Monday, November 8, 2010

Old People Are Assholes

In the Fall of 2006 I took a job in Hilton Head, SC and moved my wife and dalmatian from the hustle and bustle of Atlanta.  I now drive 5 minutes to work, run my own department with a flexible schedule, live in a quiet Charleston-style community that makes Pleasantville seem like a ghetto, and spend more time at the beach in one summer than most people do in their entire lifetimes.  And if there's one thing this sweet hide-away island has taught me...Old people are complete assholes.
Last year I had finally gotten fed up with their dirty looks, pissy attitudes and horrible driving.  You see, until the recent influx of growing business brought a few younger folks here, HHI was a retirement destination for some of the wealthier grey-hairs of the world who hate crowds, tourists and young people.  But that has changed.  And these retirees are not happy.  So last year I told my wife I was going to just start looking people in the eye and saying "fuck you".  Literally.  So I did.
It started at my bank.  I got a dirty look from the female teller, as I turned to walk away from the line I stopped.  Then turned back to her, leaned over the counter and whispered "fuck you".  I was so pleased with myself that I actually rang the bell on the way out.  You know, the one that says "ring bell if you had great service".  It felt liberating to say the least.
The next day an old lady bumped me with her cart in the grocery store.  "Fuck you".
A few days after that an 80-something year old raced me off the line at the stop light.  As her 2008 Cadillac screamed off the line, I just sort of pulled out with a look of bewilderment on my face.  Please note that I have a 6.2L V8 supercharger under the hood.  So she was having fun in her Cadi...big deal.  Until she decided to cut me off further up the road, I mean within inches of my bumper.  I slowly pulled up next to her, rolled down my window and proceeded to tell her to "fuck off".  The guy behind me at the light witnessed this and gave me the stink-eye.  I told him to fuck off as well.
I was so amused at the looks on their faces after each "fuck you" I handed out.  It was awesome!  Just these old wrinkled, blank looks of surprise.
My wife has since made me stop this practice, but it was fun while it lasted.  And lately I've put a lot of thought into why some old people are just assholes.


Now, before everyone starts to think I'm just the world's biggest dirtbag, I'm not.  I'm a genuinely nice guy that just has very little patience for the human condition.  I'm a Darwinist.  The plight of others doesn't affect me the way it does most people.  I see the world for what it is.  So shoot me.  
I have, however, cracked the mystery on why The Greatest Generation hates the world.  

My grandfather served in WWII, he was part of the 3rd wave to hit Omaha Beach on D-Day.  His twin brother stormed Juno beach just hours before.  They both survived.  And it was a God-damned bloodbath.  The American public would never stomach such a day in current times.  We've gotten far too soft, but that's for another blog.  But to the Greatest Generation, it was their greatest hour.  At home, my grandmother was working in a factory in Troy, NY making bullets, tank armory and combat communications hardware.  This was one hard-core bunch.  



This was the generation that decided blacks had a right to vote.  They discovered penicillin in 1941, and figured out how to split an atom shortly after.  They made unemployment disappear after being born during the Great Depression.  They treated communism as a disease and lynched everyone who so much as smelled like socialism, even Alger Hiss was demonized after the dude played a major role in putting the New Deal in place.  This was the generation that saved the country from mass illiteracy with the Servicemen's Readjustment Act (G.I. Bill of Rights) which entitled returning soldiers with an education. And believe it or not, they invented computers!  
With all of this in mind, it's easy to put yourself in an old person's shoes and look around at the infrastructure, transportation, education and power of the United States.  The world was turned on its axis following WWII when the U.S. and U.S.S.R. emerged as the two world super-powers.  They now look outside their windows everyday and think to themselves, "we built this.  We built all of this." 
There is a sense of entitlement, ownership and pride that the Greatest Generation has when it sees the world around them.  Something you and I will never fathom, or for that matter, feel.  We were born into this.  What they created from scratch we see as something that was always there, something we're accustomed to.  And quite frankly, we treat it like complete shit.  We sit on our couches and complain about unemployment rates and food stamps.  That sounds like lollipops and chocolates to a generation that survived gas-shortages, bread lines, and war.  And I mean WAR.  416,800 American servicemen were killed in WWII.  65 million people worldwide lost their lives.  But the greatest military empires ever to threaten America were staring back at us.  And we fought back, ultimately thwarting the world's greatest evil without so much as asking for a "thanks", let alone a "fuck you".  

