Yes, Geezers like to travel. And I don’t mean from the recliner to the refrigerator. Or from watching C-Span to the computer to write that idiot Congressman an email of indignation.
Many of us, whose knees are still willing, are taking to the back roads. And, I don’t’ mean the roads that parallel the Interstate. Geezers are tramping through the swamps of Guatemala, picking leeches off their legs like Hepburn and Bogart in African Queen. We are cutting through jungles, wielding machetes with visions of Indiana Jones in our heads. We are scaling tall mountains, thinking of King Kong (the original, of course) atop the Empire State Building.
As we travel these back roads we are running into, of all people, the Snappers. (The Whippersnappers, age 13 to 30.) See Geezer Guff Home page for a definition. As a Wall Street Journal headline about exotic retiree travel once advised “Skip Talk About Colonoscopy.” So what do you say when traveling with Snappers?
Snappers only talk about medical problems that are more obvious – like the time they got a cold because they were taking their tops off for a “Girls Who Like to Bare Their Chests” video, or a stubbed toe from snowboarding blindfolded down the back bowl of the Himalayas, or something real serious like breaking a leg diving from their second story motel balcony into the pool during Spring Break. They do talk about death but only when saying something like “I was so wasted, I thought I was gonna die.”
“Remission” is not in their vocabulary, so skip the cancer survival stories. Instead, talk about medical procedures in terms they can understand. For your pacemaker surgery say, “I’ve got so many moving parts in my chest, I think I’m RoboCop.” If you’ve had angioplasty, say “I’ve been ballooning with my doctor.” For colonoscopy say, “I once saw a doctor who got me so stoned I thought I was watching a TV show about caves – in color.”
However, it might be best to avoid the medical talk altogether. And, while you’re at it, another topic to avoid discussing is sex. The snappers cannot comprehend their mommies doing it with their daddies.
But have no fear; there are other topics of mutual interest.
When discussing music, remember that Rock and Roll is pretty much like Rap except for the music and words. So when they mention some rapper’s name, be sure to bring up the weirdest old dude rockers you can think of – Ozzie Osborne and Keith Richards being two good examples. Do not, however, mention the Strawberry Alarm Clock.
If the Snappers discuss the social significance of rap, you can then mention lyrics that have social significance for you such as “Will you still need me, Will you still feed me, when I’m 64?”
Politics might be an okay topic of discussion. Keep in mind that a Snapper in the backwoods, however, has turned away from the finer things in life – so they’re probably liberals. Stick with liberal topics like helping the poor, saving the trees, and the need for medicinal marijuana. Do not spout conservative phrases such as “taking responsibility,” “making money,” or “die if you can’t afford to pay the premiums.”
In the less traveled areas, comparing weird stuff you’ve eaten is always something Snappers can get into. When sucking down the hot broth with the wiggly swimming things in it, you can say “Wonder why the heat doesn’t kill those little suckers.” If the Snappers are vegetarians, you can discuss the various fruits and berries you’ve tried. “Don’t you love mixing yogo berries with jaga nuts for breakfast?”
Food discussions can lead back to medical talk if your stomach starts to grumble and the dysentery begins to set in. Your visit to the local shaman, however, with sweet incense, glowing red candles, and boar’s head broth should give you discussion material for your next exotic trip.