More Things Old People Like

Big Cars
Have you ever driven a Buick or a Lincoln Continental?   The slightest touch on the gas pedal will have the car zooming at 75 mph without you even realizing it.   These cars are a dream for cruising down freeways at high speed.

Well, seniors just LOVE these cars.  (Mainly, because they’re the only ones that can afford them!)  But unfortunately, Grampa Jebediah or Old Aunt Gladys never drive these cars the way they’re supposed to be driven.

Instead, they proceed at a turtle’s pace.   No wonder we call these cars “Boats”.

What a freaking waste of engine power.

I have a suggestion to the car manufacturers:  Get rid of the V6 200-Horsepower engine, and replace it with a tiny putt-putt motor instead.

You’ll save a bundle on production costs, and your customers will never notice the difference.

All-you-can-eat Buffets
The Old Ladies especially get into this.

First, they’ll hover over all the different trays and admire the presentation and arrangement of the steaming food.

Next, they’ll debate over what to eat.   After about 10 minutes they’ll finally start to painfully pick and chose every food morsel as if it was Christ’s Last Supper.

What next?   Dear me, that pasta noodle looks good.   I think I will try an olive next….Hmm…shall I have a meat ball?

These old biddies always seem to place themselves in front of the hungriest customer in the restaurant (namely….ME!).

I swear it’s deliberate.

When I can finally get around these culinary ding-dongs,  it takes me about 5 seconds to slap the food on my plate and return to my seat.

By the time I’m done eating and going back for seconds, the Food-Gawkers could still be trying to fill up their first plate.

Short Hair
When women get to a certain age, they often get the classic O.B. haircut (O.B. being short for Old Bat)

You know the style.  The hair is so short it’s almost a Marine brush-cut.    For a slight trace of femininity, the top of the scalp might reluctantly be allowed to have a few curls.

For God’s sakes, WHY would anyone want to deliberately look this way?

My theory is that once a woman gets old enough, they achieve BAT status and no longer have to worry about dolling themselves up to look good.  They’re too old to date and/or their husband is too old to be unfaithful and leave them.

So instead of messing with curls and bangs every day, they opt for the hairstyle that takes zero maintenance.

The Old-Bat cut is especially popular with the larger women.

Nothing like a closely-cropped scalp to make the head appear smaller and make the body look even more huge than it already is.

It’s only a matter of time before they start to shave themselves bald (and won’t the grand-kids just love THAT?)

Polyester
My mother once pointed out the “Polyester Ladies” to me as a kid.  (Thanks, Mom!)

Once women reach that certain body mass, they’ll opt for the loose, comfortable clothing that fits all sizes.  And Polyester, being that wonderful petroleum-based fabric,  comes in all kinds of bright pastel colors.

It’s the perfect accessory to wear with the O.B. cut.

Hats
Wearing them is mandatory.   Especially when driving.

You can see men start to do this in their 50’s.  Once their aggressive driving days are behind them, they’ll start sporting a leather cap with a visor.

That’s the “Apprentice Hat” which they’re required to wear for several years while they gradually reduce their driving speed.

Once they’re the slowest driver on the street (and they’ve physically shrunken to the point where you only see their knuckles grabbing the steering wheel), they become a full-fledged Gray Head driver.   At that point, they’re allowed to wear a full Fedora.

Someone too old to drive has attained Senior Gray Head status.    They’re relegated to the back seat and as a sign of respect they no longer have to wear the hat.

They just coach the more junior Grey-Heads up front who are still driving.

Stories about Sickness and Death
When seniors approach their twilight years, they’re increasingly aware of their own mortality and hence feel the need to share their fears with you.   Which basically involves endless misery stories about unfortunate people you don’t know and will never meet.

“I was taking to Mrs. McGillicuddy down the street…her cousin’s mailman had leprosy of the bowel. It was an horrible surgery, he was in the hospital for 16 weeks, and now he’s in a wheelchair and can only go to the bathroom  while standing on his head and playing the accordion…

….but his daughter takes care of him.  But then she got Jungle-Rot fever of the brain, and it ate our her eyes.   So now she walks around the house with a seeing eye-dog, with empty sockets where her eyes used to be, trying to care of her poor father.     But then the dog had to be put down because it strangled on the colostomy bag hose.     It’s very sad, actually…”

(Okay!  Okay!….I GET it!….Life sucks and we’re all going to DIE!….can I please go kill myself now?)

