Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Geezer ? Or Fogey ?

My 67-year-old son, Michael, leaned over my desk and heaved a great sigh.

“Daddy,” he announced, “I am now joining you in Geezerdom !”

I was shaken but not so much that I didn’t correct him archly: 

“ It’s GeezerHood, NOT “geezerdom” I said. “And it is really unsettling that the Li’l Feller that I taught to trout-fish is nearly bald with a goatee....”

My hilarity in discussing this was that of a jackass gnawing on barbwire, but after he took his departure, I did some “musing”.  Not real hard cogitation you know... Just some mind- flight.

So I had to accept my oldest son as a Geezer ! That makes me a Supra-Geezer, I guess, simply by dint of years. 

It was pleasant to realize that neither of us have rotted into old-fogeyness.  I maintain that what separates Geezers and old fogies is the fact that old fogies turn their heads away and even curse when they see the swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated.  Geezers, on the other hand, vicariously bask in the sunshine of whatever exotic beach the ladies have chosen this February.

There are other lovable things about Geezers. Unlike fogies, they occasionally change their minds, and still believe they can teach a grandson (or great-granddaughter) how to drive a stick-shift silkily... Without stripping a single gear tooth.

A fogey will stomp out of a computer room in frustration while a Geezer will ask the young ones to show him one more time how to dissolve the bad guys–OR superimpose a banner of instruction over a photo. 

The Geezers usually have treasure troves of information that they dearly love  to share, especially if it will bridge the triple generation gap. Mike and I were talking about one of those little snippets just before he came up with  “Geezer” shock.

It involves finding an undisturbed backwater on a trout stream, very still, with some debris gathered or settled on its bottom. In this debris, there will be a number of  small sticks that look like they are glued together. But when you separate them carefully you find a small white worm encased in a sheath that joins the two sticks. This is the larva of a mayfly– or maybe another fly, waiting for metamorphosis into a winged insect that trout fishermen in all of Creation attempt to mimic with feathers, wool, and deer hair. We Geezers call the worm "Stick-Bait".

It is the keenest and most exciting form of “cheating” to tip off the hook of your Adams or Coachman, with this fat little worm.  It never fails to get a strike no matter how many variations you have failed with. (There is no guarantee of getting the trout into your creel, however.)

Purists-Astream, as I noted, view this   as “cheating”. But we, solid Geezers that we are, believe what the greatest of quarterbacks, Joe Montana once said:

“If you ain’t cheatin’, then you ain’t tryin’ !”

We in the Geezerhood only apply this to fishing, horseshoes and football. And in this sphere, as well as in most spiritual and romantic pursuits, Old Fogies are 100% losers.