Old Folks

A crowded seafood joint. Everyone is eating. The sound of George Jones is blasting over the speakers.

The elderly couple next to me is shouting with such strong voices that I can hardly keep my mind on my own thoughts. Both of these people are wearing hearing aids and using voices loud enough to register on the Richter Scale.

The waitress brings their food then leaves. The old man looks at his food and hollers to his wife. The conversation goes like this:

OLD MAN: Honey, I asked for this burger to be cooked WELL DONE, this is rare.

OLD WOMAN: Just eat it. It won’t kill you. Besides, you used to like it rare.

HIM: I also used to like spicy food and raw oysters, but you don’t see me eating them anymore.

HER: When did you quit eating oysters?

HIM: Ever since Roger Collins ate them and came down with the gingivitis.

HER: That’s not how you say it. It’s not gingivitis.

HIM: Whatever, I don’t eat raw oysters. They’re gross. Gingivitis kills people. His doctor said he and Shirley can’t have kids anymore.

HER: Shirley is almost eighty.

HIM: Still.

HER: And it’s not gingivitis you get from oysters, you dummy. It’s MENINGITIS. Don’t you know anything?

HIM: It’s been thirty years since I had an oyster. My dad always said never to eat them in months that begin with “R.”

—LONG PAUSE—

HER: There are no months that begin with “R. And the expression is about months that END in “R.”

HIM: So then I can eat all I want in August and July?

HER: Yes.

HIM: And May and June?

HER: And March. Now eat your hamburger.

HIM: What about April?

HER: What about it?

HIM: Roger ate his oysters in April and got his conjunctivitis.

HER: It’s not conjunctivitis, how many times do I have to tell you? It’s GINGIVITIS. Our food’s getting cold.

HIM: I’m not eating this burger. Look at all this blood swimming on my plate.

HER: That’s not blood, that’s just the juice.

HIM: When I squeeze it, it moos at me. (Laughs at his own joke.)

HER: Don’t squeeze it then.

HIM: How am I supposed to eat it if I don’t hold it in my hands and squeeze it a little? Like this. MOOOO. (Laughs again.)

HER: Quit playing with your food. What are you, ten years old?

HIM: I’m sending this raw cow back.

HER: Don’t you dare embarrass me.

HIM: Where’s the waitress?

HER: I swear to God, if you call that poor waitress over here, I’m leaving, and I’m not coming back. So help me…

HIM: Fine. Leave. See if I care. I’ll just call myself a Grüber.

HER: A what?

HIM: It’s a free taxi service, you get it with cellphones. You call them and they have to come get you. It’s the law. Just like free antibiotics and insulin.

—THEY STARE AT EACH OTHER—

HER: I have an idea. Let’s trade plates. I’m sick of hearing you whine. You eat my shrimp salad, I’ll eat the godforsaken burger.

—COUPLE TRADES PLATES—

HIM: Wait. Don’t take my fries. I’m keeping my French fries.

HER: No hell you’re not.

HIM: But they’re mine.

HER: You agreed to trade plates, so you have to live with the consequences. It’s not right to ask someone to eat a burger without fries.

HIM: At least split them with me.

HER: No.

HIM: Please?

HER: Order your own dang fries.

HIM: Those WERE my fries.

HER: I’m eating MY burger now.

HIM: What kinda salad dressing is this supposed to be? It looks weird.

HER: They call it a house vinaigrette.

HIM: I want ranch.

HER: So?

HIM: Can you call the waitress for me?

HER: What am I, your mother?

HIM: Just let me have one French fry. Just one.

HER: You better move that hand away from my plate or you’re gonna wake up with a crowd of people around you. They won’t be able to get the fork out of your backside without performing surgery.

HIM: Just one little fry.

HER: (Raises hand and flags waitress.)

WAITRESS: Yes, ma’am? What can I get you?

HER: It’s my husband. I am about to gag him with a napkin. Can you bring him an order of fries?

WAITRESS: Yes, ma’am.

HIM: Wait! One more thing, ma’am.

WAITRESS: Yes?

HIM: Gimme an order of raw oysters, too, please.

Dear God, let us live long enough to be old folks.

