A crowded seafood joint. Everyone is eating. The sound of George Jones is blasting over the speakers. There are a lot of people here who eat with their hands.
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, Jerry. It won’t kill you. Besides, you used to like it rare.
HIM: Yeah, well 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 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.
HER: It’s not gingivitis.
HIM: Well, that’s what Roger called it. His doctor said he and Shirley can’t have kids anymore.
HER: Shirley is almost eighty.
HER: It’s not gingivitis you get from oysters, you dummy. It’s MENINGITIS. Don’t you know anything? Now eat your hamburger.
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.”
HER: There are no months that begin with “R,” Jerry.
HIM: Daddy never could spell.
HER: I think you’ve got it backwards, I don’t think the expression is about months that BEGIN with “R,” I think it says not to eat them in months that END in “R.”
HIM: So people shouldn’t eat oysters in months that end in “R?”
HIM: So then I can eat all I want in August and July?
HIM: And May and June?
HER: And March. Now eat your hamburger.
HIM: What about April?
HER: What about it?
HIM: There’s no “R” at the end of April.
HER: So what? Then I guess it’s okay to eat them in April.
HIM: But it can’t be.
HIM: Because that’s when Roger ate his oysters and got his conjunctivitis. In April.
HER: It’s not conjunctivitis, how many times do I have to tell you? It’s GINGIVITIS.
HIM: But you just said it WASN’T gingivitis.
HER: Would you just shut up? 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? Just eat it.
HIM: I’m sending this raw cow back.
HER: Don’t you dare embarrass me.
HIM: Where’s the waitress?
HER: Jerry, 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.
HER: You don’t even have a phone.
HIM: I’ll borrow yours.
HER: You wouldn’t know how to work this phone if it jumped up and bit you.
HIM: I’m not eating this blood sucking burger.
—THEY STARE AT EACH OTHER—
HER: Fine. Then 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.
HIM: What am I supposed to do, just eat this cold salad by itself?
HIM: (Stabs salad with fork.)
HER: We traded, fair and square. It’s not right to ask someone to eat a burger without fries.
HIM: At least split them with me.
HER: Order your own 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.
HIM: Can you call the waitress for me?
HER: What am I, your mother?
HIM: Just let me have one French fry.
HER: You better move that hand away from my plate, Jerry, or you’re gonna wake up with a crowd of people around you and they won’t be able to get the knife out of you without surgery.
HIM: Just one.
HER: (Raises hand and flags waitress.)
WAITRESS: Yes, ma’am? What can I get you?
HER: It’s my husband, he’s an idiot. He needs some fries to go with his salad before I gag him with a napkin.
WAITRESS: Yes, ma’am. I’ll go get some fries.
HIM: Wait! One more thing, ma’am.
HIM: Gimme an order of a dozen raw oysters, too, please.
I don’t ask for much in this life. But Lord, if you can hear me, let us live long enough to be an elderly couple.
fromthetexascoast - November 11, 2019 9:55 am
Bobbie - November 11, 2019 11:05 am
Starting my day with a laugh …thank you Sean. I am 84 but I can appreciate jokes about ‘old people’. Thank God I still have my hearing! You learn to appreciate the little things when you’re my age, you also learn that most things are the little things. You learn too that most people are kind and helpful, like when you walk with a cane, they hold the door for you…they let you ahead of them in line…they take your buggy to the stand in the parking lot. All little things, but so appreciated. One more thing…you value time so much more as you get older. Each day is another day to try to get it right, to hug more, to tell others you love them and pray for them. You learn what truly is important…like throwing caution to the wind and ordering a dozen raw oysters.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to comment. Oh, and I too hope you and Jamie enjoy a ripe old age together. God bless you ❤️
Meredith Smith - November 11, 2019 11:12 am
Sean you are so on point with people!!! 😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣
Naomi - November 11, 2019 11:32 am
My husband will be 89 on Nov. 14 and I will be 76 in July. Our conversations are about where to eat out. Me: Honey, where do you want to eat today? Him: Wherever. Me: How about Chili’s? Him: No, I never get what I want on the 3 for $10. Me: How about whatever restaurant? Him: How come you always get to decide where we eat? Me: I asked you where you wanted to go. The same thing if I’m cooking. Me: Honey, what do you want for dinner? Him: Whatever. Me: We don’t have any whatever. Try 40 years of this, Sean; you might not want to live to a ripe old age.
Connie Havard Ryland - November 11, 2019 11:40 am
I hope you two are together forever. Growing old alone is no fun at all. My ex husbands mom passed away recently. She was 88 and had been married to the same wonderful, long suffering man for 73 years. It was always entertaining to be around them. Sometimes not in a good way. Lol. But the love between them was amazing to see. God be with you both. Love and hugs.
Alan - November 11, 2019 12:21 pm
Excellent. Sean, you never disappoint. I look forward to reading your blog daily. It’s been said that getting old ain’t for wimps.
Suzanne - November 11, 2019 12:43 pm
Oh my goodness…my husband and I have had that conversation…laughing still after typing this. Thank you for brightening my day!
Ann - November 11, 2019 12:44 pm
What a GREAT way to start a Monday morning!!!…
I’m old and refuse to be called “ elderly”…and absolutely love this one…I laughed all the way through it AND you are terrific at capturing ”real life”….old is good and laughter is even better!…it keeps you enjoying the rest of the story…..😂😂😂
Keloth Anne - November 11, 2019 12:58 pm
This is just great!! It brought a deep and long belly laugh….a delightful start to this Monday morning.
Thank you for sharing your wonderful writings and just making our world better ♥️♥️
Marilyn - November 11, 2019 1:28 pm
Sean you must know my husband.
