Thursday, October 15, 2020

When Did Old People Become Public Enemy #1

My students used to joke around with me, pointing out how old I was. Like, "You're so old, Jesus signed your yearbook!" And, "You're so old, your Social Security number is 1." Ha ha. I thought those were pretty funny. That might be because I didn't think I was old yet. Even though those 13-17 year-olds KNEW I was.
Well, today it's no joke. I yearn for the days when someone would tell me that my Social Security number was 1, rather than acting like I was PUBLIC ENEMY #1.
Last week, I stopped by Country Mart to pick up some Velveeta (don't be hatin') to put on some broccocaulipeppot. You remember broccocaulipeppot, don't you? My concoction of steamed broccoli and cauliflower, covered with sliced Velveeta, and topped with a face-down, split-open baked potato, then topped with sweet banana pepper rings.

Anyhoo... Country Mart was bought out by another chain in July, and has been rearranging the merchandise. I did not know where to find the Velveeta. I was on my way across the store, on the main front aisle, reading the signs hanging from the ceiling. Wondering if they were the OLD signs, or if they'd also been moved.

On the first aisle to the left, which used to lead to soda displays on the front wall, but now leads to a rack of school supplies, I saw a young man, perhaps early 20s, fiddling with a shelf. He was wearing a dark shirt with a logo, and a dark mask of the kind the employees wear, for a uniform. I didn't know if he worked there. I only recognize a few of them. But he was the only person around.

"You wouldn't know..."

YoungMan looked up at me at the same time I glanced into his cart, which held a case of energy drinks, and a large bag of chips.

"... no, you probably wouldn't."


Sheesh! Gravity did not affect those daggers he shot at me with his eyes, even though I was about 20 feet away. Ouch! Eye-daggers are pointy. I do believe he would have euthanized me on the spot, if he had suitable equipment. Rather than slap me into a nursing home, have me tested for the VIRUS, call 911 for an ambulance to the hospital, and sign papers to put me on a respirator to assure my complete death, all before he could say, "OK, BOOMER."

Whatever happened to society honoring their old folks? Treating them a beloved storytellers of unwritten history? Why can't I be Chinese, a culture which reveres their elders? I mean... except for the part about shoving them, still clinging to life though infected with the VIRUS, into incinerators in Wuhan. [The Truth in Blogging Law requires me to reveal that this might be a conspiracy theory put out as a video of a Chinese woman telling her cab driver what she witnessed.]

Anyhoo... all I did was ask this guy (not even all the way!) if he might know where the Velveeta was. People ask me where stuff is all the time, and I don't even dress like an employee! In fact, a man once asked one of my teaching colleagues HOW TO BAKE A CAKE, while holding a box mix with instructions on the back. So, such a simple interaction is not out of line.

YoungMan could have simply shook his head. Or just said no. He didn't need to react with such vitriol. I was far away, asking a simple half-question. Not sitting on his chest, hands around his throat, interrogating him until he led me to the Velveeta. Maybe he was all hopped-up on energy drinks.
You'd think I might have asked him to take my list and cart and do my shopping, while riding me around in the child seat. Or that I'd asked him to change my Depends. Or that I'd slipped, and expected him to help me up.
What's the thing with these young whippersnappers? Are they are THAT BITTER that they don't have the fancy house, the newest truck, and the big-screen TV all handed to them? That they must actually work a JOB and make payments the rest of their working lives in order to have something? Do they begrudge us our paid-off homes and vehicles and monthly income that we worked for 40 (or more) years to accrue? How DARE we enjoy our golden years! 

That afternoon, I told The Pony about my encounter. He was sitting on the long couch at the time, leaning over my marred coffee table, fingering his phone, as I stood in the kitchen putting away groceries. (Including the Velveeta, which was at the far end of the store, on shelves dedicated to pizza crusts, pizza sauce, and pizza toppings like pepperoni and mushrooms and grated parmesan powder.)

As I was getting to the end of my story, The Pony turned and leaned on the arm of the couch, smirking.
"WHAT? What's that LOOK all about?"

"I was just going to tell you, 'Okay, Boomer.' Right before you got to that part."

I'm tellin' you, mark my words, these young whippersnappers are a blemish upon society. We might as well counter their impertinence with, "Okay, Tumor."


  1. Replies
    1. The shelf-stockers at Country Mart, I guess! I first looked on the cheese aisle, and then on the noodle and sauce aisle. That's where I previously looked for the boxed Chef Boyardee pizza kit, because it USED to be there. But then I found IT on the pizza-making shelf at the end of the store.

      I think in the future, when I can't find something, I'll just go to the pizza-making shelf!

  2. Not all shelf stockers are store employees. I'm willing to bet he doesn't work at the store, but is an employee of the merchandise company and gets sent out to various stores to rearrange their merchandise in a more valuable (to them) way. And fed up with it too by the sounds of it, because of people assuming he works there so knows where everything is. Was he wearing the store uniform?

    1. That's why I said, "No, you probably wouldn't," before I even mentioned Velveeta. I saw the two items in his cart, and gave up hope.

      Off with my head, I guess, for asking a person in the store where something was. Somebody I assumed was not a first-time customer, and might be familiar with where things are now.

      I don't know the exact store uniform. It's a dark knit shirt, with a few buttons and a collar, a small logo on the left chest, and a dark colored mask. Some of them wear their own mask, but most have a dark one that I assume is store issue.

      From his cart, I figured he must be just a customer. I didn't know there were rules about asking customers where things are. I demand full prosecution of people who have asked me such questions in the past!!!

  3. Maybe you should have told him if he could help you would give him a trophy and a juice box!

    Velveeta, a cheese like product, is good on anything. For some reason markets tend to hide it. We get the pre-sliced, though I prefer the brick. I used to have a special knife thing for cutting slices and a Tupperware brick cover...I think I lost them in the divorce.

    1. Well, he might have needed to build a special shed to hold another trophy. I have a feeling there's a room devoted to them somewhere.

      I always get the block. I think I used to have a Tupperware cover! Or maybe I just coveted one I saw at somebody else's house. Velveeta is a favorite at Super Bowl time, when I microwave it with some Save A Lot salsa stirred in for a tasty dip. It also makes the best grilled cheese.

  4. Who knew Velveeta made the best grilled cheese! (Taking notes here!) I haven't bought the "make your own pizza" in awhile, but it would be a good thing to keep around. Something different, and better than frozen, which has that strange mystery "meat" on top that doesn't taste like hamburger or sausage. I used to put hamburger and,(because we're extra-country country folk), cheddar cheese along with that little tin of Parmesian. Really, I think that was the way I convinced my husband to finally eat pizza. (His family never, ever ate pizza -- so I had to ease him along.) Now I just do a frozen Red Baron. I think he's probably grateful that I cook that so he doesn't have to figure out how to turn on the oven...'cause in 54 years, he hasn't. I keep telling him his next wife is in for a shock, but if he gets a next one, he'll probably have figured out a lot of these things!
    I had no clue there were products for "streams"! I am too darned sheltered. Who knows that else I don't know!
    I do know that if anyone calls me "boomer", they'll get a look they won't care for.

    1. When Hick's boys were younger, he made them a lunch of grilled cheese while I was out doing the shopping. I came into the kitchen as they were sitting down to eat.

      HOS (Hick's Oldest Son), pulled back the top piece of bread and asked, "Where's the cheese?" Because a single slice of Kraft American, peeled from the individual wrapper, is NOT able to compete with Velveeta sliced off that quivering block of processed cheese food.