The pros and cons of mask-wearing

On June 8, the Old Men of the Mountain woke up to a hot and humid day, but according to the weather people on TV it is not unusual to have such a day on June 8.

The body sure changes as people age. The OMOTM said, when they were 19, they would be out in the fields haying in this heat and think nothing of it. Now, at 80, it is a different story.

The weather on this day, however, did not keep the Old Men of the Mountain from meeting at the Middleburgh Diner, in Middleburgh.

During this time of COVID, many of the OMOTM are becoming accustomed to wearing masks. Not only does this help in preventing the spread of the disease, but on the old folks the mask hides a lot of facial blemishes. If an OF loses a tooth in front, the mask can hide it until it is fixed.

One OF said, “I kinda like this thing; people don’t know if I am smiling or sticking my tongue out at them.”

Another OF said he doesn’t like masks at all.

“They are a pain in the butt,” the OF complained.

This OF wears hearing aids (as many of the OFs do) and most of these OFs say, when taking the mask off, either the hearing aids go flying, or they dangle from the OF’s ears like earrings.

The OF who started the complaining said that one time, when he took the mask off, a hearing aid went flying and broke in two pieces. That is an expensive mask removal.

Another OF said, “Try wearing hearing aids, mask, and glasses.”

This OF is afraid eventually his ears will look like Dumbo’s. The OF said his ears are big enough already; they don’t need any help.


Why are prices up?

The OFs keep bringing up how much prices on everything have jumped. Not only food, but lumber, nails, gas — everything. The OFs cannot understand why.

Did all of a sudden the trees stop growing so there isn’t as much lumber? The OFs don’t think so.

One OF said he thinks that the big lumber companies pulled the same stunt the coffee companies did. They create their own shortage (or at least make believe there is one) and then jack up the prices, but lower the increased prices somewhat (at least back maybe one half) and their profits will still be greater than before.

One OF asked, “Isn’t that what is taught to the number crunchers at Harvard Business School?”


Purchasing practices

A week or so ago, the OGs were discussing buying habits of the sexes. This week, the purchasing of the OFs was not so much about habits, but opportunities, and quirks.

One OF mentioned he had, in the past, made quite a purchase of shirts. This OF claimed he had a ton of shirts and when he spotted a shirt he liked he bought it. The OF didn’t know why, but he said he was happy it wasn’t shoes.

To which another OF said he could relate to that because his wife has more shoes than a shoe store. This OF claims his wife still has shoes (never worn) in their boxes.

One OF questioned the OG with the shirts if he had pants to match the shirts. The OF claimed he didn’t — most of his pants were jeans for work, and he would wear one of the shirts with the jeans. The OFs thought that was cool.

Another OMOTM said he purchased mostly on opportunity. One such purchase was when a friend of his passed away and this friend had a good supply of shirts with logos on them. The OF had such a shirt on at Tuesday morning’s breakfast, and one OF commented that he was familiar with the area shown on the logos.

The OF said he had nothing to do with the logo, but the friend did and the OF purchased a complete box of them. The shirts were a perfect fit, and the OFs must say the shirts looked good on the OF and fit him well.

The OFs continued in this vein with yet another OF saying he had the same opportunity with neckties. He received a complete box of ties, all different, and if anyone has priced halfway decent ties lately, they would know this was quite a find for two bucks.

Now that the OF is not working, the OF does not need ties, so he is in the process of giving them away. Ties are something that rarely require a fit, unless the wearer needs one as a bib, like the Donald.


Mystifying meds

Medicine, aches, and pains are common among the OFs; sometimes the OFs have trouble understanding how and when to take certain medicines.

There are many examples: One is a pill that says, “Take with food,” and another pill says, “Take on an empty stomach.” How empty, and how much food comes into play.

Other instructions are, “Take twice a day, once with breakfast and once with dinner.” Whoops, now how is the one to be taken on an empty stomach work?

If breakfast is at 7 a.m., the medicine is taken. The no-food advice at 6 a.m. is OK, for one hour before eating. Now is two slices of toast and a banana enough food? This goes on and on.

Just think of all the combinations with such brief instructions. How much food is enough, how empty should the stomach be, no dairy (how long “no dairy” after the pill is taken)?

Just like instruction on many items, the manufacturers assume everybody knows how the medicine was made and should know how it works. It seems laughter is the best medicine — except for treating diarrhea.

The Old Men of the Mountain who made it to the Middleburgh Diner and all the world’s problems, if not solved, were at least discussed and the OFs ironing out most of the creases were: Mark Traver, Glenn Patterson, Joe Rack, Harold Guest, Wally Guest, Roger Chapman, Jake Herzog, Ted Feurer, Jake Lederman, Pete Whitbeck, Bill Lichliter, Robie Osterman, Russ Pokorny, Jack Norray, Lou Schenck, Herb Bahrmann, Gerry Chartier, Warren Willsey, Mike Willsey, Rev. Jay Francis, and me.