A kid biked by Insider’s house the other day in the early afternoon. The know-it-all was punching his fingers furiously into his cell phone with his head down when he ran smack into a sidewalk, flipped over the handlebars and onto the old guy’s lush lawn. The boy immediately jumped up, got his cell phone out of harm’s way in the street and laid back down on the lawn to apparently gather himself. A few minutes went by and Insider noticed the kid had gotten back up and was now walking his bike along the road with one hand and punching things into his cell phone with the other. Apparently the kid was doing something called text messaging, which is similar to email, Insider’s young punk friend told him. When it was discovered all was well with the kid, the old guy just laughed and laughed, and it wasn’t just a silly little giggle. It was one of those Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show moments. Oh, Insider just loves his people watching.
That got Insider to thinking about this new phone, the Ipod that’s been all over the TV of late. As much as the old guy hates government and wishes it was still the size the guys behind the Federalists Papers envisioned, it may be time for cell phones to be banned in cars and, of course, bikes. Just look around and notice how many people are either talking on their phones while they drive or are busy hitting the keypad with reckless abandonment. Perhaps the bullies in Annapolis have been on to something after all with this cell phone ban legislation. In a few short years, that same kid that took a tumble onto the old guy’s lawn will be driving and the ramifications could be much worse.
The old guy is calling it quits. The Underwood is going up and the replacement parts are impossible to find, the handwriting is too messy nowadays and the ideas are becoming increasingly difficult to come by. It’s been fun, but the time is right to part ways with this column. It’s become a dreaded chore. In fact, someone else at the newspaper office has filled in for Insider multiple times, as he routinely missed deadlines over the last couple years because of writer’s block or forgetting to take his memory medicine.
This was the old guy’s idea, so don’t go sending hate mail to the punk kid publisher. The young-timer tried to talk Insider out of it, referring to something he called a “dedicated readership” and blah, blah, blah. It’s just becoming too much of a job, and that’s when it’s time to quit. The publisher is too young to understand that now. He writes four columns every week, but 50 years from now, he will understand what Insider is talking about. It’s never been about the money (there was none in the first place). It’s just a good time to put a wrap on this column. Insider will not miss it.
It stormed the other night, and the next day the old guy did what he usually does. Once all the thunder, rain and lightning are gone, he walks around and surveys the property to see if any old tree branches lost their way or if there was anything else astray. Underneath one tree branch was an upside down bird’s nest. … Continue reading
Emotions almost never get the best of the old guy, he’s got no time for this needless waste of energy. But this time last year it happened. Insider had noticed a certain Cardinal hard at work building a nest directly out his back door tucked neatly within a large bush. The bird was working hard bringing back branches and leaves … Continue reading
The old guy is a homeowner and has been since the 1970s. The last time Insider rented he was a teen-ager living in Baltimore. The old guy and a buddy rented a rowhouse in the Hampden area after graduating from high school and before entering the Navy. It was on what is called “The Avenue” today and just a block … Continue reading
Whatever happened to the good-old fashioned names that Insider often used when he called out for friends. When the old guy reads the obituary section of this newspaper, all the names of the dead people are familiar to him. There’s a Walter, a, a Patrick, Josephine, a Charles, an Anna, a Frederick, a Susan, Carol, a Kenneth, a Kitty, a … Continue reading
We are being flooded with fund-raising events for worthwhile causes. Too often these are staged by professional fund raisers who take their cut and whatever is left over goes to the titled charity. A lot of people earn a good living in the name of charity, sometimes too good. We’re asked to walk, jog, golf, bounce, run and even dance … Continue reading
The old guy took his annual spring inspection tour of Ocean City’s beach Friday and all appears to be well. The beach is not the same as it was last year and that is as it should be. As is its nature, Ocean City’s oceanfront has reshaped, redesigned and recreated itself as if in preparation for the new season. And … Continue reading
The old guy grabbed a couple packs of Goldenberg Peanut Chews and a can of his RC Cola the other day and jumped into his old DeSoto. Once a month, the DeSoto needs to stretch its legs and Insider usually just heads south on Route 113 because it’s an easy drive and he’s ensured of not getting lost. That is … Continue reading
Sometimes it just doesn’t pay to worry. Insider would never put himself in the category of people that stresses about the little things, but when it comes to eating it’s a different story. The old guy has gotten to the point in his life by eating whatever he wants whenever he wants. If he wants to crack into a gallon … Continue reading
Insider is one of those types who asks for a Senior Citizen discount wherever he goes. It’s just a habit. It’s one of the perks of old age. One place that does not discount is the doctor’s office. When the old guy went to the doctor the other day to find out why his foot had been bothering him, Insider … Continue reading