Archive for March, 2019

ANDY ROONEY REDUX

I still miss listening to him gripe Sunday evenings on CBS TV’s’s “Sixty Minutes.” His segment, “A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney,” at the end of the show was a highlight for 33 years.  But on October 2, 2011, at 92 years of age, he said farewell.  Told us he’d had a lucky life.  A wonderful family down to great grandchildren. Able to earn his living writing for 70 years, a rare feat.

Andy was more than a humorous curmudgeon.  He’d been a war correspondent in World War II, a reporter and writer for “Stars and Stripes,” awarded the Bronze Star, a writer for other radio and TV shows before “Sixty Minutes,” where he was known for his wry take on everyday occurences.

His name comes to mind when I’m feeling annoyed and crotchety. (Of course life was better when I was a girl.) Am not sure if crankiness increases with age — or if we just don’t have enough time left to put up with nonsense. It’s probably healthier to vent occasionally, anyway. Prevents brooding and ruminating.  As long as we watch our blood pressure.

Some of my current peeves:

Outlandishly expensive smart phones. Too many bells and whistles.  Not designed for the comfort and comprehension of most seniors. I was perfectly happy with a cell phone that made and received calls. But need Uber App for rides now — gave up driving last year.

Robo calls to land lines and now cell phones, too. Don’t answer anymore unless I see the name or number of someone I know.  Can block calls from land line, but once blocked a good friend calling from her daughter’s phone.

Boringly repetitiousTV ads, five or six at a time, that make me not want to buy what’s being promoted. I once counted ten interruptions with 43 commercials in an hour on MSNBC.  Though it’s sometimes it’s a relief from Trump coverage.

Human phone operators are extinct. Recordings answer:  “Press one for…  Press two for … Press three for …” multiple choices, none of which fit your situation.  Or “Due to heavier than usual call volume, there’ll be a wait…” And Amtrak’s robotic Julie doesn’t fool me for a minute.

Primary care doctors too busy to see you anytime soon.  Meanwhile, their nurse practitioners are available.  You may have to wait a month or more to see the Great Man.

Scarce sales help. It’s mostly do-it-yourself now.  Including checking out and paying by machine.  I remember the days when you could part the curtain in the dressing room and ask a salesgirl to bring you another size. Didn’t have to keep getting dressed and undressed.  You bought more then.

Malls and Big Box Stores with miles of aisles. When I was young, we had a row of small stores on Mentone Avenue in Laurelton. Candy store. Butcher.  Bakery.  Vegetables. Delicatessen.  Shoemaker.  Pharmacy. And they all knew your name, like on”Cheers.”

That’s just a selection.  There’s more.  Including the temperamental computer I just typed this on before my writing class today. Nearly lost half of it. I’ve bought an electric typewriter for backup. Have some yellow legal pads, too, in case of power outage. I want to keep writing.

On his last show, Andy said “the job of a writer is to tell the truth.” That he wasn’t a peformer, but a “writer who read what he’d written.”  And “a writer never retires.” I don’t think he would have yet, but sadly, he died only five weeks later of complications from minor surgery.

Here’s the kind of wry observation we’ve been deprived of since then:

“The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.”

“I don’t like music I can’t hum”

“There are more beauty parlors than beauties.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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