Yield: The Greatest Generation got old
November 11, 2016
The bane of us old folks is every few years it's time to renew the old driver's license. So, here's a little humor about this trying time.
An aging farmer/rancher failed the driving test four times. On the fifth attempt, he was determined to pass. But the test had this same question:
"You are driving at 120 mph. On your right is a wall; on your left is a cliff. On the road, you see an old man and a young man. What will you hit?"
The rancher walked up to the examiner and said, "I've answered this question in all four ways, wall, cliff, young man, old man. Yet I failed all the four times. How is this possible? What am I supposed to hit?"
The driver's license examiner replied, "The brakes!"
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I went to the doctor recently for a prostate examination.
After my prostate exam, the doctor left the exam room.
Then the nurse came in. As she shut the door, she whispered the three words no man wants to hear.
With a quizzical look on her face, she asked me, "Who was that?"
Ol' Nevah is a regular blood donor. She's given a lot of her blood to help folks who need it. And, bless her for her altruism.
As for me, the blood donor clinics started turning me down as a donor years ago for health reasons. They say I've got bad blood — which wasn't news to me.
Folks have been telling me that most of my life, but I don't think they had donation in mind.
I'll just make one more comment. It would improve my overall health if I could donate fat every month or so — just like they donate blood.
Aren't there a lot of skinny folks who could use my excess fat?
A good friend from Missouri is even older than me, but our levels of nostalgia must be about the same.
Recently, my friend passed along to me the following fond remembrances of days gone by:
"My mom used to cut chicken, chop eggs and spread butter on bread on the same cutting board with the same knife and no bleach or antibacterial wipes, but we didn't seem to get food poisoning.
"Our school sandwiches were wrapped in wax paper or in a baggie with a twist tie, in a brown paper bag, not in ice pack coolers, but I can't remember anyone getting sick from a bacterial infection.
"Almost all of us went swimming in the lake, or the creek or river, or at the beach instead of a pristine pool. We never heard of beach closures then.
"We all took gym class — and risked permanent injury — with a pair of regular old tennis shoes from a department store if we were lucky.
But more likely, we wore hand-me-downs instead of having cross-training athletic shoes with air cushion soles and built in light reflectors that cost as much as a small car.
I can't recall any injuries, but they must have happened because they tell us how much safer we are now.
"We got a spanking for doing something wrong. Parents called it discipline. So did teachers. And, yet, we all grew up to accept the rules and to honor and respect our parents, grandparents, teachers, police officers and older folks.
"We had 50 kids in our class — or more likely 25 kids in all eight grades at a one-room country school with one teacher — and we all learned to read, write, do math and spell almost all the words needed to write a grammatically correct letter. Even in cursive!
"We all said prayers in school irrespective of our religion, sang the national anthem, and daily recited the pledge of allegiance and no one got upset — let alone sued.
"We grew up believing that we were supposed to accomplish something before we were allowed to be proud of ourselves.
"We seldom were bored, even though we were without computers, PlayStation, Nintendo, Xbox, laptops, smart phones, iPods, iPads or 270 digital TV cable stations.
"We weren't bored because — when we weren't working — we went outside and played with the neighbor kids of all ages, made up games and rode our bikes for miles.
Oh yeah, and where were the antibiotics and medical kit when we scraped a knee or got that bee sting? We could have been killed, but we weren't!
We played "King of the Hill" on piles of gravel and when we got hurt mom pulled out the bottle of iodine or red Mercurochrome and then we got our backside spanked.
Now it's a trip to the emergency room, followed by a 10-day dose of antibiotics. Then mom and dad call the lawyer to sue the contractor for leaving a horribly vicious pile of gravel where it was such a threat.
To top it off, not a single person we knew had ever been told that they were from a dysfunctional family. How could we possibly have known that? Yet, we never needed to get into group therapy and/or anger management classes.
We were obviously so duped by so many societal ills that we didn't even notice that the entire country wasn't taking Prozac! How did we ever survive?
Oh, I forgot to mention, everyone owned at least one gun and we kept it in a closet unlocked so we could get to it quickly in an emergency. No one ever got shot.
Well, we did indeed survive and from amongst us came the greatest generation. 'Nuf said. Have a good 'un. ❖