The Old Coot is still in business, an essential service

Evicted! Homeless! Out on the street! This is us – my coffee group. Our caffeine dispensary shifted to a “Grab and Go” policy. Use the drive thru or walk in, and then “Get the heck out!” No chairs, inside or on the patio – no good places to lean against the building. (Too many shrubs and flowers along the perimeter.) All we could do was GO! [Disclaimer – this is not in my hometown; this is at an undisclosed location. No retaliation necessary, please.]

So, why am I complaining? Complaining is still the right thing to do, even in a pandemic. It’s my job! It’s the duty of all old coots. How would society progress if we weren’t here to point out the failings of government, media and younger people? This role for elders went on long before we moved out of the caves and had to instruct the young-uns not to put their hands in the fire. Elect a 21-year-old as president? Not on your life! We want him or her to mellow and gain some life wisdom. Thirty-five is what our constitution calls for, but that was decided when life expectancy was in the 40 to 50 range. So 35 is on the young side. Even at 40 a person, a president, needs an army of old coots to keep them on the right path, to avoid tripping on their shoelaces. 

So, back to my homeless condition. The weather, if you dress right, is conducive to outdoor gatherings, most days. We quickly adjusted to the “grab and go” policy and took our coffee to a secret location with plenty of benches, plenty of separation. We’re using the site to solve world problems in our usual fashion; most of our sentences start with, “Back in my day,” or “When I was a kid,” or “Remember when? But we are still able to solve society’s problems, though we can’t find anyone to listen to us or follow our words of wisdom. If only they would – we could disband the group and live in peace. 

We’re adapting to the times at hand, washing and sanitizing our hands, staying away from crowds and not letting people invade our personal space, which used to happen when someone came within one foot of your face; now the personal zone is six feet. I wonder if we’ll ever go back to feeling comfortable with people crossing that barrier? The world won’t be the same for a lot of reasons, but much will be unchanged. You can take comfort, I guess, in knowing that us old coots will be here to guide the way. And, you can take even more comfort in knowing that no one will listen or heed our advice.    

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