After 40 years as a computer programmer and game developer—and the passing of his wife of 47 years—Rick has retired and is now living in Ye Olde Folks Home, where he still tinkers with tech and likes to write these amusing and/or thoughtful tales about his storied life.

Beware! The Oldsters Are Coming!

The bus that whisks us away to Anyplace But Here.

Recently at Ye Olde Folk’s Home we had a planning meeting for upcoming excursions that was well-attended. Everyone had strongly-held opinions as to where to go next in the coming weeks.

The most popular destinations, other than the casinos, would be the various restaurants in the region. All the residents eagerly look forward to those trips.

The staff of the restaurants we visit, unfortunately, do not universally return our affections.

I’ll admit we’re a challenging bunch. We come in a huge bus that slowly discharges all our people in two batches: first the ambulatory residents and then, one by one, the walker and wheelchair-using people as they slowly come off the lift.

Some restaurants deal with this tsunami of walkers and wheelchairs with deft and practiced ease; others are nonplussed and at wit’s end trying to figure out where to put them all.

And some of our residents confuse easily, further slowing down the ordering process.

In our defense, I will say that unless we are unhappy with our treatment, we tip quite generously.

The staff at one recent eatery was annoyed at our insistence that our non-ambulatory people be allowed to pay via credit card at our table rather than while standing at the counter up front. “That’s gonna waste 10 whole minutes,” our waiter whined.

Another time one person mistook a passing diner for a waitress and fruitlessly held a glass aloft for a refill. “Oh, Miss? Miss?” she called out, to no avail.

The next time she called out slightly louder, to our waitress this time, who hissed in an irritated tone, “I think the whole restaurant heard you.”

Despite this, there are establishments that treat us like visiting royalty, and as you can imagine, we return there again and again. Today we went to Giuseppe’s Italian Ristorante, one such eatery, for the third time.

Word of mouth from everyone who went the prior two times was overwhelmingly positive, so we had 14 people this time out, even with the -12F weather.

I confess I don’t know the name of the owner there, but I absolutely love the guy. He barely speaks English but runs the place with a dignified pride that I find endearing.

“Is the Alfredo sauce made here?” one of us asked.

The owner beamed at her. “Yes. I make it,” he proclaimed with obvious self-satisfaction.

That does it. It’s the shrimp with Alfredo sauce for me! And it was delicious.