Senior discount doesn’t match how old he feels

Burt's Eye View

It happened again. “That cost less than I expected.”

The pretty young fast-food clerk never bothered to glance my way as she handed over the receipt. “Your order number is 22.”

I slipped off my bifocals and squinted at the receipt to find the pricing error. There it was. The words printed at the bottom of the bill stated “Senior Discount.”

I raised my head to object but the kid behind the counter was too busy mooning at the next customer, some youngster with a tattoo. I shrugged and limped — the ol’ arthritis acting up again — to the pickup line.

“She could have at least asked for ID,” I mumbled to myself. “It’s not like I’m afflicted with senior moments or anything. And why do they keep it so blurry in here? Oh. Yeah.” I put my bifocals back on.

Really, I’m just as sharp as ever. Take the other night when a slight mishap occurred in the kitchen. Never mind what. It wasn’t my fault. Could have happened to anybody. Anyway, my wife told me to open the window to let the smell dissipate.

This is where I proved that I retain the mental agility of a kitten. Not only did I slide up the sash, I did the same on the kitchen window on the other wall — because I, being of sound mind, know that it takes a cross breeze to circulate the air.

“Why does it still smell so badly?” Terry asked a couple hours later.

“What?” She tends to whisper. I turned my good ear toward her.

“Did you open the kitchen window?”

I huffed. “Two of them. For good air flow. Bet you didn’t think of that.”

Terry headed toward the kitchen. I heard squeaking, then felt a sudden gush of chilly air. Terry breezed back into the living room. “You forgot to open the storm windows.”

“Huh?”

“You opened the inside windows but not the storm windows behind them. It’s January. Couldn’t you tell no cold air was pouring in?”

I scratched my snow-white beard. “I thought it was global warming.”

“More like calendar pages turning. Lots and lots of calendar pages turning.”

I snugged my afghan a little tighter. “Are you implying that I’ve aged beyond my senses?”

“Don’t worry, sweetie. You’re only as old as you feel.”

That’s what scares me. I’m too young to feel this old.

“Reminds me,” I said, “of the time Georgie Washington, Benny Franklin and I…”

“You told that one at supper. Tonight, last night and Tuesday. And a couple times last week.”

“Did I?” When did I start rattling off the same tired stories like an … old man? Did I stop having adventures? Or is it that I just can’t remember what they are?

I reached for my mug of hot chocolate. “Tell me, do I come here often?”

“Yes,” Terry said. “And it’s wonderful.”

Well, there is that.

“Order number 22! Sir. Sir!” The server at the restaurant interrupted my meandering mind. “Your order’s up. Number 22.”

I reached for the tray. “Same number as my age.”

The server arched his eyebrows.

“Twenty-two, plus 35 years experience,” I said.

“Thirty-five?”

“I’m rounding to the nearest, uh, wholly nice number. Don’t they teach you kids math anymore?”

It was a beautiful senior moment.

— Send senior discounts to the geezer at burtseyeview@tribtoday.com or to the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook.

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