Submitted by Larry S. from Springfield, Ohio.
$5.37! That’s what the kid behind the counter at Taco Bell said to me.
I dug into my pocket and pulled out some lint and two dimes, and something that used to be a Jolly Rancher. But having already handed the kid a five dollar bill, I started to head back out to the truck to grab some change. However, before I could get to the door, the kid with the Elmo hairdo said the worst thing anyone has ever said to me:
He said, “It’s ok, I’ll just give you the senior citizen discount.”
I turned to see “who” he was talking to and then heard the sound of change hitting the counter in front of me.
“Only $4.68” he said cheerfully.
I must tell you that I stood there stupefied. I am 56, not even “60” yet!! Why, I’m still a young “whipper-snapper!” A Senior citizen? No way! So I took my burrito and walked out to the truck wondering, what was wrong with Elmo. Was he blind?
Now I’ve gotta’ tell you that as I sat in the truck, my blood began to boil. Old? Not me! And my feeling began to simmer; I’ll show him, I thought. And out of my truck I climbed, and I opened the door to that Taco Bell, and headed straight back inside. I want you to know that strode directly up to the counter. And would you know, there he was, waiting with a smile.
Before could say a word, he held up something and jingled it in front of me, like I could be that easily distracted! And I thought, “What am I now, a toddler?”
“Dude, ya’ can’t get too far without your car keys, eh ?”
But I’m a “man,” and I stared with utter disdain at the keys. And standing there, I began to rationalize in my mind! “Leaving one’s keys behind hardly makes a man elderly!” No, it could happen to anyone!” And with a little “huff,” I turned and headed back to the truck. I slipped the key into the ignition, but it wouldn’t even turn. “What now?” I thought.
But I’m a man, and not to be denied, so I checked my keys and tried another one. Alas, nothing happened; in fact I couldn’t even “turn” the key! And that about the time I noticed the purple beads hanging from my rear view mirror. My friend, I didn’t have any “purple beads” hanging from my rear view mirror.
And about that time a few other objects came into focus: “The car seat in the back seat, and Happy Meal toys spread all over the floorboard.” Now, I’m a fanatic when it comes to keeping my vehicle clean, and there it was, “a partially eaten dough nut on the dashboard.”
Faster than you can say “Jack Rabbit,” I hopped out of that alien vehicle. And just seconds later, I was speeding out of the parking lot, relieved to finally be leaving this nightmarish stop in my life. And that’s when I felt it, deep in the bowels of my stomach: “hunger!” My stomach growled and churned, and I reached to grab my burrito. But would you believe that it was nowhere to be found.
I had enough, and I want you to know that I turned that truck around on a dime, and summoned up my courage. And I strode into that Taco Bell like a men, one final time.
And there he stood, Elmo draped in youth and black nail polish. And all I could think was, “What is this world coming to?” I think I remember stuttering, “Did I leave my food and drink in here?” I want you to know that at this point, I was ready to ask a Boy Scout to help me back to my vehicle, so that I could go straight home and apply for Social Security benefits.
And Elmo didn’t even have a clue where my food was. As I was walking back out to my truck, a young lad came up and tugged on my jeans to get my attention.
He stood there holding up a drink and a bag. So his mother explained: “I believe that you left this in my truck by mistake.”
I could have crawled under my truck, however, I took the food and drink from the little boy and sheepishly apologized. But his mother really rubbed salt into my wound, as she offered these kind words: “It’s ok, my grandfather does stuff like this all the time.”
Now I shared this with you so that you will understand how I got a ticket doing 85 MPH, in a 40 MPH zone. Yessss, I was racing some punk kid in a Toyota Prius.
And “No,” I told the officer, “I’m not too old to be driving this fast!”
As I walked in the front door, my wife met me halfway down the hall. And I handed her a bag of cold food, and a $300 speeding ticket. And I headed for my recliner, where I promptly covered up my legs with a “blankey’.”
However, there was some good news; I had successfully found my way home.
Old age is inevitable, and chances are it’ll creep up on you when you least expect it. Just like the guy in this story.
If this hasn’t happened to you yet, congratulations, you’re probably not old!
But if this scenario is all too familiar, just remember, we’re laughing with you, not at you!
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