Sandal and Socks
The quintessential old-man stereotype:  expensive leather sandals with black knee-length socks.

I’m trying to figure out where this came from.   When did people EVER dress this way?  Even back in the 1930’s …was this style EVER fashionable and cool?

I’m guessing…NOT.

In fact, I suspect that is was NEVER cool to wear sandals and socks together.

NEVER in the history of the whole planet.

It must be a phenomenon seniors invented.   Because they could.

Small Dogs
The smaller. the better.    And make they’re hyper and nippy, and hate everyone except the owner.

Bonus points, if it’s a wussy dog that needs to sweater to go outside.

The Mandatory Pilgrimage to Alaska
Okay, imagine every RV in the Lower 48, from Alabama to Wyoming, traveling up north.

Now imagine all these RV’s funneled together onto the only paved road within 500 miles.

Welcome to Alaska in July.

This Grey Invasion takes over the whole state.   The average tourist age is about 72, because it’s mainly the elderly who who can afford the time off to travel up there.

The only 20-year-olds you’ll see are the ones working 15 hours a day in the restaurants and tourist traps, to serve the RV-crowd the Blue-Plate specials and Senior Discount Coffee.

If you want to visit Alaska un-crowded, my advice is to head up there in mid-August.   By then, the nights will have started getting a bit chilly, and the Vast Grey Exodus reverses itself, as everyone starts heading south again.

Gigantic Sun-Glasses.
You know, the really big ones.  That wrap almost all the way around the head, and cover half the face.

For Chrissakes.   Why don’t you just get a welder’s mask, at this point?

Bag-Pipes
At a certain age, it’s like a dormant switch gets turned on:

“I’m old…Gee, it’s time I started liking the Bag-Pipes”.

This caterwauling sound tends to make all Seniors nostalgic and misty-eyed.   Even the ones who never fought in a war, or who have no trace of Scottish blood, whatsoever.

If I ever start liking bag-pipes, you’ll know it’s time to put me down.

Lawn-Bowling
Seriously.  Have you EVER seen anyone under 75 lawn-bowl?

Again, I think the age-related switch gets suddenly turned on, and people suddenly feel the urge to take up the game.

Same thing applies to square dancing…

Metamucil
If there’s one thing seniors don’t mess around with, it’s Number Two.

I used to stock shelves in a drug store.    Believe me, this product was a big hit with the over-65 crowd.

(Anyway, I know my Grandma loved it).

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54 Comments on “More Things Old People Like”


  1. Hey, I used to drive an old boat. It was an Oldsmobile Cutlass ’73 and it was 17 feet long. I was driving it around 1993, bumpin’ the AM radio like a little badass. But then I got a cop car (white 1990 Ford Crown Vic) and instead of being like a badass, I was one. Haheh!

  2. Friar Says:

    @Melissa

    A big boat!? (Oh dear…how OLD are you?). Did you wear a HAT? :-)

    But you’ve redeemed yourself…at least you got a cop-car later on….!

  3. Brett Legree Says:

    I want a fedora. Seriously. :)

    And bagpipes. But only if I can play them through a stack of Marshall amps and a distortion pedal…

  4. Friar Says:

    @Brett

    No way….the speed at which you drive, you’ll never qualify for a Fedora! :-)

    Electric Bagpipes. Something tells me I’ve heard this before (it might have been on CBC!) Seriously.

  5. Kelly Says:

    Friar,

    Ouch! I am laughing so hard my sides hurt. It always happens here, but this is your most wicked post ever. *stopping to wipe away tears* Culinary ding-dongs! Apprentice hat! LOL!

    1. I admire the Old-Bat cut. I have had it before (when a young 20-something, I realize it may go better with nubile, but still) and I swear I’ll have it again someday. I hate dealing with hair and I don’t care if hubby leaves me for it… course I’ve got no hubby, so I’m kidding myself there…

    When I do, I shall think of you and always have just a twinge of shame. And a big laugh at myself.

