The Old Coot got it backwards

I was swimming at the college pool the other day. When you’re an old coot you have to keep moving or your body will lock up, like the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz who needed an oil job to get him moving. So, I swim and ride a bike, two exercises that help keep me flexible without damaging my knees. Twenty-six years of jogging put mine on the endangered list. I’m striving to keep them out of the operating room.

Anyhow, I came out of the pool, walked across a large and busy parking lot, and caught my reflection in the window as I was getting in the car. It showed a big fish image on the front of my shirt. My memory is pretty good. (Well, it’s okay. It’s not too bad). It was good enough to know the fish is on the back of my shirt, not the front. My shirt was on backwards! I quickly pulled my arms out and turned it around, not daring to look around.

Then, I checked my pants. They were on correctly; my shoes were on the right feet, the socks matched. It’s a problem, this getting dressed business. For old coots! It’s not that we’re stupid; we just get distracted and don’t pay attention to what we’re doing. “Distracted,” you ask, “What on earth could distract an old, unemployed (retired) guy with no kids at home or any actual pressing responsibilities?”  

That’s the problem. With none of those things to occupy our minds we have assumed responsibility for fixing the world around us; complaining about, and pointing out, all of its shortcomings. 

“They” should just leave things alone is what we think, and follow up with a diatribe about how it was done in “My Day.” Then we hop on our cell phones and Google t-shirts that can be worn frontwards or backwards, pants with elastic waistbands, and shoes with built in socks. Never even considering that everything we did was something impossible in “My Day.”   

Yes, we are hypocrites (“spellchecker” helped me spell that right). But still, we have a responsibility to fix modern society. So don’t mind if one of us (Alan for example, now called one-shoe, two-shoe) goes around wearing two different shoes. It just means we’re on the job.  

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