Fog and drizzle, damp and cold,
days like this are getting old.
Not what I need this time of year,
to fill my heart with Christmas cheer.
I want the land all snowy white,
a scene that fits the season right.
Instead I'm faced with soggy mud.
As weather goes—today's a dud!
Yes, it takes a lot to make me commit such doggerel. But, I have my reasons.
Dud day or not, I'm soon preparing to haul my arthritic carcass out and onto the traffic-choked freeway for at least a partial day of Christmas shopping—though I can't say I'm looking forward to the ordeal. It's dark and cloudy and sprinkling. Parking lots will be jammed and messy. Stores will be crowded. Clerks and cashiers will be harried and short-tempered. Fellow shoppers surly, ruthless, and devious.
If that isn't bad enough, Thursday is the day when area retirement homes and senior-citizen centers often decided to load buses with their ambulatory inmates and foist them off on the general public—as if the malls and big-box shopping marts were a sort of free-for-all day-care facility. Never mind that half these folks get lost making the round trip from their room to the cafeteria, or must use a cane or walker to remain upright—a mile of lookalike storefronts illogically arranged on three levels, divided by all manner of escalators, elevators, ramps and stairs are disregarded as no problem by the captors who've set them temporarily free. "Why," they say, "they'll manage to get around and find their way just fine."
And let's not forget that seniors sometimes get a bit, er, cranky as they age; I certainly am. But I'm not yet to the point of those cantankerous oldsters who have at some point advanced from curmudgeonly to homicidal. Give them a shopping cart and they're armed and dangerous…and those sweet little old blue-haired ladies who look like Miss Marple are the worst! They'll lacerate your shins in a heartbeat, bang you in the hipbone for a bruising you'll wear until Twelfth Night, and if you still haven't fled for your life, flatten you over like a highballing steamroller—leaving nothing but wheel tracks along your spine and little waffle marks on your ears from the white tennis shoes with the sparkly pink laces they always wear.
Nevertheless, reluctantly I go.