The Old Coot isn’t cool

I was waiting in the car while my wife was in the grocery store last week. I’d just had a medical “procedure.” You know, one of those things where they don’t knock you out or numb you up. They tell you, “It’s just a procedure.” 

I always want to ask, “Have you ever had this procedure?” I think if they did, they’d reconsider proceeding on you without knock out drops. Mine, was just an MRI, so no big deal. Except, trying to lie still for 30 minutes, hoping my nose didn’t start to itch or a cramp didn’t overtake my leg. That’s where the stress comes in for me. 

Anyhow, I decided to wait in the car; I didn’t want to undergo a grocery store “procedure” on the same day. I was trusted with the keys so I could listen to the radio or roll down the window; not that many cars have a crank that you roll down. We “button-push” it down these days. 

It was a beautiful morning, in the mid 70’s; a gentle breeze was slipping across the parking lot and I was in a spot where I could watch the people going in and out of the store. Pure entertainment for an old coot.

I “rolled” down the window, to hang my arm out, but I couldn’t; the opening was too high. You can’t do the arm out the window thing in an SUV. You have to be in regular cars, which are slowly disappearing from the market place, now accounting for barely 30% of vehicles sold. 

It irked me a little. I had a 1950’s image in my head, back when any teenager or young adult male drove around in good weather with their arm hanging out the window. The window was our air-conditioner. Often with a pack of Lucky Strike cigarettes rolled up in the sleeve of an undershirt. Yes, undershirt. They weren’t called T-shirts back then. On hot days, guys went around, but not usually in public, in an undershirt (white, of course) to be cool and casual. 

Then along came Marlon Brando’s movie, On the Waterfront. He wore an undershirt in public and changed men’s fashions forever. He made wearing one acceptable for everyday use. It made the T-shirt revolution take off and you know how that went. T-shirts dominate the fashion scene. You even see people wearing them to church, at weddings, and just about everywhere else.  

Anyhow, there I was, an old coot sitting in a car, trying to relive a teenage memory and couldn’t hang my arm out the window. I gave up; I just sat there like a dummy, wishing I at least had a Lucky Strike cigarette to place behind my ear. It’s tough trying to be cool when you’re an old coot.

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