I had one of those Old Guy moments the other day.
First, however, I should point out that I’m not that old. With the average lifespan of a Canadian male now at 81, I’ve got a couple of decades of living left just to hit the average. (Now that I write that down, it sounds kind of terrible.) However, I don’t mind thinking of myself as an Old Guy. Oddly proud of it, even.
Anyway, here’s the story. I went to the library the other day, which is in itself an Old Guy thing to do. Getting out of the car, I was immediately aware of very loud music playing. Was there a concert nearby? Unlikely, as it was about -15C at the time. No, the very loud music was coming from the car next to me.
Inside the car was a kid, probably waiting for his buddy to come out of the nearby hockey arena (or maybe his friend was at the library, which seems unlikely). When I say he was playing his music loud, I don’t really do it justice. Let’s just say he was playing it at Mötorhead levels. Actually, if Mötorhead was playing that loud at a concert, the fans would say: “Hey, guys, would ya turn it down just a smidge?” (Yes, I realize that Mötorhead fans would never us the word ‘smidge’.) I honestly don’t know how the kid survived the decibel onslaught. I thought for a moment that he might have been dead, but the car was gone when I left the library, so I guess not.
Anyway, I was looking at this car with my incredulous face (ask my sons, they recognize it immediately). Just then, I looked up and saw another Old Guy with his wife, also going to the library. He looked younger than me, probably in his 50s, so maybe not quite an Old Guy, but applying for full membership. We exchanged looks. Slight head shakes, maybe a little eye-roll. The other Old Guy said something like “I hope he can hear his music.” I gave an Old Guy chuckle.
“He won’t suffer any hearing loss,” I replied. (What I was saying is that he will suffer hearing loss. I was being sarcastic, which does not translate well in print.)
We chuckled ruefully, which you can only do when you’re Of A Certain Age, mainly because only older people know the word ‘rueful’. I thought that was it, but as we walked into the library, the young Old Guy had one more.
“It’s nice of him to share his music,” he said. I wasn’t expecting this, but clearly I had to reply.
“And such good taste in music,” I said. He laughed, and so did his wife, which was nice.
This ended our Old Guy exchange. It was fleeting, but it was a bit of a spirit lifter. The older you get, the more out of touch with everything you feel. It was just nice to know that there are fellow old guys around who can’t get used to the peculiarities of the 21st century (or even the late 20th for that matter).
My guess is that the young Old Guy went home and related the story of the Future Deaf Kid in the Car to his kids, if he has any. And I’ll bet I know their response:
“Welcome to the 21st century, old man.”