this old man…

“Mom! Tommy’s blocking the way again and this old man can’t get through! Mo-mmmmmmm!!!!”

That’s what I heard tonight at the store. It was a loud, shrieking noise that bellowed from somewhere around me. I knew the sound and what it meant.  The kind that big sisters made for one reason and one reason only: to get their little brothers in trouble. Big trouble.

Being the polite, civil-minded person that I am, I pushed my cart away from the middle of the aisle. Whoever this old man was, I better give him plenty of space. Poor guy—must be knockin’ on heaven’s door. I hope he lived a full life…

I turned to look for this feeble old man. His mere presence alone was the key factor in ensuring little Tommy would be getting a time-out. To my absolute horror, the only ones there were the two kids and ME. Where are my smelling salts???

I’ve been called plenty of names before: jackass, punk, hey-you, sir, and even Jeff. Never in my young 39 years has the phrase “old man” been uttered to describe me. Ever.

In some point in a person’s life, I am guessing, one must get the proverbial football-in-the-groin.  Woo-hoo! Today was my day. And my crotch hurts.

See, I was at the gym before I went food-shopping. I was feeling a little cocky and pushed myself a little harder than normal. Sweat dripping and feeling pumped, I checked myself out in the mirror and thought “not bad for a guy pushing 40.”

Little Tommy and his sister were still causing havoc while their mother was busy ignoring them. With my head bowed down in shame and shoulders hunched over, I scurried away and headed straight to the health-care section. There, I loaded up on Geritol, prune juice, and denture cream.

At this stage of my life, I realized I’m not getting any younger. This world is never kind to people like me. So I did what any self-respecting old man would do: I came rolling home.

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