“A payoff?” Steve said. Steve’s an old cowpuncher who has collected hurt places for a long time now. He winced, reliving in two seconds’ time two buck offs in the rocks, one horn wound from a nasty mama cow and a groin kick from a bronc mule.
“Sure,” said Doc, in his usual cheerful way. “You get gray hair, or maybe kinda bald like ol’ Steve here, and you develop wisdom, which we all know just means you know not to argue with your wife, right? And your grandchildren think you have all the answers.”
Doc leaned over conspiratorially. “And I live to embarrass my grandchildren.”
“I do it,” Doc said, “through dancing. You see, they are all teenagers now, and therefore they are cool and know everything. So when their friends come over and they crank that stereo up to where it’s killing the neighbor’s geraniums, I ask them just once to turn it down.
“If they don’t turn it down, I kinda totter to my feet and start what the kids call the Grandpa Boogie. I mean I shake it like an Egyptian pharaoh. I wiggle and jiggle and stick out my chin like this ... and sort of thrust myself around the floor until one of them dashes over and shuts off the music. Then I go sit down and read the paper again. The first couple of times I did that, the kids got me to one side and begged me never to do that again. I guess they were just jealous of my moves. I tell them when the music gets more than just kinda regular, I can’t help myself and dance fever hits me like a sledgehammer.”
“So,” Steve said, “how did you do it? I mean, show us, OK?”
So Doc stood up and went into spasms, twitches and slides that had the whole coffee shop cracking up, and people didn’t know whether to applaud or call the paramedics.
“The really great thing,” said Doc, sitting back down, out of breath, with his coffee, “is that these kids think they invented being cool. And I blindsided them with my great mo-o-o-oves! I showed them a slink or two.
“And you’d be surprised how much quieter it is when they come over these days.”
Brought to you by Slim’s new book “A Cowboy’s Guide to Growing Up Right.” Learn more at http://www.nmsantos.com/Slim/Slim.html.