The audacity of the elderly

10 02 2009

Last Tuesday I had a meeting out of town so I had the chance to spend the morning at home. I took the opportunity to pick up a waiting package from the post office, since this was a rare moment of freedom in their prohibitively narrow opening hours.
Anyhoo, on my way there, I found myself stuck on the footpath behind a little old man moving in a painfully slow shuffle. I saw he was clutching an envelope in his left hand (the one not holding the cane), a sure sign he had the same destination as me. So I decided to overtake him at the next opportunity so as to ensure he didn’t slow me down in the inevitably long post office queue. I executed the maneuver expertly some 10 metres before the post office and that, I thought, was the end of the matter.
Not so our diminutive octagenarian. No. Moments after I had taken my place at the end the queue, he shuffled into the post office and took what he deemed his rightful place ahead of me. He had the temerity to “push in” without even acknowledging my existence.
Now I would like to say that at this point I tapped our aged friend on his stooping shoulders and put him firmly in his place. But I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I lacked the audacity of the elderly that says, “I have lived long enough to be entitled to what is not rightfully mine.” Even though he was half my height and over 3 times my age, his overflowing self confidence intimidated me.
I look forward to being an old man so I can shuffle the sidewalk with the audacity of the elderly.

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6 responses

10 02 2009
CHONG

That’s gold!!!!

10 02 2009
Adriana

Ha. When we’re that old we can shuffle along holding hands – then none of those punk kids will be able tp push past us…

10 02 2009
Adriana

… to push past

10 02 2009
mattt

Old punk 😉

10 02 2009
Turns

Adri effectively just called you a punk kid. I agree. Punk 🙂

12 02 2009
SamR

There’s something in me though that just can’t bring myself to call him a punk, even though he is! Why is that??
Commenting from my iphone….

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