Blades to the head can’t stop old people from being badass
Earlier this week, 86-year-old Leroy Luetscher temporarily became my idol. The Arizona pensioner was reportedly enjoying a spot of gardening when a freak accident left a pair of garden shears lodged in his eye socket. That’s right, his eye socket.
The handle went past his eye and through his neck, eventually resting on his external carotid artery, leaving him to walk around like some sort of Edward Scissor-Face.
Luetscher, who is expected to make a full recovery, said he was “grateful to the doctors and staff” and left it at that. No blog. No finger-pointing. No attempt to use the incident to become a breakfast radio star or get a retweet from Snooki. The guy was all class and dignity. Elderly blokes like Luetscher make Jack “check out my one arm push-ups” Plance seem like no big deal.
Whether it’s a generational thing or something that has more to do with age and experience, older folk - both male and female - are just plain tough.
Those of us who are yet to spy a fleck of grey can only look at our soft hands and massage receipts and hope that we, too, can someday be as stoic as these tough old bastards.
Take, for instance, the elderly gentlemen who used to regularly appear at a popular Cairns nightclub, dancing shirtless with drink in hand and nipple piercings proudly displayed.
Sure, his Charlton Heston-meets-Xerxes look attracted a few odd stares, but it also drew a certain level of respect. There’s something distinctly and universally cool about the ancient art of “not giving a damn”. Something in his eyes said, “yeah? So? When you’re my age, I’ll be long dead. And I still won’t give a damn”.
Then, of course, there’s my Granny, who has steadfastly and inexplicably refused to consume even a teaspoon of yoghurt for more than 70 years, forcing my aunties to sneak it into various curries and deserts.
Whereas most people would have relented to decades of having yoghurt-filled spoons waved in their faces, good ol’ Granny still consistently responds with an emphatic and fiery “no”– and, on odd occasions, a random Swahili song.
These people don’t take to Twitter when they find themselves at the receiving end of lousy customer service, they extend a dry, crooked index finger at the fool in question and give them a proper serve, before using said finger to shoot imaginary Zeppelins out of the sky and win the war before Christmas.
Old people are badass. If a cloud dares float across the moon on a particularly pretty night, you can almost feel thousands of wrinkled fists shake at the night sky and hiss curses at the Bureau of Meteorology.
The old guy you see quietly sitting on a bench outside and nursing a newspaper outside Woolies isn’t ignoring you because he’s rude - he’s tired from a tough morning of “giving hippies what for”.
Personally, I can’t wait to be a stonily-silent old man. You can all look forward to me mowing my lawn in just my undies every single afternoon. And by mowing, I mean yelling at plants. I’ll tell babies to get haircuts and grown men to “stop walking around like some damn computer salesman”.
Of course, many among you will no doubt say that Gen Yers are destined to become whiny, self-indulgent wusses in their twilight years.
Well, just remember that many, many years ago, some tough old bastard said the same about you.
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