Welcome To Geezer City!
(Where Geezers Are State of the Art.)
There comes a time in every columnistâ€™s life when you realize that you are indeed getting older, a time when you feel you must â€œventâ€ just like your father or grandfather did before you. If you are a â€œbaby boomerâ€, like myself and my compatriots, then maybe you remember your grandfather harping about how â€œbread used to be five cents a loaf”, and how â€˜we didnâ€™t have any of that fancy …….â€ you fill in the rest. No doubt, you also had a father, or perhaps an uncle, who â€œwalked sixteen miles to school in raging snowstormsâ€. Of course, you knew right away that dad, or uncle was full of horse manure, but you had to play along. Besides that, grandma told you the truth later, when dad or uncle were well out of audible range.
Well, I think my time has indeed come. The other day, someone circulated something by email, about how this yearâ€™s incoming freshmen were mostly born in 1985, and that none of them has ever had to deal with such things as school dress codes, or a parent saying something like â€œbe quick, itâ€™s long distance!â€ or the often used â€œdo you think Iâ€™m made of money?â€ when you wanted some cool toy or something. (Todayâ€™s parents, as near as I can figure, donâ€™t use that line. Instead, they max out their credit cards, and when they are maxed out, they simply apply for more. And they get them, no problem at all.) The email tidbit went on to mention how these freshmen had never been without cellular telephones, computers, or MTV. They cannot imagine a television program not being broadcast in color, or any household not having at least three televisions.
That bit about the phone got me to thinking some. I must ask myself, are you a geezer? I know that I am well on my way to geezer city, but what about you? Well, maybe you are, and maybe you are not. Thereâ€™s only one-way to find out, isnâ€™t there? With that in mind, I offer up Bruce Blackâ€™s totally uncertified Geezer Test! Below, youâ€™ll find twelve hypothetical situations or questions from everyday life. One answer for each question indicates that you are a geezer, or at the very least, you are on the road to geezer city. The other two answers are answers, which would be chosen by â€œnon-geezersâ€. Take the test, and good luck.
Question 1. What ominous words of warning were at one time, printed in bold typeface, on the bottom of every telephone, in everyoneâ€™s house, everywhere, without exception?
A. â€œA genuine Microsoft Product.â€
B. â€œRadio Shack. Made in Chinaâ€.
C. â€œBell System Property. Not For Sale.â€
Question 2. Who Sang â€œThe Rain, The Park, and Other Things?â€
A. Britney Spears.
B. 50 Cent.
C. The Cowsills.
Question 3. â€œFor Good Nutrition, you should eat….â€ (From a black and white health film which was actually shown in grade schools across the country, circa 1963.)
A. Only low-fat, high Fiber foods from the base of the Food Pyramid.
B. Only organic vegetables from collective farms and food â€œCo-opsâ€.
C. â€œThree helpings of red meat every dayâ€.
Question 4. You are on a family vacation in the family station wagon. Dad needs a road map. Where can he get one?
A. From a specialized â€œMap Boutiqueâ€ at the nearest shopping mall, where his map will be â€œpersonalizedâ€ with a carrying case with his name on it, priced at $21.95 and up.
B. From amazon.com.
C. From a gas station, where maps are given away for free to customers, and anyone else who needs one. The smartly uniformed attendant is very courteous, and glad to help.
Question 5. You are in the grocery store with mom, and you start to misbehave. Momâ€™s response is to:
A. Kneel down, and tell you in a quiet voice that â€œwhen we go home, weâ€™ll sit down and discuss you feelings, is that alright?â€
B. Say â€œNow you know we donâ€™t do those things. Remember what we discussed about your aggression. You need a time outâ€.
C. Grab you by the arm; right at the shoulder, and say in a loud, firm voice, â€œYou are in trouble, misterâ€. Mom then proceeds to drag you out of the store, and lock you in the car. Mom does not get trouble with the police for doing this, and other shoppers admire mom for disciplining you. Your arm and shoulder hurt like hell.
Question 6. The words â€œFallout Shelterâ€ on a yellow and black sign on a building mean what?
