Good riddance to 2021, we’re tired of wearing masks

On Dec. 28, the last Tuesday of the year 2021, the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Chuck Wagon Diner in Princetown. The year 2021 is finally going down the tubes and for many it is good riddance.

Some OFs think it is not many, but most, that join the good riddance club. The OMOTM are getting tired of wearing masks, but it looks like 2022 is starting out the same way.

This scribe is also getting tired of putting words to the computer screen about the same topic every week. Lets get rid of this for good and then the OMOTM can have some good ole OF shenanigans.

Topic number two is always the weather. It is too hot, too cold, and too dark, too wet, too icy, too much snow, too violent, too this or that, but no matter what “too” it is the OMOTM are always at the proper restaurant, and the restaurant is open.

This time of year, it is the jolly season. Youngsters and oldsters do goofy things, and dress in ugly sweaters, which are in vogue this season.

Tuesday morning, an OF showed up wearing green suspenders that were flashing with green lights. These suspenders were actually holding up his britches so, no matter the comments, the OF was stuck wearing them or his pants would fall down.

It is also a time for not only the OFs, but the elderly in general, and even the youngsters, to be darn careful. One OF went out to perform a routine operation that the OF has been doing for years.

That is, going to the wood pile, getting wood, and stoking the outside wood furnace, only this time the back porch was covered with a skim of black ice and was slicker than slick and the OF took a header down the stairs, and header means head first, and so the OF wound up in the hospital.

Thank goodness the OF is OK, nothing broken just cut and bruised, and at his age a ton of hurts.

One OF mentioned that this OF thinks, no matter what age anyone is, and male or female (it makes no difference), falling is a surprise and there is nothing that can be done about it.

“It’s just like throwing a gutter ball,” the OF said. “It is not possible to get it back and do a do-over.” The OF muttered, all anyone can do is say to themselves (or out loud for that matter): “Oh dear, here I go!”


Collisions with raindrops and deer

This scribe tries to park his bottom where he can see the OFs as they come into the restaurant and note their names in a little notebook. This is very important because the scribe has received inquiries from the distaff side about the attendance of a particular OF at the breakfast.

This allows the scribe to notice some of the attire of the OFs, which is basically very normal. However, this scribe noticed almost every OF wears a hat or cap.

This is a very good habit to get into to keep the sun off the head, but the OFs who have gone bald, or have very thin hair, wear a hat just to protect the noggin.

The bald OFs can attest to what it is like to not have a head of hair and get hit on the head by just one raindrop. To most, it is like getting hit on the head with a two by four.

The OFs feel it is safe to assume that a raindrop that has fallen from thousands of feet up has reached the maximum velocity of a falling object, which is roughly 120 miles per hour, more or less.

One OF had the recent unfortunate experience to collide with a deer at a normal highway speed. The OF said there was no such thing as a reaction time because the deer and vehicle collided at the same time the deer was seen, which the OF said was about 50 miles per hour.

“The deer,” the OF said, “went up and over the vehicle and met its demise with the impact.”

The amazing thing is how little damage there appears on the vehicle — some damage, but not much.

“However,” the OF continued, “to repair the damage was substantial.”

Then the conversation quickly jumped to the price of paint, if you can even find any to purchase. The OF mentioned it is not the car parts that might be needed (these are just about what the OF expected) but it is the paint, and painting the vehicle the way it was intended to look.

This started a lot of talk among the OMOTM about hitting deer, or having deer hit the car, or truck. After hearing about all the deer that have been hit, it seems the OFs do better with a car than they do with a gun. It also appears to have kept a lot of body shops busy.

One OF told of not hitting three deer but stopping in plenty of time to let them cross in front of the car, only there was a fourth one that the OF did not see but the OF had already re-started the car.

The OF’s wife said to him, “There is another one,” so the OF stopped again and the deer proceeded across the road right in front of the car.

When the deer reached the rider’s side of the car, it stopped and deliberately kicked the car, putting a nice four-inch hole in the grill, and then casually sauntered up the bank on the other side of the road.

The Old Men of the Mountain who made it to the Chuck Wagon in Princetown and did not have contact with a deer or any other creature were: Rich LaGrange, Robie Osterman, Bill Lichliter, Paul Whitbeck, Jake Herzog, Elwood Vanderbilt, Rich Vanderbilt, Allen Defazzo, Dave Hodgetts, Bob Donnelly, Lou Schenck, Jack Norray, Herb Bahrmann, and me.