    2. Are you saying gigantic sunglasses are a problem? He he, we will have to meet on a rainy day, dear Friar, for I have never found a pair that was large enough for my tastes.

    You are on your game today, boy. Hysterically funny.

    Regards,

    Kelly

  6. Brett Legree Says:

    Friar,

    I saw a fedora with skulls & bones on it at Wal-Mart last month… maybe that’s the one for me?

  7. Friar Says:

    @Kelly
    The fact that you like the short hair might be an indication of latent Old-Bat tendencies.

    The only cure is to continue as you are doing …stay young, stay focussed, and stay active! (Somehow I can’t picture you as a Polyester Woman) :-)

    @Brett
    If you buy that and put it on your head, you might feel the sudden urge to drive with your signal indicators on, and to start hosing down your driveway.

    “Hey, you Godamm teenagers, keep offa my lawn!”

  8. Amy Says:

    You’re nuts, Fried One. Too friggen funny.

    I think part ofthe chick buzz cut is arthritis inthe shoulders makes it tough to reach the head to wash it… Perhaps the bright fabrics are due to blindness? :-|

    I want a fedora like Brett. That would rock.

    (PS, I shaved my head for years, and it was great. Folks at the law firm routinely asked if I had joined a cult. Priceless shockery, the shaved head.)

  9. Friar Says:

    @Amy

    A shaved head? Full of surprises…you are!!! (Oh, I bet the Law Firm must have loved THAT!) ;-)

    What I should have added, with the O.B. buzz-cuts….is to add REALLY BIG GAUDY earrings!

    That’s to bring even more attention to head, and further emphasize how small it is in proportion to the large girth of the body.

    I don’t know why large women tend to have such short hair…Ladies..it’s not helping. In fact, buzz-cuts make you LOOK EVEN LARGER!

    (Mabye nobody told them this).

    (Not that I want to be accused of calling the kettle black….hey, you’ll never see ME wearing a Speedo!) :-)

  10. Amy Says:

    How about spandex? Now that is something I don’t understand… (while we are being catty)

  11. Friar Says:

    Yes…I agree. Large people should NOT wear Spandex! (Including myself).

    There oughta be a law.

    Have you heard about the Stereotype Quebec tourists who winter down in Florida?

    They’re typically characterized as old guys with big bellies who wear Speedos. They’re apparently called “Los Tabarnacos!”.

  12. Karen JL Says:

    @ Brett – I want a fedora with skulls and bones on it too! I have a few fedoras myself…they look good on a chick. :)

    @ Friar and Amy – and stirrup pants! These people (or anyone for that matter) should *not* wear stirrup pants. They make your butt huge then taper you off at the ankles…not a flattering look. (In case you’re unfamiliar Friar, it’s those stretchy pants that have elastic that go under your feet).

    And those old Quebec/Florida guys get oh-so-tanned, don’t they?

  13. Brett Legree Says:

    @Amy & Karen JL,

    The three of us would look quite dapper in our skulls & bones fedoras. ;)

    I’d only put my left signal on though, and drive really fast (that’s what they do in Germany…)

    To keep kids off your lawn, try this:

    http://www.boingboing.net/2008/07/08/lawn-zombie-sculptur.html

    Love it.

  14. Amy Says:

    My grandparents retired to Florida from Wisconsin. So maybe that’s close? ;-) (note : they’re dead now, so probably no longer relavent?)

    I agree about strap pants. I didn’t know they made those anymore. I had a pair in the 80s. Disclaimer: I was 10, and not in charge of the clothes shopping.

  15. Friar Says:

    @Brett

    HAHAHAH! Oh..I’d LOVE to put that evil thing on my Moms’ front lawn (Would that ever traumatize my nephews when they came to visit! ) :-)

    @Amy

    Oh, there’s a whole other culture with old people going to Florida. I just didnt’ take the time to write about it.

    (Maybe I’ll have to write another post!)


  16. This is great, Friar! I deliver Meals on Wheels so I have gotten to know the over 70 crowd pretty well. I’d like to add one: tonic water. Straight. Now don’t get me wrong: I like a nice Tanqueray and tonic every now and again. But straight up carbonated water and quinine? No thanks — I’ll take my chances against malaria and just drink water.

