The War Between the Geriatrics.

This evening, owing to our schedule, our family decided to dine at a local restaurant.

Ethan wasn’t behaving near the end of the dinner, so he and I went out front to wait while Greg paid the bill.

While we were waiting, a shiny white car driven by an elderly fellow we’ll call Ed pulled up in front of the restaurant. While some of Ed’s senior passengers were disembarking, an even more elderly gentleman we’ll call Morris began backing out of his disabled parking space and even though Ed’ and his passengers in the white car were honking and yelling at Morris, I thought for sure Morris was going to back right into them.

But he didn’t.

Instead, Morris pulled back into his space.

“Whew,” I thought, as Greg and Laurel came out of the restaurant. "Crisis averted.”

No.

Morris backed again, and backed right into Ed’s car.

A woman with a walker jumped out of Ed’s car. “GODDAMMIT! YOU IDIOT,” she screeched. “WE JUST CAME FROM THE DEALER WITH THIS CAR!!!”

My eyes widened. A woman. With a walker. Jumping out and yelling like that. Wow.

Poor, disoriented Morris responded by hitting the gas and really giving Ed’s car the what-for, then pulled back into his spot, whereupon Ed jumped out, ran up…

…and…

KICKED Morris’s car, leaving a big dent.

My jaw dropped. “Holy hell,” I thought. “God bless South County.”

Ed started berating Morris, and poor Morris was so confused he didn’t even know what he’d done. Morris’s daughter, thankfully, was near – having driven a different vehicle – and intervened. Things were heated, but then Ed apologized for being mean…

…but he planted himself up against the dent he’d kicked in Morris’s car so nobody could see it.

“Dammit,” I muttered to Greg, “he’s trying to hide the fact that he kicked that old man’s car and left a big damned dent.”

I sought out Morris’s daughter.

“That guy left a big dent in your father’s car,” I told her.

“Thanks,” she said. “I saw him kick it, but I didn’t know he dented it.”

“Yeah,” I said, “he did, and he’s standing in front of it – I think on purpose. So I wanted to be sure you knew what happened.”

Then I went to our pickup, wrote our name and number down, and gave it to both parties. Just in case. We had an appointment to make, so we couldn’t wait on the police, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to let someone get screwed because that guy was hiding the dent.

The thing is, I know Ed and his passengers were pissed. I can understand completely. Here they had a car they’d just gotten from the dealer because apparently it’d had body work, and wouldn’t you know – the first thing that happened was some guy backs right into it. I mean, I’ve HAD that happen before. I laughed about it at the time.

But to kick his car in response, when you’re clearly north of 65? That’s unconscionable. What a lesson for my kids, who were delighted by the entire spectacle.

“Wow,” Laurel observed later. “It was kind of funny, really, watching those old people yell at each other.”

“Yeah, it was,” I told her, “but it was a terrible example for them to set for you.”

And this is why I respect my elders only when they are deserving.