49 comments

  1. Beanie Lehigh - November 22, 2022 7:02 am

    Thank you, Sean! Thisis my husband and me! I’m still laughing! I’ll be laughing all day! 🤗

    Reply
  2. Nazem - November 22, 2022 8:22 am

    Amen 🙏
    Awesome old couple 💑

    Reply
  3. Pubert Earle Bozemann - November 22, 2022 10:05 am

    Sean, Gramps was right! Eating them raw oysters is liable to make you pick up something that you can’t put down. Something Chlorox won’t wash off! Yet and still. Them suckers is good. Sounds like me and my Ole lady over at the Shrimp Basket! I remember when we’d go on vacation to Panama City as a little kid, Daddy would always sat “Don’t worry bout the shrimp boat Mama, I’m coming home with the crabs!” By the way. It’s gastroenteritis! Or Hepatitis if yore down on your luck!

    Your friend

    Pubert

    Reply
  4. KATY @ 7 am - November 22, 2022 11:00 am

    💕🥳 Oh dear! You can not make this up! It’s as good as Burns and Allen ! 🥰

    Reply
  5. WayneGina Yount - November 22, 2022 11:15 am

    🤣🤣🤣

    Reply
  6. Anne Arthur - November 22, 2022 11:33 am

    It’s early morning and I am laughing out loud. This is too good. I cannot stop giggling.

    Reply
  7. Marilyn Vance - November 22, 2022 11:45 am

    I’m still giggling! Thanks for the morning laugh, gotta love old folks! (I am one so I KNOW!)

    Reply
  8. Susan - November 22, 2022 11:54 am

    What a grand way to wake up this morning —–>belly LAUGHING over your story!🤣

    Reply
  9. Donna - November 22, 2022 12:10 pm

    Laughing ‘til I’m crying at 7am…. Sounds like my grandparents who’ve been gone a long time. I adored them. Well done Sean!

    Reply
  10. Michael M Mack - November 22, 2022 12:35 pm

    I think I just wet my pants, 🤣🤣🤣

    Reply
  11. Ann Thompson - November 22, 2022 12:40 pm

    Great writing! Thanks for starting me off with a laugh. You captured an outing in our life perfectly!

    Reply
  12. Chasity Davis Ritter - November 22, 2022 1:09 pm

    This made me smile more than you can know.

    Reply
  13. Trent - November 22, 2022 1:12 pm

    Spot on and another priceless gem! Can’t imagine not being able to read you every day Sean. You are the Rockwell of the pen for me.

    Reply
  14. Connie Oexman - November 22, 2022 1:25 pm

    Oh my!. Had to put my coffee cup down or I’d have spilled it all over myself! Enjoy this marvelously blessed day.

    Reply
  15. Dennis - November 22, 2022 1:25 pm

    Pretty funny. I like my humor dry.

    Reply
  16. Lori - November 22, 2022 1:54 pm

    Sounds like my in -laws…years ago after he had triple bypass surgery my husband and I walked out of the room and we heard him ask her “are you glad I didn’t die? Unknown to them both we heard her respond in a sarcastic but loving way “yes I’m glad you didn’t die”. Yes we old folks can be a hoot. Happy Thanksgiving youngin to you and the Mrs (still waiting on her cookbook btw)

    Reply
  17. Sean of the South: Old Folks | The Trussville Tribune - November 22, 2022 1:57 pm

    […] By Sean Dietrich, Sean of the South […]

    Reply
  18. Cora - November 22, 2022 2:00 pm

    That was absolutely hilarious, truly laugh out loud funny! I needed a good laugh this morning and once again you met that need with your witty writing. The story from last week about death and making sure you verbally and physically express love to the people you care about before it’s too late, touched a place in my heart and soul. I’m working on that!

    Reply
  19. Lanny Jacobsen - November 22, 2022 2:01 pm

    Sean, one of your best. Loved every word of it.

    Reply
  20. GARY - November 22, 2022 2:10 pm

    Funny 👍👌👍

    Reply
  21. Patricia Gibson - November 22, 2022 2:22 pm

    Hilarious!! Happy Thanksgiving 🦃

    Reply
  22. David N - November 22, 2022 2:36 pm

    ROFL 🤣

    Reply
  23. David - November 22, 2022 2:42 pm

    What a hoot! Love this!

    Reply
  24. Larry - November 22, 2022 2:47 pm

    Masterfully funny, comme d’habitude.

    Reply
  25. Sandy Davis - November 22, 2022 3:07 pm

    Truly a “laugh out loud” story!! Thank you!!