  17. Friar Says:

    @Karen

    Ahhh..yes. The Stirrup pants. :-)

    (Ring! Ring!) Hello?

    That was Betty and Veronica calling from 1962.

    They’d like their clothing style back.

  18. Friar Says:

    @Rebecca

    I never understood tonic water. Mixed in drinks…mabye. But straight?

    WTF…!?? It’s POISON!

    (Again, did people actually drink this in the 1930’s and 40’s when they were young…or is this just a phenomena that Old People created for themselves?)

  19. Karen JL Says:

    @ Amy – I had them in the 80’s too (didn’t everybody?) but, alas, I was a teenager. With big sweaters and cowboy boots.

    And leg warmers.

    Much. Much. Worse.


  20. It is such a strange drink. Makes me think of those “magical elixirs” that old-timey traveling salesmen used to sell.

  21. Friar Says:

    @Karen

    The 80’s weren’t too bad. But there is something about the 70’s that’s just….TACKY.

    That whole decade was about bad clothing, and bad hair. And not all (but a lot of) bad music.

    @Rebecca
    I can’t remember the last time I actually sipped tonic water on purpose. The last experience was so bad..it’s been at least 25 years.

  22. Karen JL Says:

    @ Friar – I loved the 80’s.
    I think the word you’re trying to find for the 70’s is ‘dirty’. Everybody looked dirty. In the 80’s everyone looked so damn clean. And clothed.

    Ever watch the Cosby show these days? Those girls would be dressing like little half-naked skanks today! But they were so very ‘clothed’ back then.

    …now *I’m* sounding like an old bitty…dammit…

  23. Friar Says:

    @Karen

    I’m just thinking of the “Eight is Enough” re-runs. The earth-toned clothes with bell bottom pants and Farah-Fawcett haircuts for girls and bowl-cuts for guys.

    People wore rust-colored corduroy pants, leisure suits, and drove Winnebegos and ugly station wagons with fake-wood panelling. Men had “Perms” that looks STUPID.

    Pet rocks, mood rings, John Travolta, Welcome Back Cotter, and cheesy disco.

    (UGH!). Just Ticky-tack. I’m SO GLAD that decade is over.

    My “coving of age” era (in University) was the early-mid 80’s.

  24. Karen JL Says:

    Mmmmmm…men with perms….

    (OK, I couldn’t even type that with a straight face)

  25. Steph Says:

    This post was hilarious, but the comments make it even better!! I’m sorry I got here so late…

    Friar: your ability to so accurately describe oldies, or anybody for that matter, makes me think you really need to write some fiction, if you feel so inclined. Seriously. I could so see sunshine sketches the friar’s way. Your characters and dialogue would kick such ass! I can’t help but think every time I read here how amazingly bang-on your observations are!

  26. Brett Legree Says:

    Dang. Your spam filter ate my comment…


  27. @Friar, I’m under 40! Hmph! In ’93 when I was rocking the Oldsmobile, I was only 19 or 20 years old. I do love hats. I buy them all the time then rarely wear them. However, I should get extra youth points because I hate buffets (ew yuck germs) and am not a big fan of crew cuts — on chicks or dudes of any age. Go ahead and call me a hippie. You know you want to.

  28. Friar Says:

    @Steph
    It’s not hard to write this stuff. The World just provides me with the comedic material, I just sit back and write what I see.

    (Though I better start making fun of someone else besides the Old Farts, or I’ll be accused of being “Ageist”.

    @Brett
    Wordpress has been acting constipated lately..!! Dunno what’s going on. I had to “approve” of one of your comments last night before it was displayed (I never had to do this before).

    I guess you get what you pay for!!

    @Melissa
    Yes…but how did you drive your Oldsmobile? Did you gun the engine or did you putt-putt at 30 mph with the blinker on? That makes all the difference.

    I dont’ think you’d ever be an Oldster…..if you have any hippie tendencies. (Even when you’re in your 70’s…being a former Flower-Child would totally disqualify you!).

    Consider yourself lucky! (The Polyester Ladies will have to look for another victim instead!)

