The other day Ken was about to leave for his new job. Another job? I hear you ask. Wasn’t he spending all kinds of time in hot air balloons? What on earth is he doing now? And these are all good questions, the answers to which are a) yes, another job b) the balloon gig is only from May to October and c) he’s picking up and delivering parts, snowblowers, and lawnmowers for a local mechanic. And one of the parts pickups happened to be about 2 hours away by highway. I had to go to work myself that morning, so we agreed that I would call him when I was on the road, so we could chat while we were driving.
Me: How far away are you?
Ken: Not sure. It might be tricky. The map only showed the general area. I think I know what street to take when I get off the highway.
Me: What map?
Ken: I looked it up on one of the maps I keep in my office.
Me: You aren’t using your GPS?
Ken: No need. I had a map.
I used to tell Ken that he was like a 65-year-old man when he did things like write cheques to pay for everything because he “doesn’t trust online banking” or carried a Blackberry around for ten years even though it was virtually useless:
Me: What’s taking so long? I thought you were posting a picture.
Ken: I am. I just have to—hmmm. Or maybe…
Me: Use the image icon.
Ken: I will, after I write the post.
Me: You’re not done yet?
Ken: No, I’m trying to find Facebook.
Me: Maybe the problem is that you have a Blackberry. You know how the “interwebs” works, right? (*old man voice*) “I just can’t keep up with you kids and your newfangled gadgets and the Twitters. What ever happened to the good old days when people used typewriters?!” Oh wait, you ARE using a typewriter. Look at the keyboard on your phone.
Ken: Blackberries are great phones.
Me: Yeah, if you’re 65 years old. (*old man voice*) “I like to feel the keys go down when I press them, just like they did in the 1950s.” Also, could your screen be any smaller? No wonder you can’t find “the Facebook”.
Ken: Ha. Posted. So there. Oh wait, not yet—it’s a little laggy…I wish I had a flip phone with an antennae.
But now that Ken is less than a decade away from actually BEING 65, I have to call him a 90-year-old man, because even 65-year-olds will use a GPS when they’re going somewhere unfamiliar.
Me: But you don’t know where you’re going!
Ken: It’s fine. I memorized the map.
Me: What are you, a f*cking cartographer? (*old man voice*) “Ah yes, I studied the mysterious art of latitude and longitude at the academy.”
Ken (laughs): If it was still dark, I could navigate by the stars.
Me: I can just see you now, driving around in circles until you have to ask for directions. (*old man voice*) “Excuse me, my good sir, would you be so kind as to direct me to the horse and buggy repair shop?”
Ken: It’s fine. I have an internal compass.
Me: Is that a sextant in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?
Ken: You have 37 pairs of reading glasses, and you can never find ANY of them.
He did get to the place eventually without having to use his GPS. Fortunately for Ken, I have a thing for older men with a strong sense of direction. And now you’ll have to excuse me while I tuck him in for his nap.
And in other news, I found out last week that I was nominated for Spillwords Press Publication of the Year (non-poetic). I know the site is a pain I had to contact them directly because it kept locking me out), but if you’re able to, you can vote for me here before the end of day Sunday (and as always, if you do, I’ll name a character in a story after you): https://spillwords.com/vote/