The Dude and my Brain


I’m old. Not much I can do about that—except take Taekwondo to keep those young dudes and dudesses from treating me like I’m old.

I mean they look at me like I’m falling apart. I am, but they don’t have to augment the situation and provide proof. Like I can still tell whether the light is red or green to cross the street. I can still read labels at the grocery store. I can still write my name on a check. Two and two are still four, although with this new common core, or whatever, I’m not sure. I think it might be 1492.

I still take out the garbage. Whenever we had dogs, I never could teach them to take out the garbage. Our cat never took out the garbage.

My back might be bent, but that physical problem didn’t migrate up to my brain, and bend my brain. I never had to worry about being a genius, because I’m not. I have an ordinary brain. At my age I don’t think they test ordinary brains, they just simply say, out of my hearing, he has an ordinary brain, why should we test ordinary brains.

And my hearing is still here. Those comments you think are safely out of my hearing, aren’t. Save your less than complimentary comments for when I’m gone, as in permanently.

Now this Taekwondo will probably do the trick. There is one of those over in the business district in the small town I call home, and it would be very convenient to go there. My peripheral vision is shot, and I don’t venture out on the Interstate anymore, but I’ve lived here so long I tell the car, not the GPS, “Taekwondo Place, please.” The car’s been traveling around in the neighborhood long enough that it knows where everything is.

I’m too old for the Taekwondo training, so I’ll send in a substitute. I’ll watch, and most importantly I’ll get one of those Taekwondo shirts that says Taekwondo on it. I’ll wear that whenever I expect to meet up with a dude.

Of course when I’m in the grocery store reading labels with my Taekwondo shirt on, old people will stare at me, but it will be a respectful stare, not a you’re old stare. And the greatest compliment I can receive will be when I’m waiting for the light to change to cross the street, and a police car’s stopped there, and one officer looks at my Taekwondo shirt, turns to the other and says, “That old guy’s ready to rumble.”

Of course there will be awkward moments. When I’m ready to toss the dude over my shoulder, I’ll have to ask him, “Could you wait five minutes while I get my expert substitute here to toss you over my shoulder?”

Now dudesses, I’m not quite sure what to do. I can’t have my substitute toss her over my shoulder. Maybe the Taekwondo shirt alone will instill enough fear in her to not stare at me like I’m old, and certainly not to uncompliment me.

Now, you folks out there who think you’re old, quit thinking old. Maybe Taekwondo’s not in your future, or if it is, you can’t find a substitute to train for Taekwondo, but there is something you can do to not be old. Maybe like walking if your legs and knees still work.

I have no doubt there’s some old geezer out there who’s thinking he can overcome this old feeling by marrying a twenty-five year old gal. Hey, I’m talking about taking reasonable steps to avoid being tagged as old, not insanity.

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