    Reply
  26. Tom Wallin - November 22, 2022 3:35 pm

    This was the funniest story ever! I had tears. Thanks.

    Reply
  27. jeffre dreyer - November 22, 2022 3:48 pm

    oh how funny, Denny would love to get a raw hamburger in a restaurant these days

    Reply
  28. Stacey Wallace - November 22, 2022 3:51 pm

    Sean, thank you for making me laugh out loud. What a great way to start the day. Yesterday I was crying while my husband Mike and I were decorating our Christmas tree. I lost my sweet Mama on May 19th, and not having her her here at Christmas is heartbreaking. I am so glad she’s with Jesus and Daddy and is not sick any more, but it’s rough this side of Heaven. Thanks again for making me laugh. Old people are too much fun. Love to you, Jamie, and Marigold.

    Reply
  29. Hosea Long - November 22, 2022 4:01 pm

    I had to stop and start several times. The laughter kept interrupting me.

    Reply
  30. Paul Alge - November 22, 2022 4:05 pm

    You hope you live long enough to be old ? Well it won’t be long Sean. For the moment enjoy making fun.

    Reply
  31. Christopher Spencer - November 22, 2022 4:14 pm

    This is hilarious!!! Even more so because I am now an Old Man hahahahahaha

    Reply
  32. Kathy - November 22, 2022 4:36 pm

    I’m crying I’m laughing so hard!!

    Reply
  33. Timarie - November 22, 2022 5:01 pm

    😂

    Reply
  34. William Stocks - November 22, 2022 5:08 pm

    We’re not all like that! (most of the time) I really enjoy your articles. Most of the time.

    Reply
  35. davidpbfeder - November 22, 2022 5:24 pm

    OK, Dietrich, Old Guy here; ‘fess up: How much of this is a “slightly fictionalized” account? 😜

    Reply
  36. Bob Irvine - November 22, 2022 5:38 pm

    Got to poke at your honey just to entertain those around you

    Reply
  37. Dee Thompson - November 22, 2022 5:41 pm

    Very funny writing. I don’t know too many old men who would trade a burger for shrimp salad, though. / I actually wrote about taking care of older folks, here: https://deescribbler.typepad.com/my_weblog/2022/11/tips-for-caretakers-of-elderly-people.html

    Reply
  38. MAM - November 22, 2022 6:01 pm

    Good one!! I needed to start the day with a good belly laugh! Thanks as always, Sean, for sharing your writing skills with us all!

    Reply
  39. CELIA - November 22, 2022 7:36 pm

    Ha Ha Ha Ha…gasp…ha ha ha!

    Reply
  40. Rebecca Soude4rs - November 22, 2022 8:05 pm

    So many smiles, Sean Dietrich! Thanks.

    Reply
  41. Suellen - November 22, 2022 8:20 pm

    I’m ashamed to say that me and my husband are starting to sound like this.

    Reply
  42. David - November 22, 2022 8:30 pm

    I might just resemble that conversation.

    Reply
  43. mccutchen52 - November 22, 2022 10:05 pm

    Sounds like my wife and I arguing over potato chips in the grocery store.

    Reply
  44. Edward j Willis - November 22, 2022 10:32 pm

    more of those conjuntigingivitus oysters please!😂

    Reply
  45. George Robert Leach - November 23, 2022 2:21 am

    Hope they get their hearing aids checked. You were nicer than most people who report overhearing aged people arguing in public.

    Reply
  46. pdjpop - November 23, 2022 2:51 pm

    Great one!
    I love being older… getting there more each day.
    My wife and I are making the most of each day together. She speaks, I try to repeat it questioningly and she corrects me. Then she says the most wonderful thing…… “go get your hearing aides.”
    We love our life. I hope everyone can enjoy the long ride through aging because the ride gets shorter each day. Those three words are so important: LIVE, LOVE, LAUGH!
    Thanks, Sean for starting my day on the right foot.
    PJ, Fairhope, AL

    Reply
  47. Dale Parsons - November 23, 2022 4:31 pm

    Hahahaaaaa!! I’m there.

    Reply
  48. Carol - November 23, 2022 5:15 pm

    AMEN AND THEN SOME!

    Reply
  49. Ginga Smithfield - November 24, 2022 11:38 am

    Since I just turned 79 a month ago, some are saying that I’m old. However, while my body is experiencing some degeneration, my mind seems to be pretty much okay for an old geezer!!

    Reply

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