Thursday, January 27, 2022




The other morning I looked into the mirror and saw the thing in life I most fear…The Geezer. To be sure: I was staring at a Chronological Geezer, sometimes known as the “Automatic Geezer”. At a certain age, everyone becomes a Geezer. The only question is where the age line is set. With an aging population, the limit tends to get a bit higher, as in my case.

The Chronological Geezer is a member of a relatively benign species, keeping to itself, and responding primarily to the ravages of the calendar. What is more significant is the Behavioral Geezer. This is a different animal as described in greater detail in Professor John “Jock” Soccaplaya’s seminal work, “Geezerdom” (University of Mid-Central Nebraska Press, 5th Edition, 1989).

According to Professor Soccaplaya, there are certain characteristics by which some purported experts claim they identify Behavioral Geezers, and distinguish them from the more subdued Chronological Geezers. For example, Behavioral Geezers are often said to be recognized for:

  • Among males, a tendency to wear black socks with short pants;
  • Among females, wearing a “cute” tennis or golf visor and a warm-up suit although the wearer clearly hasn’t been to a golf course or tennis court (This characteristic is also sometimes seen in the Chronological Geezer, and is believed to be the product of a crossover gene);
  • Driving in the left or center lane on a highway at a constant 27 mph, and defiant to passing traffic;
  • Leaving shopping carts in the middle of the aisle of any crowded store;
  • Gathering in flocks, making it impossible for non-Geezers and even Geezers of another flock, to pass by;
  • Acting aggressively in restaurants and other establishments;
  • Moving in busloads to Geezer-feeding sites, such as shopping malls and theaters;
  • Displaying seasonal colors, particularly among males who sprout bright red and green “jackets” in their winter plumage.

As Soccaplaya points out, the North American Geezer is generally a migratory animal. While some continually have one habitat, many or most prefer a northern habitat for the greater part of the year, and a southern one for the winter months. The Great Migration begins, usually, with Pathfinder Geezers in November or December, followed by the main body of the flock in mid-January. Soccaplaya wrote: “The Great Geezer migration is second only in predictability to the swallows returning to Capistrano.”

Geezers of all types are critical to the economic food chain. They not only feed in their habitats, but they also furnish nourishment in the form of “cash or credit” to local retail businesses, and in huge amounts to the legal and medical professions. Some Geezers have been known to utilize all medical providers in any nesting area, including veterinarians. In turn, they are able to feed on Medicare morsels.

Because some Geezers have given the species a bad name the breed is not always welcome in their second habitat. This is often unfair, but a fact of life. The moral of the story is: don’t stare at mirrors. The Geezer you see might be you.

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