A. That the building is a music store, and â€œFallout Shelterâ€ is the latest grunge band from Seattle.
B.”Fallout”” Shelter” is the latest group of protesters, sort of like the â€œAnarchyâ€ group. They toss trashcans through the windows of Starbucks, they burn flags, and they fight with cops, to make a political statement.
C. The building contains a fallout shelter, designed to protect large numbers of people from radioactive fallout particles. They are to be used in the event of a nuclear strike by an enemy power.
Question 7. You have heard a cool sounding piece of music on the radio. You quickly write down the title, and decide you need to have it. The correct course of action would be to:
A. Log in to, or one of the totally illegal share sites, and download it to your PC. Hey, theyâ€™ll never catch you, and that makes it OK, right?
B. Buy it at the iTunes Music store for the very reasonable price of 99 cents. You are a Mac user, and you know that Steve Jobs is absolutely right when he says, â€œDonâ€™t steal music.â€
C. Head to the local record shop on Main street, where they owner knows most of his customers by first name, and buy the â€œ45â€. While there, you want to pick up some more â€œspidersâ€ for your other 45s.
Question 8. The most popular house in the neighborhood, the house where all the kids want to hang out at is:
A. The one where Mom is divorced, and she encourages everyone to just walk around naked.
B. The one where the parents are never home on weekends, and dad doesnâ€™t keep careful tabs on the booze.
C. The one where they have a (Gasp!) Color TV, and they let the kids watch â€œRowan and Martinâ€™s Laugh-Inâ€.
Question 9. â€œDuck and Coverâ€ means to do what?
A. Slip out the back of the illegal rave club when the cops show up.
B. Slip out the nearest exit when you see the police and school principal searching your locker for drugs, guns, knives, and pornography. You don’t what their problem is, because all the kids have these things.
C. To squat down and shield your face from flying debris and the â€œnuclear flashâ€, if and when we are attacked by an enemy power.
Question 10. You are a ten-year-old boy. Mom has just caught you with a copy of Playboy Magazine. You are about to.
A. Receive a long, stern lecture on womenâ€™s rights, and how you, as a male, cannot objectify women based on their gender.
B. Be sent to a mandatory class in â€œsensitivity trainingâ€ for ten-year-old boys.
C. Get whacked repeatedly on the behind, screamed at, yelled at, and made to stand in a corner until your father gets home, at which time â€œyouâ€™ll really get it then mister!â€ (Dad’s reaction is not nearly as violent as mom’s though.)
Question 11. You need to buy some batteries. Batteries may be purchased:
A. Only in â€œblister packsâ€ containing an odd-numbered quantity.
B. Only from the Home Depot, since all the other hardware shops in town are now closed for good.
C. At almost any store, from plastic chutes right near the register. You may buy any quantity you need. When you take a battery, the rest slide down the chute.
Question 12. You could be sent home from school for wearing what?
A. A baseball hat, worn backwards.
B. Gang clothes, or a t-shirt with the â€œF Wordâ€, in huge letters, on it.
C. â€œDungareesâ€. (Except for a â€œfield tripâ€)
A. “Dungarees”. (Except for a â€œfield tripâ€)
B. Slacks. (Except for a medical excuse.)
C. A skirt more than two inches above the knee.
Okay, so howâ€™d you do? If you answered with more than six of the â€œCâ€ answers, you are well on the road to geezer city. Weâ€™ll be expecting you. When you arrive, (any second now) pull up a chair. Have a nice bowl of fiber. Your reading glasses are ready. If you picked mostly â€œAâ€ or â€œBâ€ answers, congrats, you have a way to go yet. The only exception is question 12, where each answer is correct. Thatâ€™s right kids, there was a time when wearing blue jeans to school was a big no-no. Not to worry, your time is coming. Assuming theyâ€™re still publishing â€œTrivial Pursuitâ€ in twenty years, you can look forward to reading the names of Britney Spears and 50 cent on the backs of the cards.
Aside from all that, thereâ€™s no real way to score this test. Doesnâ€™t matter though, weâ€™re old geezers, so we don’t have to care.