  29. Karen JL Says:

    Isn’t it freaky that one day ‘the oldies’ (men and women) will all be sporting wrinkled full-arm tattoos and piercing scars?

    It’s gonna be a hoot!

    Tho I might be dead by then…

  30. Friar Says:

    @Karen

    You know…50 years from now, the tattoos and piercings might be there…but I suspect the Old Phartes will in the future will STILL be wearing knee-length socks, lawn-bowling and listening to Bag-Pipes.

    Though I can just imagine an old Grandma with dragon tatoos all over her back when the orderly in the nursing home bathes them (EWWWWWW!!)

    And probably, they’ll have to remove the tongue piercing (it would be too hard on the dentures)

  31. Karen JL Says:

    @ Friar
    Getting vision of wrinkled dragon tattoo ‘eating’ the sponge (and orderly’s arm) as it disappears into a skin fold…

    We may have the makings of a cartoon there…

  32. Friar Says:

    @Karen

    I’m starting to see a cartoon too…! Heh heh heh.

    I just wonder what the young kids 50 years from now, will have to do in order to shock the older generation.

    Cannibalism or amputation, maybe?


  33. Hm…I was just looking at my too long hair thinking boy it’s almost past my shoulders and time for a trim, should I go short? Phew! I was THIS close to cutting it looking into short and perky styles. It is a slippery slope, I tell ya.
    Let me check that list again…could be, Friar , you’ve printed up an early warning signals list for us here.
    Oops, sunglasses offense, red alert, red alert…..

  34. Friar Says:

    @Janice

    Don’t do it…don’t cut it short. Stay away from the Dark Side! (or should I say…the Old Side!) :-)

    Well, I’m gonna be 44 soon. I’m not too old (but not exactly a teenager either!)

    My 16 year old niece already thinks I’m “lame”! (Oh, no….I’ve become an Adult!)

  35. Brett Legree Says:

    You know, the dude in your cartoon looks kind of like the Lone Ranger.

  36. Friar Says:

    @Brett

    Yeah..the Original Lone Ranger if he was still alive today…!

    Hi, Ho, Silver Awaayyyyy…(Cough cough, sputter, wheeze) :-)

  37. Karen Swim Says:

    I have never laughed so hard (okay except for the chair breaking thing!). The other day I was driving down the street and ended up behind a “boat.” When the road changed back to two lanes I climbed past the boat and peeked over and it was little old lady both hands on the wheel with blue hair. I laughed as I passed her up going 30 miles per hour. LOL! Now about the hair thing, I am fond of long hair but many women cut it when they’re old because longer hair makes them look older. My mother however has long hair and it’s gorgeous and not grey (no dye) so I’ve decided to follow in her footsteps.

  38. Friar Says:

    @Karen
    Glad I could make your day a bit brighter..that’s what the Deep Friar is all about..!

    I don’t think old ladies necessarily have to have shoulder-length tresses of long grey hair. But it should AT LEAST be maybe a bit longer than a Marine Jar-Head cut! Even a tiny bit over the ears makes a huge difference.

    Gee…I wonder what I’m going to write about next? (it’ll be interesting to see what I come up with!) Maybe I should lay off the Old people for a change, eh? ;-)


  39. LOL, this is so funny Friar. It reminds me of the old Merc drivers wearing hats with a dog in the backseat. Arrrg, they would have to be the worst drivers in the whole wide world.

    Actually after reading this post I never ever want to get old. At least not in the sense of how you pointed out how we can become boring old farts. :-)

  40. Friar Says:

    @Monika
    It’s hard for me to compare drivers in Oz…I was only there for a couple of months (and I was too busy trying not to drive on the wrong side of the road to notice the Grey-Heads). But I’ll take your word for it.

    Yes…I hope I NEVER get old (at least, mentally, I hope I stay young). It’s all a state of mind.

    Like I said…whenever I start liking the bag-pipes, it’s time to pull the plug. ;-)


  41. @Friar, I had a pretty heavy foot back then and drove the boat like a bat out of hell. I’m not really a flower child but with some things I do lean that way. No, I don’t think I’ll ever be old. I made myself a promise when I was a child and I’ve got to keep it :)

  42. Friar Says:

    @Melissa
    No….you definitely don’t have Grey-head tendencies if you drove your boat like that.

