So. If I were filling out one of the endless federal government We’re Annoying You For Your Own Good forms, I’d have to check the escape-clause box known as: “OTHER.” Alas, I am my own genre.
I prefer to think of myself as “Paleolithic Hunter/Gatherer Stuck In The Wrong Epoch” or sometimes, simply: “Batman.” “OTHER” always drives Human Resources nuts. Well. “Nutsier…” I used to put, “I Am Shandar, Slayer of the Donkey People.” But the Feds would throw a hissy fit. They’d send me back Form 987-B-52-Poop-Poop-Pee-Doop which threatens 25 years hard pokey time and a $2.5 million fine because I listed my name as “John Boston” then, two lines later, claim to be “Shandar.” Electric Travel Scooter
Slayer of the Donkey People.
I’ve completed lots of forms in my three-plus decades wedged betwixt this parenthesis of woes. Social Security number? Address? Have you been arrested? (“Just in my development, thanks to the Hart School District…”) But, I’ve never been asked to account for being — “ELDERLY.”
Until the other night.
Worse? I can’t even blame the government.
It was about 10 o’clock. I was grocery shopping. Locally. I’m pushing my cart. To my credit, I’m not even breathing heavily nor sweating. I’m on the chips aisle. A cute little girl, maybe 5 or 6, blonde and energetic, merrily dashes by, followed by an unholy scream.
“SHIRLEY BETH MEGAN MARIE!!!” howls the mother, wearing a stock car T-shirt and soiled pajama bottoms wider in circumference than a 1938 Helms bread truck. “DID YOU SAY, ‘EXCUSE ME’ WHEN YOU RAN PAST THAT ELDERLY MAN!!”
I turn around, looking for the G.V. (Geezer Victim). Save for the child, me and Mrs. Sasquatch, the aisle’s empty. In her air raid siren screech, the mother continues berating her daughter.
“HOW MANY TIMES HAVE I TOLD YOU TO SAY ‘EXCUSE ME!!’ WHEN YOU RUN BY AN OLD MAN!!”
My brow furrows. Silently, I mouthed the words, “Old Man?” OK. I’m decades from elderly. But, I have flirted with “maturity.” It means I count to 10, or maybe 12,013, instead of blurting out the first thing that pops into my brain. Like: “And that goes double, little girl, when you run away from your government cheese-eating birthing human who couldn’t kick it into a jog if they were giving away free woolly mammoth shanks on Aisle 32.”
“TELL THE ELDERLY MAN YOU’RE SORRY!!!”
Elderly. Old. Elderly. Three references. That’s tres Old Testament and you’d think someone’s Swap Meet pajama bottoms should catch on fire.
Poor little kid. She’s trying not to make eye contact with anyone, especially me, as I am obviously the alarm clock that has woken The Ever-Vengeful Beast. My mind drifts, imagining her wedding ceremony, when she was 14:
“And do you, Heck McCoy-Hatfield, take The Ever-Vengeful Beast to be your lawful co-welfare recipient?”
Had I been unknowingly mumbling, “…by cracky” under my breath? Was it the 1,200-pack of Acme Adult Diapers in my store-provided electric scooter/shopping cart? Did I not have my earbuds plugged all the way into my iPhone and my favorite song, “Waltzing With Prunes” by 101 Strings was blaring through the store?
Honestly? I feel 24ish, except I say, “ooooofff” and “ouch” a lot now. I find myself asking: “Why are bananas suddenly so hard to peel?” And, there are days when it’s tough getting off a couch and I feel like I could use a wench.
High-pitched happy girlish 14th-century voice calling from the other room: “Coming, mein Fuhrer! I’ll be right zer to assist you to extricate yourself from der blumiges sofa (the flowery divan)!!” A beautiful blonde German wench in festive Oktoberfest garb and push-up beer peasant bodice skips into the living room, kisses me on the cheek, counts “Eins! Zwei!! DREI!!!” (“One! Two!! THREE!!!”). She puts both feet on the cushions and pulls me to a standing position. “Zer you go, you such a beeeg boy in so many ways! Yes! You are!!”
I thank my wench and caution that it’s no longer the 13th century and “Fuhrer” has an entirely different connotation now. I urge her to say: “Honighase Süßer!” (Honey bunny sweetie!) instead. We skip out the door and down the street for strudel…
Dear Mr. Santa Clarita Valley:
We, at SCV Wenches, take personal umbrage at your reference to buxom albeit joyous German beer tarts being used to remove large elderly columnists from between sofa cushions. Only the highest-quality industrial wenches should be used and operated by trained, bonded and union professionals, like at SCV Wenches. Just last week, an 84-pound Main Street waitress attempted to remove an 800-pound CalArts oboe player from a folding chair. The dancer lost her spleen, which, curiously, is a lyric from an old Irish drinking song. People three blocks away had hernias.
Wenching is serious business, pal. Learn it. Live it. Memorize it.
Señor Wenches, President, SCVW
P.S. Oh cripes. How embarrassed are we? We’ve been SCV Wenches since 1983 and just NOW noticed the misspelling. Winches. Wenches. It’s Christmas. Whatever lässt Ihr Boot schwimmen (“…floats your boat…”)
I know in the past I’ve been exceptionally harsh on brain-dead Democrats and their fixation to be assigned whimsical pronouns to their sorry demon-worshipping hides. Heavens. In my haste to judge, have I been unduly critical?
I was sick that day in Mr. Alexander’s 9th-grade English class at Placerita back in the ’60s.
Settle a bet. Is “elderly” still a pronoun?
I guess with today’s sorry state of grammar, who’s to say it’s not…?
The SCV’s John Boston is the most prolific satirist in world history. The holidays are here. Visit his johnbostonbooks.com and, especially if you’re elderly, max out your credit cards buying gifts there.
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