Wednesday, April 4, 2018

No Countenance for Old Men

There are many advantages to working at home.

I shave rarely. And only when the itching gets unbearable.

My sock drawer has gone untouched for weeks.

And I don't go to bi-daily creative check ins. With Planners, ACD's or account people, who are so new to the business they have never, ever, not once, been associated with an award winning campaign.

I also get to spend time with Lucy, my new rescue dog who has frightfully bonded with me and begins to experience separation anxiety the moment I close the door to the bathroom in order to "dump all my shares of Hometown buffet."

The cure for that is a good training walk. And Lucy loves to go for a walk. Consequently, I spend a lot of time strolling the neighborhood. And that's when I run into them -- the old crotchety guys who have outlived their poor wives and want to talk.

My neighborhood, built in the late 40's to accommodate returning soldiers and the various craftspeople that worked up the street at MGM Studios (now Sony), is crawling with these lonely  widowers. And don't get me wrong, I'm more than willing to do what Larry David calls the "Stop and Chat."

Years ago, I met an old Marine who would tell me fascinating tales of his battles in the South Pacific. I even wrote about him for the Huffington Post.

My problem is with some of the other gents who have the annoying habit of turning the Stop and Chat into a Stop and Bloviate. Usually about the damn Mexicans. The no good n****r's. And of course, the global, elitist Jews.

Part of me wants to put my foot down and straighten these old geezers out.

"Listen buddy, I don't take kindly to racially disparaging remarks. And I find your attitudes unacceptable. It's wrong. It's stupid. And it reflects more poorly on you than any kind of stereotype you want to project on other people."

But I don't do that.

I nod my head. I grin through my gritting teeth. And I find a reason to cut the conversation short before these fuckers launch into Archie Bunker mode. Because years ago I learned the futility of trying to bring these old men around.

We had a 74 year old man who lived across the street. A fascinating guy from the greatest generation. He fought in the big war. Mowed his own yard. Even patched some old shingles on his aging roof. The guy was a rock.

One day, as he was trotting out the old well worn complaints, he let something slip about Jews. I stopped him before he went Full Kike on me and said...

"You know Leo, Deb and I are Jewish."

Leo: "Yeah, but you're one of the good ones."

OK, we're done here.

1 comment:

gl said...

Laughing about anti-semitism is our Jewish birthright.