    In fact, give yourself bonus points if you annoyed the other oldsters on the road, if they clucked their tongues and disapproved of your bad driving habits!

    I can just picture them going “Land Sakes…where EVER does that young lady think she’s going to so fast!? Bad in my day, we showed RESPECT…etc. etc… ;-)


  43. LOL, Phew! Thanks for pulling me back from the brink….just a trim this time..

    I’ll share something one of my grandmothers told me when she turned 80. She had sparkly blue eyes and an impish smile. She said, “80, hmph, ” turned and looked me in the eye, ” The funny thing is, I feel 8 inside,” And then she winked at me and smiled. I have never forgotten that moment.

    For me it’s important to remain childlike inside, that ‘s the artist and I guess I am genetically inclined as well.

    I think it is important to haul out a look every now and then at “old” behavior, these are funny…stuck and stuffy bothers me much much more. :)

  44. Friar Says:

    @Janice

    What a cool Grandma you had!

    Mine was the opposite. She would often get depressed, and sit down in a chair, stare at the floor, and sigh “Life is for the young”.

    Towards the end, I think she was almost waiting to die. That’s what I remember.

    I’m definitely NOT gonna be like that.

    Like Friar’s Mom sez:

    “Growing old can’t be helped. But growing UP…that’s optional!

    PS. You are the last person on earth to be stuck and stuffy (You and Kelly both!)


  45. Thanks Friar. My Grammies were terrific. That grandmother lived on a farm. She was something, clever and sparkly and enduring. She taught me how to explore when I was a child.

    Life is for the living, Friar. I don’t think you’ll ever be content to just sit it out. You’ll be poking at it all the way to the finish line…and Kelly and I, well, we’ll probably be wearing very large sunglasses and really cool shoes… maybe flats… but really cool. And we’ll probably have to tease you.

  46. Deb Says:

    Okay, I don’t know which was funnier the post or the comments.

    I hate driving my husband’s LeSabre partly because it’s enormous (in bad traffic that can be a good thing with the extra padding) but the mirrors are so small you can’t see a d*** thing past the rear bumper – I think they’re vanity mirrors of the Carly Simon persuasion. But it’s all about status and used to come with a gold watch *wink*. That said I do like V6 because I drive a lot of hills and mountains and a 4 cyl won’t do it without overheating.

    Yes, and about the stirrup pants; that would have been 4th grade in 19…uh…forget it y’all already know I’m old enough to be most of your mothers let’s leave out the details.

  47. Alana Says:

    wow! my granny does all this! who knew! te-hee!


  48. [...] when they’re coming from former pot-smoking, tie-dye wearing, war-protesting, 60 year-old, burned out hippies. Are you picking up on the [...]

  49. Jessp12 Says:

    this is boring there is like ten things to read and well its just boring

  50. Friar Says:

    Thanks for coming out, Jessp12.


  51. [...] recently and had a good laugh. We wanted to give you a little sample. Go read the  whole post here, thanks to The Deep [...]

  52. cincisprezece Says:

    I love bagpipes… and lawn bowling… and occasionally I’ll commit the horrific faux pas of socks and sandals.
    And what’s frightening is neither of my grandparents do any of the things on the list. Except for the hat wearing, although that is an ~expensive, practical Tilley hat~. I’m more of an old bat than they are :(

    Anyway I like your blog. A lot. And I couldn’t resist commenting. Thanks for making me laugh!


  53. One thing that was left off of this was QVC and the home shopping network! LOL!!

  54. Pamela Says:

    Here is a list of things old people start doing. If you start any of these things, sit back and ask why the hell am I doing this?
    Spot your clothes instead of just washing them.
    Falling asleep in your big bucket old man chair everyday.
    Can’t get rid of things, even if you never use them.
    Always talking about your health and surgeries.
    Every time you shop asking for disinfectant wipes.
    Always complaining of a draft or “its too cold in here”.
    Sitting down at a restaurant and first thing inspecting the silverware.
    I will add more believe me!


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