The OFs holler: ‘Are we there yet?’

The question of the day is the same question that is hollered by the kids from the back seat on any car trip over fifteen minutes, “ARE WE THERE YET?”

Are we there yet is a question the Old Men of the Mountain are asking, and they are answering this question themselves, “No we are not!”

The question (and answer) these days are about the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. The OFs seem to think it is going to be quite awhile, and to one OF that this scribe has spoken to, this virus is like dust and it blows all over the place.

Again, the few spoken to are chomping at the bit to just get out and about for a little while without all the worry, especially at the ages of these OMOTM.

It is not at all like World War II with rationing and books of rationing stamps. Those of the OFs who have been through that remember those stamps well and how little grumbling was done about them. At least the OFs don’t remember grumbling.

This is completely different. As one OF put it, “Screw up on this one and you are dead; screw up on your ration book and all you are out is five pounds of sugar.”

The OFs can’t wait to be “there.” “There,” in this case, means maybe a vaccine to handle this virus, or the virus just gives up and goes away — not “there” as dead.

The OFs spoken to talk about restaurants opening under the new guidelines, and the OFs ask: How are they going to fit the OFs into some, if not most, of the restaurants we go to?

Right now we are shoulder to shoulder, and hiney to hiney in them and, if we go six feet apart, we definitely have to eat in shifts. The early birds would eat in one shift, and the sleeper-inners in another.

One OF said, “Who the h--- is going to figure all that out?” But nobody is going to listen to him anyway. Maybe it can be done by days.

One OF offered a group to go Monday, one on Tuesday, and leftovers on Wednesday. That might work; at least the OFs would get out one day a week.

This scribe thinks that for kids and young people this may be, as they say, the new normal — all this virtual stuff, but for all of us OFs in our seventies and eighties these have been long years for habits to become really ingrained in our tough old hides, and it is even tougher to change at this point in our lives.

Even so, some of the OFs are keeping themselves very busy; one OF in particular said just the other day he is so busy he doesn’t know which way to turn.

That is a good problem, but then some OFs know of families and close friends who have been laid off, furloughed, or had hours cut back; no matter what it is called, these workers will eventually be out of work. The OFs think that in many cases this is going to be a permanent situation.

One OF said two things are going to happen to companies small or large: They are either going to reopen, or fold up. But for the company that has to use the “lay off” on key, talented personnel, an incentive is in order to keep them.

If not, the company may lose them because all those gone are not going to hang around until our friend, the “there,” comes. They will look for other jobs, and who knows. This is a sticky wicket any way it is looked at. And it is worldwide, which makes it stickier.

The other OF who is on the busy side is Jack Norray and his son. They are planning on having their Norray family annual chicken barbecue in front of the Knox Reformed Church on Memorial Day, Monday, May 25, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

This is going to be a different barbecue than those in the past because things are different than they were in the past. This will be a drive-through pickup according to Jack. It will be necessary to order your chicken dinner ahead of time. Well, that is different!

How are the OFs supposed to know about this, or the people who are out for a ride, and don’t want to make dinner? This scribe answered his own question by saying, “Hey, we will put this information in the column. After all, we are OFs of the highest order.”

So anyone will be able to go online to:, or by calling 518-872-2257. Just so there are no surprises, the price is 12 bucks for half a chicken, a baked potato, coleslaw, and a homemade roll with honey butter.

The scribe is hungry just typing this. Last week, I said I went to a new restaurant called “The Kitchen.” You must gather all the ingredients and make your own meal. I have no clue how this place is still in business.