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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Geriatric Park


Geriatric Park

I am back from a visit to my friend the back operation recuperating, Frog.  Frog is not one to just sit around.  He will not retire. He works several days a week doing police sorta stuff and one day a week at a local college teaching police kinda stuff.  He fly-fishes, deer and duck hunts, and plays and teaches bag-piping.  He recently underwent back surgery.  Facing a serious case of cabin fever locked up alone while wife and kids are out doing wife and kids stuff this cranky old man was summoned for companionship.

There was a time when Frog and I got together that there would be drinking, golfing, and carousing.  Now there is bitching, limping and reminiscing. 

Oh, we were crazy we were.  We went shopping for guitar and banjo stuff and then lost all control and bought some bagels.  Frog’s back is still barking so even with my arthritic hip I heard “wait up” a lot.  If they did a movie on our day it would be called "Geriatric Park."

After a day and a half of bitching about everything, limping around and trying to play guitar and banjo in tune and in time I was due to head home, a four hour drive.  In keeping with tradition I left my toothbrush at Frogs.  It is not a proper visit unless I leave something behind.

The drive home was uneventful except for my inability to properly pay the Pa. Turnpike toll. 

The print on the toll ticket is too small for a Geriatric Park resident to read.  I knew it was around sixteen dollars and change, and as I cruised into the toll booth I was obsessing on gathering the right money.  I had a twenty ready, and was prepared to scoop up the exact change as soon as I determined what that exact change might be.  I like to be toll booth prepared, especially for the Pa and NJ turnpikes as those toll takers are notoriously unfriendly.

I handed the toll lady the twenty and asked,

“How much is the toll, sixteen dollars and what cents?”

“HUH!”

“I have exact change, how much?”

“Sixmptry fnver!”

“Excuse me?”

“SIXTY FIVE!”

“Oh, ok, just a second…here.”

And this is where  old kicked in and why Mrs. C does not like to let me on my own.  Fixated on getting the correct change so as to not anger the irascible toll taker, I handed her the sixty-five cents in exact change, only I dropped the nickel.  “Oops just a second, I have another nickel.”  I fished it out and handed it again to the taker.

She responded “Thank you” and with the transaction completed and my appropriate “Your welcome” delivered, I pulled away and headed down the road.  As I pulled out I wondered why the taker had not hit the paid button and turned the light green, then about a quarter a mile down the road I realized I didn’t wait for my four dollars change.  I was really ticked off at myself.

I will be even angrier if because I pulled out too soon the toll camera snapped a picture of my plate and I get a $100+ fine for being a scofflaw!

Well that’s life here at Geriatric Park.*
*I thought this title was clever and original, then I Googled it.  Not so much.

15 comments:

  1. yup, i'd be kicking myself over $4 for a while, too. oof! glad you could spend some crotchety time with mr. frog. :)

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  2. Getting old helps us realize how this world needs to adapt.

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  3. There's a reason i'm glad we don't have turnpikes. Glad you got to visit your friend and hope he is up and about soon.

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  4. OMGosh Hilarious!!!! Your Geriatric Park would get def get some Oscars at the ceremony!!!! Thanks for the laugh!!!!

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  5. Shortly after EZ Pass was introduced I drove to the Hamptons for a show. On the return trip, every lane but one changed to EZPass only. I was past midnight getting to the GW. I ordered an EZ Pass the next day. Then I smirked as state after state began using it on their toll roads.
    The toll is significantly reduced from the cash toll. Why don't you have one? Buy a NYS EZ Pass and you don't pay any fees, just a deposit, which you get back if you turn it in, which, I guarantee, you will never do.

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    1. Guilty. I lost my tags to the divorce. Mrs C does most of the driving and for some reason does not like them. I seldom use a toll road, but not having tags has cost me money. Number three son is so used to them he ran two tolls last year not realizing I had no tags. Cost me $100.

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  6. I'm with Joanne....we have TollTags here that work all across the state and I'm told beyond, too. As the old Alka Seltzer commercial said, "Try it...you'll like it!"

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  7. How fun with Mr. Frog. Not. Getting old has its challenges.

    As for the four bucks. What where you thinking. Oh wait, you weren't.

    I love reading your posts. My life is a breeze compared to yours.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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  8. Several years back I wrote a post called Geriatric park, and I thought it original and clever. These days it seems life is determined to prove that I'm not, and have never been, clever.

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  9. Hi Cranky,

    I'm not a member of Geriatric Park yet - and I apologise for chuckling at your escapades, once more.

    Sorry.

    :o)

    Cheers

    PM

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  10. I thought your title was clever and original until you told me it wasn't. Adhering to the Truth in Blogging Law, I suppose.

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  11. You are too funny! I can relate about wanting to provide exact change. I am the Queen of Providing Exact Change in grocery stores.

    Here in Florida, the toll thingies are called "Sunpass." It's supposed to make it sound sunny and cheerful, I suppose, as opposed to "I'm taking your money."

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  12. That was kind of you to take a little trip to visit an old sick friend. Old meaning long-standing, not old as in ....long in the tooth. I'm sure your friend, Frog, would do the same for you if you were in his siruarion.

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  13. Now you're out 4 bucks and a toothbrush. Getting old is the pits but better than the alternative.

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  14. I HATE when I inadvertently leave a 4 dollar tip! Dang it, anyway!

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