Curmudgeons… A wise old owl sat on a tree, The more he saw, the less he spoke, The less he spoke, the more he heard.


A wise old owl sat on a tree,

The more he saw, the less he spoke,

The less he spoke, the more he heard.

Why aren’t we all like that old bird?


Some are curmudgeons; most of the wise old birds are in their “later years,” the rest are still working at it. Well, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Who else but a senior would put an ad such as the following in a newspaper, just for the fun of it?

 “Mint Condition: Male, 1932, high mileage, good condition, some hair, many new parts including hip, knee, cornea, valves. Isn’t in running condition, but walks well.”

In my early days I favoured wise old men and women, and now I are one! One who looks askance at François La Rochefoucauld with his observation: “Little is needed to make a wise man happy, but nothing contents a fool. That is why nearly all men are miserable.”

Sourdoughs aren’t miserable at all, they’re just curmudgeons, fun-loving curmudgeons at that. A curmudgeon, as explained in Volume 1, Number 1, Winter 1993 issue, of The Old Fart magazine (with its raison d’etre: “by and for curmudgeons”) is “they’re males of a certain age who are impatient and cantankerous with the rest of us.”

This launched a heated discussion in their letters to the editor that women too could be, would be and are curmudgeons. They won, and they are, and they’re sourdoughs too; end of story!

The best example of a curmudgeon at work was the response that qualified for the Famous Last Words department of this magazine — it, sadly, disappeared from newsstands two or three years later. It presented the story of a fellow named Perelman who had a night on the town with a friend and when he paid the cabbie at the hotel, the cabbie politely said, “Tomorrow, you have a nice day,” to which Perelman snarled back “Tomorrow, I’ll have exactly the sort of day I want.”

It’s easy to be an angel till someone ruffles your feathers.

A curmudgeon under construction …

This young fellow has all the makings, says a story from Regina:

“I was going to bed the other night when my wife said I’d left the shed light on. Sure enough, when I looked out it was on. I also saw people in the shed helping themselves to my tools and things.

“I phoned the police. They said there were no officers in the area at the time, but they’d send someone as soon as they were available.

“I hung up, waited a minute, phoned them back and said, ‘Hello, I just called a minute ago about people breaking into my shed. You don’t have to worry about them, I’ve shot them all.’

“Within minutes there were half a dozen police cars in the area, an armed response unit, you name it.

“They caught the burglars red-handed.

“One of the officers said, ‘I thought you said you shot them?’

 “‘I thought you said nobody was available.’”

There’s no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.

(Bern Williams, an elder in the works)

Customer service in 2029, according to an anonymous senior’s prediction …

A customer service answering machine in 2029: “Please have your account details ready and call back in 20 years.”

As the seniors of the day have noted, the Big Marketeers are away ahead of that curve, they’ve already equaled that service, and are working to better it.

Forbidden fruits make for all sorts of jams.

A tip of the hat to, seniors, elders, old folks, curmudgeons and especially sourdoughs — with a gentle reminder: if luck is on your side you might follow them, and add your two-bits worth to the “aging of society.”