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Humor March 2016

Agelessly Yours

Give Me Yesterday’s Child

By Karen White-Walker

It took all my will power to not quote what a teacher actually once wrote on some kid’s report card to his parents. “The gates are down, the lights are flashing, but the train isn’t coming.”

Who wants to keep hearing that this generation and babies born nowadays are smarter than we were when we came wailing into this world? I’ll tell ya one thing, I’ll be wailing when I leave this life because of today’s peoples’ ineptness. How and why did it get so bad?

My Texas clan comes up here to spend three months at their summer homes and it would be exactly like the Kennedy compound if they had maids, white wrap-around porches, yachts anchored right outside their front doors that are facing a bay, and powerful people ringing their doorbells. Maybe because they don’t, that’s why my family from the Lone Star State, doesn’t have any clout when making simple requests, and expecting people to carry them out.

If only people listened better. If only people took pride in their attire. If only people gave a hoot.

When our dear mom was still with us, she and I went for coffee and dessert at a local ice cream joint.

“What will it be?” asked the young girl who was nice enough, clean-cut enough until….until she turned around and there, sprawled across her rear-end, oh dear, how can I even tell you? I mean it was that gross, but when one writes about real life, you tell it like it is — ugh! There plastered across her rump were the words...nope, I refuse to contribute to the near demise of decency, but talk about dampening one’s taste buds! I knew my mom couldn’t have read it, or else she never would have piped up so sweetly to the girl and said, “Honey, we’ll both have a strawberry sundae and hot black coffee.”

Wouldn’t you think that two people having the exact same thing would eliminate all confusion and be such an easy order? You’d think. Mom might as well have been ordering in sign language for all the chaos and confusion our order stirred up.

We went and sat at the outdoor tables and suddenly, the soda fountain jerk/cashier/seedy dresser started wildly waving her arms at us like she was flagging down racecar drivers at the Indy 500.

“Boy, that was fast,” I told Mom. “Sure hope we’re getting more than a teaspoon of ice cream in our sundaes.”

“I spoke with the manager,” this jerk/cashier/seedy dresser told me, “and he said that we can’t pour hot black coffee over your sundaes.”

At first I thought I was in the Twilight Zone, but then I realized she incredibly didn’t realize that we wanted the coffee SEPARATE from our sundaes. It took all my will power to not quote what a teacher actually once wrote on some kid’s report card to his parents. “The gates are down, the lights are flashing, but the train isn’t coming.”

It would be reassuring to say that such display of incompetence was an isolated incident, but the following week when my cherished three-month crew was heading back home, my brother-in-law went directly to the post office to have them stop the mail and send it to their “real” residence. He then called the newspaper office to have them stop their daily delivery. With everything in order, they all headed for Houston, but not before they turned to me.

“Karen, will you please occasionally drive by and check on everything?”

And because I’m from the “old school” who likes to believe that when you give your word you honor it, and when you do your “job,” you’re rewarded with the comforting feeling that you’re trustworthy, I went and checked out everything.

Surprise, surprise! The newspaper box was jammed with past issues and the mailbox was bulging with mail.

“How’s everything up there?” called my brother-in-law that very night.

“Well”….I hesitated.

“Forward me the damn mail and I’ll call and stop the paper — again!”

“But how did you know?” I asked.

“What, you think I was born yesterday?”

For society’s sake and sanity, I’m sure glad he wasn’t. 

Footnote: Went to check out everything and I just bet you can guess.


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