OLD COOT


Last summer a boat driver came over to our table at the Full Moon Bar in Jomtien. Tip liked to drink. The young Cambodian smiled at me and said something to Mam.

I really didn’t understand what, but her reaction translated the meaning.

Tip smiled at me again like I was an old fool.

That may be true, but I’m only a fool for my friends.

I picked up a knife and said to Mam, ‘This boy is going to have a problem.”

“No problem.” She knew my temper.

“No problem.”

I envisioned standing up behind the young man to slip the blade between his ribs.

At my age old fools don’t fight young men.

Mam was hoping that I did nothing stupid and I didn’t do anything stupid other than put down the knife and ordered another beer. Mam and I crossed the street to drink in front of our apartment building. It was a smart move and Tip was smart too, because he saw the murder in my eyes.

Old guys can be like that and Chas Mover sent a joke that’s very appropriate.

THE OLD COOT

An old prospector shuffled into town leading an old tired mule.

The old man headed straight for the only saloon to clear his parched throat.

He tied his old mule to the hitch rail. As he stood there, brushing some of the dust from his face and clothes, a young gunslinger stepped out of the saloon with a gun in one hand and a bottle of whiskey in the other.

The young gunslinger looked at the old man and laughed, saying, “Hey old man, have you ever danced?”

The old man looked up at the gunslinger and said, “No, I never did dance…

“Never really wanted to.”

A crowd had gathered as the gunslinger grinned and said,”Well, you old fool, you’re gonna dance now,” and started shooting at the old man’s feet.

The old prospector –not wanting to get a toe blown off– started hopping around like a flea on a hot skillet. Everybody was laughing, fit to be tied.

When his last bullet had been fired, the young gunslinger, still laughing, holstered his gun and turned around to go back into the saloon.

The old man turned to his pack mule, pulled out a double-barreled shotgun, and cocked both hammers. The loud clicks carried clearly through the desert air. The crowd stopped laughing immediately. The young gunslinger heard the sounds too, and he turned around very slowly.

The silence was almost deafening. The crowd watched as the young gunman stared at the old timer and the large gaping holes of those twin barrels.

The barrels of the shotgun never wavered in the old man’s hands, as he quietly said,

“Son, have you ever licked a mule’s ass?”

The gunslinger swallowed hard and said, “No sir….. But… I’ve always wanted to.”

There are a few lessons for us all here:
Never be arrogant.
Don’t waste ammunition.
Whiskey makes you think you’re smarter than you are.
Always, always make sure you know who has the power.
Don’t mess with old men; they didn’t get old by being stupid.

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