Even though I am flying out to Champaign today, I got up early to get my exercises, a workout and walk in before my flight; (take that, Mr. "Are You Sure You're Working Hard Enough and Doing All Your Exercises?" Neurologist!). Since I had to get some American money out of my Canadian account, I took a stroll up to the local bank, figuring I could also hit up the nearby Starbucks for my pre-flight chai-latte fix.
At first, the stroll seemed to be going well. I even out-paced a group of people on the street and had to pass them. Now, granted, this group of people were blitzed out of their trees and had actually slowed down to pass a joint and I suspect I got a contact high just from being in a one-mile radius. And, granted, they were morbidly obese and probably didn't do the whole "walking" thing too often and were complaining about being hung over from the night before...but still! I felt a little jolt of pride as I power-limped past them, my cane flashing brilliantly in the sun.
Alas, the moment of pride turned out to be short-lived. As I approached the bank, I found myself walking side by side with an elderly man--complete with sweater vest, hearing aid and droopy eye--using a walker. Every time I would try to speed up to pass him, he would speed up. I would speed up. He would speed up. It was like we were in the Olympics running the 100 meter dash...except very, very slowly and without spandex or bovine growth hormones. I've got to hand it to him: the old bugger had a lot of pep left in him. He was not going to be bested by some chick with a cane. I was just about to exert a final effort when he turned to me and said loudly, "Out of my way...bitch!"
Check. And. Mate. You don't mess around with old guys. They've got 80 years of resentment built up in them and unless you want to be on the receiving end of a shank made out of a back scratcher or a World War Two army rifle, you better step off. I slowed down (mostly out of shock) and the old guy jetted off across the street towards the Tim Horton's. Buddy was likely jonesing for some timbits and a double-double and I was standing between him and deep-fried, sugar-coated goodness.
As he left, you could just see the gleam in his eye. He probably hasn't out-run anyone since the Reagan Administration and this would make a fine tale for his cronies back at The Elks Lodge or the care home. So, if you come across an old guy sitting on a park bench and trying to relate to you the story of how he put some young uppity girl in her place by showing her what true speed looks like, just nod and smile. Yes, that's me. Making old guys feel good about themselves since 1982. I'm kind of like the Mother Theresa of the Elderly Male Ego. It's just one of the many services I offer.