. Your writing is very funny, but I’m going to tell Mom to make sure she reads your blog so embellished stories about her and Dad (I’m sure they’re coming) don’t circulate the web.

    LOL!

  2. November 19, 2008 at 8:26 pm

    Isn’t Old People what they put in McDonald’s fries?

  3. kylebaxter
    November 20, 2008 at 1:11 am

    I think so. They mix it with ground horse hoofs until it’s nice and soilent.

  4. Jessica
    November 20, 2008 at 9:51 am

    Okay, I’m never eating at McDonald’s again!

  5. lennystrangelove
    November 21, 2008 at 11:19 pm

    Freakin old people and their hard candy!

    Seriously, they eat that freaking odd mixture of hard candies that have no real flavor other than sugar.

    It’s that kind of candy that can last for eons, sitting in a glass jar, pondering existence.

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