There are some things you should not say to a Geezer. I said in the preface to my book, "You Might Be A Geezer," there is an article in the AARP Constitution that says, "Thou shalt not writeth about or maketh sporteth of Geezers unless thou are one thyself. (King James Version) Be careful or you may incur the wrath of Geezers Gone Wild.
Let's explore some unsavory statements. "Are you ready to checkout?" My doctor, Dr. Saw Bucks, recently moved into a new office. When he is finished poking and prodding and hemming and hawing, he directs me down the hallway where signs are prominently displayed with arrows that say, "Check Out." I have gently complained two or three times that you never say check out to an old person. He chuckles as does his office staff but the signs remain. That is a bit discomfiting to walk down the hall to the desk where you check out. Sometimes I hear this at the big box stores like Sprawl-Mart or Highs. The clerk will ask, "Are you ready to check out?" I must repress my sense of inner merriment and at times trepidation and merely respond, "Yes."
One day while leaving Menards I approached the check-out station and noticed a sign that said, "Self Check." So I walked to the desk and said, "I think I am OK for a man my age." The clerk's face twitched, her forehead became corduroy and she quizzically asked, "What do you mean?" I said, "I complied with your sign that says self-check. I checked myself and I think I am OK," then I smiled and chuckled. She got it and said, "That's a good one sir. I have never heard that before."
"You have put on a few pounds haven't you," is not appropriate to say. Red Skelton had two perfect responses: "Yes, I have in fact, I only weighed seven pounds when I was born." When someone remarked about his waist line he responded, "Yessiree, I have it out where I can see it." It is supported by empirical data that after the age of 40 most people gain about a pound or so a year because their metabolism slows down. It has nothing to do with all of the doughnuts, pizza and DQ they consume. But it is still rude to talk about it. One time I had struggled to lose quite a bit of weight and I saw a cousin for the first time in 20 years and he said, "Put on a little weight haven't you?" I hit him in the right place and he hurled a doughnut that cracked a window in the bank. And, you never say to a fat woman, "When are you due?" That is unless you want your clavicle broken with a purse.
Our granddaughters have the good fortune of having a dentist for a father. They are all very tooth conscious. One day Audrey looked at her Gramma Van and asked, "Why are your teeth yellowish gray instead of white like mine?" Gramma flexed her Popeye-like arm and smote the child so that she had those stars and other symbols over her head like in the cartoons.
Don't say that to a geezer.
Larry Vandeventer grew up North of Calvertville on a farm and graduated from Worthington High School and Indiana State University. He can be reached at Goosecrick@aol.com or 317-839-7656. He has published six books.