Marilyn - November 11, 2019 1:30 pm
A fun way to start the morning/week! I too am considered “old” by those younger than me, but that doesn’t mean I can’t laugh and enjoy life.Your blogs help me in many ways, so keep writing about what you see and hear. We all need as much positive reinforcement as possible! ❤️😂❤️😂❤️😂
Edna B. - November 11, 2019 1:50 pm
Thanks for the morning giggles. I’m old too. Eighty years. Gosh I hope I never get that bad. Hahahaha. I hope you and Jamie grow very old together. You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.
Marilyn - November 11, 2019 2:07 pm
Reading your column has made my day, and it’s only 7am! The hubby and I are healthy 70 year olds but smart enough to know life can change on a dime. A dear friend of ours died at 51 and in doing so, taught us each day is more precious than the last. There IS joy to be had each day – especially the ones that seem doomed from the start. The banter of the couple in the restaurant speaks love, the love of years shared. They ordered a side of shared sarcasm to entertain each other and got a complimentary sample of sadness. At their age, the realization is there that the “magic” of a shared meal won’t last forever. But that’s too hard a topic for dinner. So let’s be 40 again tonight with a few current events thrown into the conversation like Gruber 😀 and if we’re lucky enough, do it all over again next week. Bless each other every day. The little things really do make life a 10 ticket ride.
Thanks for giving us new things to think about and bringing old memories to mind. You’re our favorite heart doctor. ❤
Love and hugs,
Mike & Marilyn from PCB
Shelton A. - November 11, 2019 2:09 pm
Thanks for the laughs. If I’m alone and talking to himself, does that mean I have to wear a straight jacket?
Shannon Moore - November 11, 2019 2:29 pm
Old folks and little children make this mean old world worth living in. I have always had a soft spot in my heart for the elderly because of their wit and wisdom, and calm in the midst of life’s storms. This may just be my favorite story yet, Sean!
Phil S. - November 11, 2019 2:33 pm
Hilarious story! Being an old dude who wears hearing aids and being married to a wonderful lady who doesn’t, I can at least halfway identify. In a noisy restaurant I can’t hear it thunder even with the things in my ears set on after-burners; so, thinking everyone else at our table is equally deaf, I yell like the guy in your story. She tells me at a normal voice level that the whole place can hear me, and I holler, “What? Quit mumbling and speak up for goodness sake!”
Valerie Fraser - November 11, 2019 3:03 pm
Wonderful, wonderful!! My husband and I are almost there. However, I still eat oysters in months with an R in the beginning, middle, end or no R at all! A really fun read. Thank you, Valerie F
Becky - November 11, 2019 3:04 pm
Oh my goodness… have you been listening to my family? We have an aunt and uncle, whose conversations mirror your writing. In fact, we’ve had people in restaurants, who are seated across the room, come over and join into the conversation between these two. All I can say is that while reading about “Old People”, I’ve laughed so hard I nearly wet my pants! Hmmm… now, what a revelation … who else is getting older?😱
Great way to start a Monday morning!! Thanks, Sean.
Linda Moon - November 11, 2019 4:11 pm
Yikes! When I opened your post this morning, I thought of me and my old guy…not a great way to begin my daily reading about us old people. But, that last sentence of yours made a U-turn for the rest of my day. Elderly (age, in years and numbers) is as elderly does. This old couple – my guy and me – is only numerically old. We don’t “do” elderly. We’ve lived long enough to be an elderly couple, but not like the one you described….yet! I hope you and Jamie don’t “do” elderly when you’ve lived long enough!!
Wanda in Alabama - November 11, 2019 5:15 pm
This reminds me of our former neighbors (an older couple who were about the age of my late parents). A number of years ago my husband drove them to the airport. When he got home, he related that experience. The man was sitting in the front passenger seat and his wife was sitting in the back seat directly behind him. Their conversation went something like this: Man: Honey, did you get your teeth? Woman: What did you say, honey? Man (a little louder): I said Did you get your teeth? Woman: What did you say, honey? Man (shouting): DID YOU GET YOUR TEETH? At the time, my husband and I thought this was so funny, but it doesn’t seem so funny anymore since we are now an older couple and some of our conversations have become similar and loud since I can’t hear it thunder (even with hearing aids). Another cute story about this couple was related by the pastor of their church when the man passed away: The couple was sitting in church one Sunday and the church had a guest speaker. The couple was sitting near the front in their regular pew. The woman turned to her husband and loudly said, “Who is that man speaking?” Her husband loudly replied, “I don’t know, but he sure is long-winded”. We were so blessed to live next door to this kind and loving couple until their health took them away. I often told them that if we had asked God for good next door neighbors, He would have sent them.
Harriet - November 11, 2019 9:01 pm
Gruber -free taxi service with your cell phone!
🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 that sounds just like my 76 year old mother in law!!!!
jack - November 11, 2019 9:38 pm
All I got to say is them was fake old people. Real Old men KNOW not to argue with their wives! It is a well known secret that only gets knowed by NOT listening to her. You will learn in about 40 years!
Sherry & jack
Pat - November 12, 2019 1:40 am
Sweet Jesus…I can sooooooo identify!
Christy Quattlebaum St John - November 12, 2019 1:18 pm
This is GOLD!! So funny! Thanks for my morning laugh out loud!
Dru Brown - November 12, 2019 3:51 pm
Belly laughs! Priceless! Thanks!
Bobby Reeder - November 14, 2019 2:25 am
Thank you Sean for the good laugh! My wife and I are fast approaching this, lol!