So I begin to understand their attitudes and the disappointment the generation sees in its younger off-spring.  We'll never truly know what building a nation is like.  Or what saving that nation from the greatest threat to mankind is like.  The pride of older folks in this country is amazing, and we take it for granted.  All of it.  The simplest little thing that sixty years ago was an impossibility, we take for granted.  

I remind myself of all these things when I see "the old" acting ridiculous.  I take a moment to remember my own grandparents and the sacrifices they made for all of us.  Then, I remember what assholes they were...God rest their souls.  
  

8 comments:

  1. True story. I have old buddy that got back from his third tour over seas. I suggested as a way to reintegrate him into society that we go to the gym four times a week and talk to at least two people. So Its Thursday and Im headed out the door at 8:20 to meet up at 9:00 sharp. This older fellow that I was following was going 10 under the posted speed limit so I pass him and he floors it but really its no trouble I have older G5 GT so I regardless whatever possess him to slam on it, I passed him with ease. So I'm on Route 6 Near brown road in Morris IL and I see flashing lights in my rear view mirror. I'm thinking "Okay what'd I do" Turned out nothing Just the officer Pavlick ran my plates and figured he'd say hello. He dated my older sister back in high school. So we're shooting the shit and the elderly gentleman pulls thinking I'm getting a ticket and blurts out that I must be intoxicated because I passed him in a no passing zone. Clearly pissed at the fact no ticket his being issued he peels out as if he were 16 and off his leash. I had maybe four miles to go and twenty minutes left. So we just shot the shit for maybe ten minutes before leaving. The only thing that really bothers me is that he went out of his way to act like an ass hole. I miss the southern states for this reason. All the elderly people are much more pleasant to be around. The northerners are nothing short of assholes with nothing to keep them occupied. Fuck that guy.

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    1. I live in the south. Old people are utter douche bags down here to. I'm in North Carolina, the whole state is nothing but a retirement center for elderly northerners. However, it's not just the northern old people. It's the southern old people as well, old people are rude and obnoxious no matter where you go.

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  2. Fuck my grandparents they are racist toward black people and my grandparents are Filipino and they are arrogant and fuck over people and they go to church every Sunday and they think they are better than everyone because They are middle class and think god only wants to help them fuck them

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  5. Why does everyone always act as if old people all got together and decided to build a nation? There have always been a variety of people. "Hard workers", and couch potatoes, violent pricks, etc. and trust me, everyone you meet who happens to be old did not fight in a war or make bullets or was born during the previous depression. The generation that built up our nation gave birth to a generation that collapsed our economy and left my generation either over-worked or unemployed. Plus, America has been at war pretty much none stop since we became a nation, I think the number of years we haven't been at war with someone is about 12. There are tons of people today still fighting and dying in war, yet somehow only the old are seen as hard working, nation building, respectable folk.

    Pretty much all the history stuff you listed was a simplified generalization excluding many factors and points in history where these old peoples generation dropped the ball.

    You seem to respect that they were the generation that "decided" black people were now allowed to vote and it comes off as if you think these were the only people repressed. We still have PLENTY of people who are discriminated against because of either some way they look or because of sexual preferences. Yet, you give no credit to todays generation who are continuing to fight the bigotry from these elderly people's generation. Also, we're still building a nation, the work doesn't stop because one generation got too old to keep building it. We simply have more shit to deal with now than our parents generation because they were stupid just like every generation is and was. People always think they are either better or smarter than others when in reality we are simply different.

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  6. I agree with Nicole. The generation wrote about, were hard working people. HOWEVER, they had NO idea how to raise children and practically ignored their and left them with no training. My Dad was one of those children, his mother didn't train him and his father literally beat the crap out of him and my grandmother weekly.

    Those children born from the "Greatest Generation" didn't stand a chance, and when left to their own devices figured out how to survive own their own. They created their own ideas and their own morals (aka. hippies) and those ideas were the ideas that ended up crashing our economy. The idea that you can do what you want and get away with it ruined out nation. However, it all began with the "greatest generation" being complete dicks.

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