Friday, April 27, 2007

I Hate When He Does That

So, I'm sitting in a casino in Reno, watching all the old people who have emerged from the stream of busses that come through here on a regular basis. It's amazing, I tell you, and every time I see it I think, is this what's in store for me when I'm old - spending the last of my measly social security check on slot machines?

Anyway, there were two old ladies and one old man sitting directly behind me; they were easily in their seventies. The ladies were going back and forth about what time it was, how much time they had before meeting the bus and why Joe (the guy they were with) had to play one more round on the slots.

Finally the old man gets up, telling the ladies he'll be right back, and starts to walk past me. I watch him as he does, amused by his scrunched old man hunch, the struggle he was having with getting his massive wallet back into his tiny pants pocket and thinking, I can't believe he is still out and about, going to casinos.

He was shuffling. I mean, literally shuffling. As he propelled himself forward, his feet didn't move further than six inches at a time, and never once did they lift off the ground. He was moving so slowly, I was gettting impatient just watching him, thinking he was never going to get to his destination.

He was gone for quite a while and the entire time, the ladies were chattering behind me. The one, who must have been his wife, said to the other "I don't know where he is. We have to meet the bus at three. I hate when he just takes off like that."

Takes off???? She said it like he was fast and just zipped away. It took him ten minutes just to get out of our line of sight. It wasn't like he got far. When I heard her say, "I hope he doesn't forget where we were sitting" I thought it was time for me to step in.

I was ready to get up anyway, so I peeked around the slot machine and there was Joe; standing about one hundred feet away, playing another machine. I turned and said, "Is that him over there?"

They looked, laughed and said "Oh, there he is! Thank you."

"Well, it doesn't look like he got very far. I guess you should catch him while you can."

They agreed and started shuffling toward him. It didn't appear as if any of them were going to make it back to the bus on time; but I'd suspect the bus driver is prepared for the ones who just take off like that.

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