Thursday, November 5, 2009

old men

Old men dig me. I'm not sure why. Perhaps it's that I don't ignore them. Or that, for the most part, I find them adorable? I see my grandpas in them and hope that people were nice to them and wish they were still around for me to talk to. Except that every now and then you come across a perhaps crazy old person and I know my gpops were NOT like them. Take, for example, the old dude who struck up a conversation with me this morning while I was rowing(!) (well, on a machine) and he was cycling. I think he was shocked when I responded to his initial question and the floodgates, they crashed open.

Did you know he thought up the name Microsoft at about the same time as Bill Gates? He must be a genius, according to himself, because who else in the world would have thought of it. He was very liberal with the reminders that he was 70 AND A HALF and had worked in computers his whole life (me: "They had computers back then? Or are you talking about calculators? Or an abacus?"). Also, why do people not want to talk at the gym? Why do they listen to music? Why are they thinking? He has done all the listening and thinking he wants to do. Obviously not the talking. Then he starts talking about how people are boring and talk about boring things. (me: So you're old AND you're cranky? Wow - you're just going all out for the stereotype?) Why do people read? He has read all he wants and doesn't want to learn anything new. (me: "My grandma learned how to read Norwegian when she was 75. And she learned some Spanish when she was 80. Some people like to keep learning. Maybe it makes their conversations more INTERESTING. *knowing look*) And then he gives me a lecture on how politics are boring and who cares about politics and (I kid you not) why do we even HAVE politics? (me: We have this thing called government. Maybe you don't remember, but there was a revolution. We're not with England. We get to control stuff. Sort of.)

Yes, I really said those things (and a few more). But I was LAUGHING, so it's not mean. Really! And, quite frankly, he was entertained. When I went up to the desk to sanitize my hands, the lovely (old) gentleman asked, "Do you know what he said?" Uh, yeah. I just spent 20 minutes listening. "No, do you know what he said when he came up here? He said, 'Finally! I found someone who wasn't boring here!'" Huzzah! My good deed for the day: geriatric entertainment.

So, the equation for the day is grumpyoldman + verbalabuse = spryoldguy

I may or may not choose to wear headphones next time, though...