You know you’re old when you give someone driving directions using locations that went out of business 30 years ago.

I guess I do that because that’s how the old-timers gave me directions when I had no idea where I was going when I first got a license to drive.

Think about it. You can give directions using streets names all you want, but most people use landmarks to find where they’re going.

Both young people and old people do it.

However, it doesn’t always work out well when a young person is asking an old person for directions.


Young Person: “Hey, old guy. I’m Jonesing for a non-fat half-caff triple grande quarter sweet sugar free vanilla non-fat lactaid extra hot extra foamy caramel macchiato.”

Me: “Are you swearing at me?”

Young Person: “No, I want coffee.”

Me: “Oh, why didn’t you say so? There’s a Starbucks where the A&W Root Beer stand used to be.”

Young Person: “Where was that?”

Me: “Where Starbucks is now.”

When I was a kid, we NEVER went out to eat, much less bought coffee in a cup. We made it at home in a GE percolator.

My dad got home from work promptly at 5 p.m. each day and my mom had a variety of food and coffee ready and waiting on the table.

By variety, I mean it was always some form of breaded fried beef, fried potatoes, gravy, and, if my mom felt we hadn’t eaten anything healthy in awhile, she’d throw in some fried okra.

If we did go out somewhere new to eat as a family, the old-timers would use faded landmarks to tell us how to get there. I think that’s why we sometimes took one of my grandmothers. She could serve as the navigator.

So, kids, if you need directions, give me a call and I’ll do my best. But don’t call me today, because I’ll be at my cardiologist’s office, which is around the corner from the old TG&Y.