Sunday, November 28, 2010

New Routine

Saturday mornings I hit the local Micky D's. Yesterday was nice because I ran into an acquaintance I hadn't seen in some time, or at least since the economy went south. He had his own financial consulting firm and I'd thought about him in random moments watching the bears and bulls of Wall Street make like lemmings from the side of an embankment.

I always hoped he was okay but feared he wasn't. We both sort of got our wish, I guess, as he's now got a new business as a personal trainer and seems to be happy and doing well. I'm not sure how you transition from one career to another like that, but I guess that's another definition of agility and any landing you can walk away from is a good one, I suppose.

He was heading out to see a client and I grabbed a table and chair and was grateful, in the event there's an earthquake, that both are bolted securely to the floor. That Ronald, he thinks of everything. I was near, though not part of, a group of guys rehashing the world order over senior coffees (the logic behind who gets one and the explanation as to why it's not quite a small but not really a medium makes as much sense as a golden oldie from Donovan; okay, maybe not) but the boys were wailing yesterday.

Of course, we were talking about Black Friday, to include two guys who had NO idea what the phrase meant (didn't stop them from chiming in). One of them was watching the plasma screen in the corner that was tuned to the Chinese news station that has started popping up on cable systems all across the country. I have the funny feeling he doesn't get that either.

Then one of them discovered the nutrition information on the tray liner was written in English and Spanish and it was off to the races or should I say y estaba apagado a las razas. There was a torrent of 'back in the day' stories and a heaping helping of 'if people want to live here they should learn to speak English' which, especially this close to Thanksgiving I always find amusing (it was the Pilgrims, let's remember, who were the interlopers and who made ZERO effort to learn their host's language and had no regard for the customs of any of the natives). History and who gets to write it, comes to mind which may have something more to do with that Chinese language newscast than most of us would like to admit.

With such a conversational table-setter it is was a relatively short leap to an analysis of the current occupant of the White House, for whom none of the the guys knocking back the senior coffees had voted, with his 'socialized health care coverage' that will kill, long or short term, all of them. I waited, I confess somewhat hopefully, but no one dropped (or even wobbled) while I was sitting there. Still, I live in hope, which is where another former resident of the White House hails. They didn't vote for him either.

Some of us then discussed death panels, while others got upset about how this health care no one wants is being paid for by Social Security and that what this country needed was another Franklin Roosevelt, whom I'm pretty sure, the guys at the table didn't know had been the original mad refrigerator for socialized health care and who was also the father of Social Security. At least two of the crew were Korean War veterans and offered a distressingly original combination of foreign policy and applied nuclear armament as a solution that was oddly appealing in its directness and simplicity.

All the usual suspects and subjects came up as topics and I'm wondering if I monitor the Saturday Sessions if I won't discover in six months or so that the topics never change, only the guys sitting on the chairs nearest the drive-through window. I'm so sick of this place, I'm so ready for a change of pace. I'm just looking for a new routine. And then I look in the mirror at the face of the young wise-guy who's not nor is he so smart and wonder if I should pay closer attention the next time the hostess explains those senior coffees. That kind of information can make or break a guy's Saturday morning.
-bill kenny

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