Geezers in a conversation about news

Column by Mary Stobie
Posted 1/22/19

Editor’s note: This is part five of a series of columns. At the Geezer Recreation Center there is a table with newspapers, sofas and chairs. After yoga I’m ready to write my next Geezer column in …

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Geezers in a conversation about news

Posted

Editor’s note: This is part five of a series of columns.

At the Geezer Recreation Center there is a table with newspapers, sofas and chairs. After yoga I’m ready to write my next Geezer column in longhand on a yellow lined pad.

Two grey haired men sit on the couch across from me. The geezer with the newspaper I’ll call Ron and the other one Pete.

Pete: Ron, Every time I see you after yoga you are reading the newspaper.

Ron: You don’t read the paper?

Pete: No. My doctor said my blood pressure is too high. He knows I worry about burglars, kidnappings, and explosions. He suggested I stop watching the news or reading the paper.

Ron: How do you know what’s going on?

Pete: From word of mouth.

Ron: I have to know the news. (Puts paper down.) I even get news alerts on my iPhone from CNN.

Pete: That sounds awful. I don’t have a cell phone. Don’t want one.

Ron: Are you a Luddite?

Pete: What’s a Luddite?

Ron: Anyone opposed to technology and progress. It started in England when people were opposed to machines taking their jobs.

Pete: Yes, I’m a Luddite. That’s me. We’re getting too much new technology — it boggles my mind. Who can keep up with it? And the news these days is more than I want or need to know. Like which president is sleeping with which woman.

Ron: I’m a journalist. I need to know that stuff — all of it.

I read the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and the Denver Post.

Pete: Good for you.

Ron: You must need email?

Pete: Heck no. What would I need if for? I use snail mail. If I need to book a flight my daughter does it for me.

I enjoy keeping life simple.

Ron: (looking at paper again) That’s good but what do you think about the new U.S. Congress?

Pete: Nothing. It’s none of my business.

Ron: I’d be embarrassed at a dinner party if I didn’t know current events.

Pete: Since my wife died five years ago, I just go to church socials.

She and I were registered with a political party but not anymore. If I say I’m a Democrat, I get teased, and if I say I’m a Republican I get razzed, and if I say I vote Independent they say, “That’s a waste of your vote.”

Last time I voted for a president was Ronald Reagan.

I liked when he talked on TV. He was a movie star. I loved him in Hellcats of the Navy and Bedtime for Bonzo.

Ron: The current president was a TV star.

Pete: Really? What shows?

Ron: Naked City, and Mickey Mouse Club.

Pete: He can’t be that old. You’re razzing me.

Ron: (laughs) Do you vote in local, state or county elections?

Pete: No, because I don’t know who’s running for dogcatcher, regents, judges, blah, blah, blah.

Ron: I see.

Pete: I’m just fine since I stopped reading or watching the hard news. Life is good.

Ron: Good for you, Pete. Do you need a ride home?

Pete: No, I walked here.

Ron: OK then.

They leave.

I thought about the two men. Ron certainly was better informed than Pete. But Pete seemed more relaxed and happy. I considered searching on Netflix for Bedtime for Bonzo.

Mary Stobie Mary welcomes email comments and suggestions on her Geezer series at mry_jeanne@yahoo.com. Stobie is the author of the humorous memoir You Fall Off, You Get Back On. You can buy a copy at the Boulder Bookstore on the Pearl Street Mall or online at: www.boulderbookstore.net/book/9780692301135.

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