Posted by: rschoolcraft | March 28, 2008

#1 The “Age” Badge

Logan’s Run PosterEver since I was 31 I have been calling myself old. It started as a joke based upon my recollection of the movie Logan’s Run. Everything was fine and dandy until this movie came out. Then all hell broke loose.

You see, the movie was about the survivors of some holecaust being forced to die. Each person on their thirtieth birthday would enter the carousel, an extermination ceremony, where they are promised of being reborn.

Suddenly anybody in real life over 30 was considered over the hill, scorned and ridiculed. Even at 31. Which is when it started for me. Slowly at first. I couldn’t do such an such because I was, you know, old. Then it picked up steam.  I began using it as an excuse.  I made it my tagline and mantra.  I used to always consider it a joke, until that awful, heartless day in the summer of my 40th year.

I love playing football.  Some younger friends invited me to join them in a park for an afternoon game.  I caught them snickering. These 20 something sniffel butts making fun of  me. I knew they were laughing behind my back so I was going to show them a thing or two.

Game day came with an explosion of physical contact I hadn’t felt in years. I blocked! I tackled! I hit as hard as my “old” body would allow. Nothing was gonna stop me.  10 minutes later I was still going strong then suddenly pow…someone threw  the football to me. Straight into my hands… 

Oh my God! It felt like every bone in my hands was being broken into a billion pieces. My fingers crackled an exploded in pain. Tiny little knives dug into every pain receptor available as the ball dropped aimlessly to the ground. Tears came to my eyes. People slapped me on the back “don’t worry you’ll catch the next one” they said. “Next one” I shouted to myself!  With what?

5 more minutes into the game and my right knee crumpled.  I felt the ancient flesh tear away from the bone.  Another five minutes, my smoke encrusted lungs were begging for a reprieve. In an hour people were coming up to me and saying what a great game it was. I did great, they wanted me to play again. An hour and a half went by…Finally I was alone, crumpled, white, shattered at the bottom of an old oak tree, praying that my wife would get there before the devil.

The following week I was a bedridden, heavily medicated old man. It didn’t seem quite as funny calling myself old any more. From then on I began picking up slices of what it really meant to be old. These slices took up alot of space in my head, in note pads and on the computer.

Then one day I started to read a blog called Stuff White People Like. As I read it, it didn’t seem to apply to me. It seemed slanted to the younger generation, whoever they are.

That is when I had an Epiphany(revelation – for you younger generation!) I could do a blog for the rest of us. You know who I mean.  BUT, what to call it? Then I had another Epiphany!

Stuff white people like is kinda catchy but like I said, it did not seem to address me or anyone older than me.  Suddenly, it came to me. I would call my blog Stuff Old White People Like.

Why? They teach you in exposition class to write about what you know and what I know is this: I’m old, I’m white, I know a lot of old people and we all know what we like.

So this brings up the question what is old? I really didn’t think I was old until I started getting senior citizen discounts. Heck I’m only 55. But then, I know people in their 70’s and 80’s that don’t think they’re old even though they’ve had these discounts for decades.

So number 1 on my list of Stuff Old White People Like is the “Age” badge. Oldies wear it proudly. They use it to their advantage. When they want to get out of something like work, paying taxes or going to jail. Or when they want to get into something like the head of a line, discounts and retirement centers.

Nothing beats the “Age” badge. Take that you Whipper Snappers!

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