Wast­ing away

The Compass - - News - Harold Wal­ters My Im­per­fect Slant Harold Wal­ters lives Hap­pily Ever Af­ter in Dunville. He thinks it’s cool to live in the only Cana­dian prov­ince with its own time zone. He does not think it cool to live in a prov­ince that taxes books. Reach him at gh­walte

Be­fore I even had a chance to cash my last Old Age Pen­sion cheque I hap­pened across a news story from up in The States that put Don­ald Trump right out of my mind — not that I spend a whole lot of time think­ing about Trump.

The story was tragi-comic. Or ironic. Or some­thing. I’m never sure about those terms.

Which­ever the case, the item knocked my arse down into my Lay-Z-Boy and caused me to call out to Dear­est Duck.

“My Duck,” said I. “Fetch me a dou­ble dram of Ten­sion Tamer.”

My iAid bat­ter­ies were fail­ing but I be­lieve Dear­est Duck ques­tioned me about hav­ing a pi­ano fas­tened to my fun­da­ment.

I fetched the Ten­sion Tamer my­self and flopped back into my chair, the un­ex­pected news from The States leav­ing me weak and wasted.

It may sur­prise you that Dear­est Duck re­fused to bring me my mug of herbal tea but lately we’ve been work­ing our way through a mar­i­tal dis­agree­ment.

We’ve had a num­ber of hot and heavy ex­changes re­gard­ing our in­creas­ing ages and the pos­si­bil­ity of the time be­ing upon us when we should con­sider break­ing up house­keep­ing, as the old peo­ple [!] used to say.

“Harry, my grey-haired honey,” says Dear­est Duck, “I would not say hot and heavy are the proper words. Heated, maybe.”

“You have been riled up, my Duck,” say I.

“I sup­pose, and would you won­der?” says Dear­est Duck.

B’ys, I’ve been sug­gest­ing that we shop around for a nice cot­tage in some se­niors’ com­plex. Dear­est Duck ab­so­lutely re­fuses to even think about such a dis­mal — she says — thing, such a fi­nal step, so to speak.

“I am far too young for that,” says she.

I tried to paint an al­lur­ing pic­ture. I de­scribed wee trim cot­tages, each with a postage stamp lawn and a rose­bush in front and a shady maple tree in the back, cir­cling a per­fectly round man-made pond with wa­ter barely up to your knees at its deep­est point.

“My Duck,” said I, “think how ro­man­tic we’d look in sum­mer, stretched off on our match­ing lawn chairs and — who knows? — both of us sip­ping drinks with um­brel­las stuck in them, or mar­gar­i­tas with slices of lime skivered on the rims.”

Hold the thought on the mar­gar­i­tas. Those quin­tes­sen­tial happy-days drinks fac­tor in the dis­tress­ing story from up in The States.

Thought I’d for­got­ten about that, eh b’ys?

I con­tin­ued the art of per­sua­sion with Dear­est Duck.

“P’raps, on nice sum­mer days all the old folks would have a pic­nic down by the pond. Dish up some tapi­oca pud­ding, or some­thing,” said I.

Like ‘Ol Queen Vic­to­ria at her dourest, Dear­est Duck was not amused.

Hon­estly, I knew I’d lose the ar­gu­ment with Dear­est Duck even as I broached the sub­ject but I truly felt it was time to heave the idea on the ta­ble, so to speak.

Af­ter mak­ing her all spitey one last time, I gave Dear­est Duck a squeeze and said, “You know I’m only tor­ment­ing you. I have a cou­ple of dances left in me yet, my Duck.” Nev­er­the­less…

Okay, ap­proach­ing the news story.

Raise your hand if you know a party song fea­tur­ing mar­gar­i­tas.

Right. Mar­gar­i­taville, Jimmy Buf­fett’s well-known an­them to good times.

Pic­ture Jimmy hove off in the sun on a trop­i­cal beach, eat­ing sponge cake and siz­ing up his new “Mex­i­can cutie” tat­too. He’s happy as a clam and al­though he has a sore toe from an en­counter with a pop-top he knows that back in his tiki hut there’s a blender filled with booze — mar­gar­i­tas, I ‘low.

For 50 years — 50 years! — Jimmy Buf­fett has been en­ter­tain­ing folks. His name is syn­ony­mous with party, party, party. His con­certs con­tinue to sell out. Not only does he sing to his zeal­ous Par­rot­head fans who have spent their lives fol­low­ing him from venue to venue, but also he sings to peo­ple un­der…well, younger than me and Dear­est Duck, that’s for sure.

Al­though Jimmy Buf­fett is a sea­soned se­nior, his grin re­mains as cocky as a rooster’s.

“Al­right, Harry, ei­ther peo­ple know Jimmy Buf­fett or they don’t,” says Dear­est Duck, punc­tur­ing my balloon — kinda.

Fi­nally, here’s the shock­ing news from up in The States.

B’ys, get this, Jimmy Buf­fett — Jimmy Buf­fett mind you! — is open­ing a chain of re­tire­ment homes, Mar­gar­i­tavilles where old folks can waste away. Well, for frig sake!

Go mix some mar­gar­i­tas. Get wasted. Thank you for read­ing.

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