Saturday, April 14, 2007

Old Fart

This morning I left a comment on another post calling someone an old fart, then realizing that the old fart in question was actually my age. Well, now it's official. Today I was declared an Old Fart by people who know their Old Farts -- teenagers.

I was on my way into the gas station to pay for my $1.17/litre gas, when I was accosted by a group of gothy-looking kids. Pretty brave ones, too, since the look on my face after the screwing I'd just endured at the pumps must have been anything but pleasant. But addiction makes people desperate. "Excuse me..." the earnest young faces suddenly crowded around, looking down at me (yeah, down) and said: "Could you please buy us some smokes?"

I was astonished and outraged. "What!? Do I look like the kind of sleaze who'd buy smokes for kids? NO! NO WAY!" I felt a lecture coming on... I tried to stop myself... but it burst forth like a broken water main: "I started smoking when I was your age, and I couldn't quit for over 30 years! 30 years! I probably spent enough on smokes to buy a house! A big one!" No reaction. "And a corvette!" But they were unimpressed; I'd clearly outlived my usefulness. (Hey, at least I didn't tell them about walking 5 miles to school every day in the snow, uphill both ways.) As they were walking away I heard it, uttered with that sneering panache that only a teenager who's never gotten a good asskicking can manage: "Old Fart".

I was about to take exception -- Wait a minute, I'm the one who calls people old farts. I'm the giver, not the receiver, of that particular epithet. But I suddenly caught a glimpse of myself reflected in the plate glass window, and sure enough, it was my mother looking back at me (my mother in camo yoga pants and an oversize Stanfield's underwear top -- on top of everything else, I dress like a homeless person).

And so it goes, as Vonnegut would say. The torch has been passed this day, and I guess I'll have to start giving a flying fuck about my lawn since my new place in the Circle of Life is on the front porch yelling at kids to stay off it.