I never thought it would come to this.
For years I’ve been aware of select groups of, shall we say, older gentlemen who gather on a daily basis at one of the local fast food joints for a couple of hours of fellowship and casual conversation. On numerous occasions I had been invited to join them, but since I did not consider myself old enough to qualify for the popular title of “geezer” I politely declined. Besides, when they told me what time they normally gathered in the morning, I would tell them that I wouldn’t get up that early to judge the Miss Nude America contest. However, with the passage of time things have changed.
For years on a regular basis a friend and I would meet at his place of business for a cup of coffee and jaw for an hour or two on what we did the previous day and voice our opinions on local and national politics. Even though nothing significant had happened since the last cup of coffee, we could blow the simplest subject completely out of proportion to its importance. For instance, the matter of a flock of pigeons that kept the sidewalks and the occasional head decorated could take an hour to solve. Shotgun ‘em, poison ‘em, put steel spikes on the window ledges of the court house. Make a little spending cash by dressing ‘em out and selling fresh squab ready to bake.The good part was, he and I seldom met before 10 a.m. Then he told me he had been meeting the “guys” at one of the local cholesterol factories for quite a while and invited me to join them. “We’re normally there before 7 a.m.,” he said.
The next morning I fell out of bed at 6 a.m. and headed for my first encounter with the Over The Hill Gang. There are gangs that meet at a couple of other joints in town, but before I made a choice I would check these guys out and decide to either stick with them or move in with another group, say local business men or a bunch of lawyers. After getting a cup of coffee at the geezer discount, I sat down among a few familiar faces who were dressed in worn coveralls and ratty cowboy hats that they had undoubtedly received as Christmas gifts on their 16th birthday, threadbare jackets with the logo of the company they used to work for, and no introductions to the fellows I didn’t know. A stray dog accepted into the pack.