“Sandy, I know how the buzzards felt in Disney’s film, The Jungle Book.”
I looked at the Geezer, puzzled at his reference. We’d been sitting on the dock trying to decide what we wanted to do with the rest of the morning. He read the expression on my face.
“You know – you saying ‘whatta you wanna do?’ and me saying, ‘I don’t know, whatta you wanna do?” He talked like I should have known about what he was describing. After a few seconds of looking at my blank muzzle, he mumbled, “The buzzards….talking….singing.” I didn’t have the foggiest. My exasperated look prompted him.
“Oh come on, Sandy! The Jungle Book. Mowgli the man cub, Shere Kahn the tiger, Baloo the bear?” He looked equally exasperated.
“What are you talking about?” I asked as I scratched my ear with my rear paw. I’d seen Avatar, Up, and The Blind Side recently, but I didn’t remember seeing that Disney movie. “When did the film come out?” I asked.
The Geezer looked at me and shook his head sadly. “Sorry Sandy, it’s hard to remember that you haven’t been around forever.”
I thought, but didn’t say, “Its’ hard for you to remember anything.” I sighed and said, “How long ago?”
He looked perplexed. “Let’s see….hmmmmm….” The wheels and gears in the old boy’s cranium ground at a frenzied pace. He looked sheepish when the calculator finally rested. “The late sixties, maybe.”
I rolled my eyes, “Good Lord, Geezer! That’s over ten times older than I am.”
“I said I’m sorry, Sandy. It’s something we vastly experienced folks have to keep in mind when we communicate.”
“Vastly experienced folks?” It took a few second to translate the Geezerese. “Ohhhhh, you mean the old fart society!”
He chuckled, “I guess you could call us that.”
“Why do you do that, Geezer? We younger folks have no idea when you babble on about stuff that happened before man used fire. It makes you sound obsolete.”
“I’m not obsolete.” The old boy looked and sounded indignant.
I’d over-stepped the canine-human relationship agreement. “I didn’t mean that…exactly.” I tried not to look like I was lying. “You need to keep up with what’s going on so when you communicate with people outside your generation they understand you. Stay current.”
“Well, I try to. I watch the news. Both sides…Fox and MSNBC. I know what’s going on.” The Geezer still had a full load of steam in his boiler. His eyes had that, ‘I am still alive,’ shine that appears when his brain is aroused to cognition.
I worded my next comment carefully. He does control the treat bag. “That’s very true Geezer. You keep up with current events and politics. I’m sure you can talk to anyone about them. But…Well…You use a lot of metaphors based on cultural stuff. You need to up-date your knowledge of music, movies, personalities, books, lingo…those kind of things.”
The codger cocked his head to one side and looked thoughtful. “I see your point. Books….I keep up with regularly, so I’m probably okay there. The Twilight series. Harry Potter. Sparks. Patterson. I have read to write.” He hesitated, “How would you suggest I get up to speed on some of these other things?”
The Geezer had actually meant, ‘Put your money where your mouth is.’ I tried punting. “Just do more mod things.”
The Geezer leaned back, smirking at me.
“Okay, okay, okay.” I thought for a few seconds. “How about naming a few contemporary recording artists?”
He didn’t bat an eye, “Brad Paisley, Taylor Swift, Trace Adkins.”
“Somebody other than a country star,” I asked.
“Why? Brandy, the Crocodiles, Lady Gaga, or Googoo or what ever her name is, Jared Evan. I’m not really into rap or some of that other crap, though.”
“Hmmmm, too bad. I know you go to movies regularly. You’ve seen Avatar, right?”
“The Hurt Locker?”
“Up in the air?”
“The Expendables?” I thought I had him.
“Mrs. G and I just went last weekend.”
I scratched that itching ear again. It gave me time to think. “How about celebrities? Name a few in the news.”
“Sandra Bullock, Justin Bieber, Lindsay Lohan, George Clooney, Jennifer Anniston, Matt Damon, Megan Fox, Mel Gibson. Well, some of those are off the police blotters, but they’re in the news.”
I wagged my tail slowly. “What about saying something you might hear if you listened to a couple of college guys talking?”
He took a deep breath. “Lo, point man, og the moogs on the low risers with the blonde rug.”
“Okay, okay, okay. How about sports?”
The Geezer grinned. “Farve’s back, A-rod’s hit number 600, Clemens has been indicted, Straussberg’s for real, the Heat is hot, the Ravens will win the Super Bowl, and the Cubs suck…well that’s not new.”
“You seem to know the things that would let you keep mod with references when you’re speaking to we younger people. Why don’t you?”
The Geezer looked thoughtful, rubbed his chin, while the rusty steam turbine between his ears functioned. After the required delay he said, “I guess since I have a lot of things to choose from, I sort through them and pick the one that I think best illustrates what I want to communicate. But, I get your point. I need to adjust my rhetoric to my audience. Thanks, Sandy. Now, what do you want to do?”
“Do you have a copy of that Jungle Book movie?” I asked.
“Yep. Want to look at it?” he said. His smile was subtle.
“Sure,” I answered. You always got to be looking for the ‘best’ even if it might be a little old. Right?