Wednesday, February 17, 2010


So, I'm out doing some shopping at our Austintown Rulli Brothers grocery store and I'm waiting for my number to be called at the meat counter. They have some pretty good deals on boneless chicken breasts and 90/10 ground round, and there's a million people ahead of me, but I figure, "What the heck? I'm already here. No biggie. Besides, I need an idea to blather about on my blog anyway."
The old guy next to me must have been reading my mind because that's the precise moment he decides to fart on my leg. I'm not talking about a light whisp or even a baby-clap fart. This guy lets out a full-tilt "Blapptttz!" and a wet one at that. When I look at his face, he faces straight ahead and sighs deeply as if he has just found a cure for cancer. He's skinny, is about 5' 3", is wearing a red checked hunting jacket (standard Ohio issue), 34-year-old dark green mill pants and is standing by an obese woman-stump holding a thatched Epcot purse with plastic flowers on it. The kind of woman that saves Arby's wrappers to preserve apples in so they'll be fresh for the old man's lunch pail later. She's also holding a coupon book that is at least two fists thick. Most of them are collector's items from the Ming Dynasty. The kind of woman who keeps gay men gay!
As Swamp Gas Sam's offspring floats up to say 'hello' to my pinched and tortured nasal passage, his number gets called. As he steps forward to pick out his meat, I find myself rejoicing ...until he bends over for the Kaiser rolls. "Ragnarokkkkk!" This time even Odin stirs from his slumber. Like a proper storm trooper, his wife doesn't flinch. Instead she barks out, "Get some hot rope sausage, too. Don't forget the hot rope sausage like last time. I don't want to stand here all day like we did last time."
Nobody moves an inch or even scrunches their faces as he lets out another brackish breeze and dumps the plastic-wrapped carnage into their cart. As he and the Giant-Sized Man-Thing wheel off up the cake mix aisle, the guy looks at me and smiles. Not the kind of smile that says, "I'm an old man who can't hold in his farts. Sorry about that" but the kind of smile that says, "Yes! I realize that I farted on you and you can't do a thing about it. I'm old. Tee Hee!"
I couldn't help but notice how many AARP members were in this crowd. Then it hit me. This is the same crowd that sits in McDonald's every morning talking about their latest surgeries in graphic detail while I'm trying to choke down an Egg McMuffin with a shell fragment in it. This is the same gang that argues with the waitress about the price of a lunch special - after they eat it - in order to wear them down AND THEN whips out the Golden Buckeye Senior Citizen's Discount Card to get 10% more off the deal. This is the same wrinkle fest that decides to park like an earthquake-hit outside of every major department store in the Tri-state area. The same gaggle of grey geese that whisper to each other - at the top of their lungs - during movies about the big sale Wal-Mart is having on adult-sized diapers across the street. And about how their son just married "another lazy-eyed Jew who is just after my money."
Suddenly, I'm gripped by the realization that something had to be done about all of this. I needed to take a stand. I do what any red-blooded late-baby-boomer SHOULD do in this type of situation. I roll my cart around the next corner. He clearly sees me coming. I get up beside the old geezer and his troll. As I reach for some grated horseradish, I 'accidentally' let out one of the most violent steamers since my birth. This is the type that ferments and rusts the body of a Buick. He doesn't smile at my "performance art." As a matter of fact, he looks kinda offended. He moves toward the pickles. So do I. And so does my garlic Casper ghost. From the look on this soon-to-be departed's face, I have returned the dignity of my generation. I smile as I put a jar of Kosher dill slices in my basket and hear my number called in the distance. I wink.
I get the ground round; but today, instead of the chicken, I buy a large rope of hot sausage and sauerkraut. In tribute to my elders.

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