I’m in a coffee shop in
enemy territory a college town. College towns make me nervous. Is socialism contagious? Will I forget my science background and be found years later smoking dope in a cult of global warming fans who genuflect while recycling? Will I pawn my truck for a recumbent bike? Will my student loans, killed dead and buried, ressurect and hunt me down like a fiscal zombie? On the other hand the wifi is faster than my usual rural habitat and the coffee is good. (No credit cards accepted…who knew hippies would take a stand against ATM card fees?)
Just now an earnest, young, conservatively dressed, polite, college student asked if he could take the unused chair at my table; “Excuse me sir, may I borrow this chair.” I replied without thinking about it “Of course, go right ahead.” In my mind I was thinking ‘what a nice young fellow’.
Oh hell no!
- Since when am I “sir”? “Sir” is the name applied to me when a cop is about to issue speeding ticket. Shit! I am so old!
- Since when do I think things like “nice young fellow“? Who uses “fellow”? Have I morphed into an 80 year old grandma knitting in a rocking chair? I’m not going into that dark night! I may be a grouchy Curmudgeon hunkered over a laptop simultaneously crunching numbers (because science!) and gritting my teeth over news (because freedom!) but I am not “Sir”. It is my job to stand tall and bellow “get off my lawn punk”. The words nice young fellow should not cross my lips in a non ironic manner. Shit! I am so old!
- On the other hand, the whole event is steeped in optimism for the future. The nice fellow is studying what sounds like physics. STEM baby! ROI for college! He’s accompanied by three young women (if I call ’em hotties does that make me a dirty old man?) and none of them seem like airheads. Four (in my eyes “kids”) who are calculating mass and momentum instead of racking up loans to be a psychology prof’s fluffer! Go team brain! He was polite and none of them are acting like hooligans. The scruffiest bastard in the room is… me. Awesome! At least a few members of the next generation are gearing up to kick ass and take names! I’d stand up and give them a bow but they’d probably think I was having a coronary and whisk me to the hospital.
Adaptive Curmudgeon (a.k.a. “Sir”)