"A payoff?" Steve said. Steve's an old cowpuncher who has collected
hurt places for a long time now. He kinda wriggled around, reliving
in two seconds' time two buck-offs in the rocks, one horn wound from
a nasty mama cow and a groin kick from a bronc mule.
Doc, in his usual cheerful way. "You get gray hair, or maybe kinda
bald like ol' Steve here, and you develop wisdom, which we all know
just means you know not to argue with your wife, right? So then what
happens? Your grandchildren think you have all the answers."
"So you have to help them with homework?" Dud said.
"Naw, not a bit. What I mean is, you have your grandchildren all
primed for some real Olympic-style embarrassment."
Doc leaned over conspiratorially. "I live to embarrass my
We had a good laugh, but Bert wanted specifics.
"With me," Doc said, "it's dancing. You see, they are all
teenagers now, and therefore they are cool and know everything, and
the world couldn't turn without them. So when their friends come
over and they crank that stereo up to where it's killing the
neighbor's geraniums, I ask them just once to turn it down."
"Takes me a lot more than once," Bert said. "I swear those kids
are hard of hearing."
"But do you dance for them?" Doc asked. "You see, if they don't
turn it down, I kinda totter to my feet and start what the kids call
the Grandpa Boogie. I mean I shake it like an Egyptian pharaoh. I
wiggle and jiggle and stick out my chin like this ... and sort of
thrust myself around the floor until one of them dashes over and
shuts off the music. Then I go sit down and read the paper again.
The first couple of times I did that, the kids got me to one side
and begged me never to do that again. I guess they were just jealous
of my moves. Well, I hated to show them up in front of their
friends, seeing as I could dance better than they could, but the
music was too loud. I tell them when the music gets more than just
kinda regular, I can't help myself and dance fever hits me like a
[to top of second
"So," Steve said, "how did you do it? I mean, show us, OK?"
So Doc stood up and went into spasms, twitches and slides that
had the whole coffee shop cracking up, and people didn't know
whether to applaud or call the paramedics.
"The really great thing," said Doc, sitting back down, out of
breath, with his coffee, "is that these kids think they invented
being cool. And I blindsided them with great mo-o-o-o-ves! I showed
them a slink or two.
"And you'd be surprised how much quieter it is when they come
over these days."
[Text from file received from Slim Randles]
Brought to you by the personally inscribed new book "Home Country,"