Thursday, April 8, 2010

Dancing to the Old Man's Tune

Sometimes being the old guy at work makes me feel utterly ancient. The young guys can go out and party and manage to make it to work the next day--at least physically. I can't, don't and won't.

The young guys think they can do it all. Us old guys know our limits, which quite frankly are beyond what most of the young guys can do. Older guys know that there's more to it than just showing up. There's preparation for the day and taking care of closing up at the end of the day.
Well, here's a story that one of my colleagues passed on to me that illustrates this very point:

An old prospector shuffled into town leading a tired mule.

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

He walked up and tied his 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 las bullet had been fired, the young gunslinger, still laughing, holstered his gun and turned around to 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 here for us all:

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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