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That's what the kid behind the counter at Taco Bueno said to me. I
dug into my pocket and pulled out some lint and two dimes and something
that used to be a Jolly Rancher. Having already handed the kid a
five-spot, I started to head back out to the truck to grab some change when
the kid with the Emo hairdo said the harshest thing anyone has ever said to
me. He said, "It's OK. I'll just give you the senior citizen discount."

I turned to see who he was talking to and then heard the sound of change
hitting the counter in front of me. "Only $4.68" he said cheerfully. I
stood there stupefied. I am 48, not even 50 yet... a mere child! Senior

I took my burrito and walked out to the truck wondering what was wrong with
Emo. Was he blind? As I sat in the truck, my blood began to boil. Old?

I'll show him, I thought. I opened the door and headed back inside. I
strode to the counter, and there he was waiting with a smile.

Before I could say a word, he held up something and jingled it in front of
me, like I could be that easily distracted! What am I now? A toddler?

"Dude! Can't get too far without your car keys, eh?" I stared with utter
disdain at the keys. I began to rationalize in my mind. "Leaving keys
behind hardly makes a man elderly! It could happen to anyone!"

I turned and headed back to the truck. I slipped the key into the
ignition, but it wouldn't turn. What now? I checked my keys and tried
another. Still nothing. That's when I noticed the purple beads hanging
from my rearview mirror. I had no purple beads hanging from my rearview

Then, a few other objects came into focus. The car seat in the back. Happy
Meal toys spread all over the floorboard. A partially eaten doughnut on
the dashboard.

Faster than you can say ginkgo biloba, I flew out of the alien vehicle.
Moments later I was speeding out of the parking lot, relieved to finally be
leaving this nightmarish stop in my life. That is when I felt it, deep in
the bowels of my stomach: hunger! My stomach growled and churned, and I
reached to grab my burrito, only it was nowhere to be found.

I swung the truck around, gathered my courage, and strode back into the
restaurant one final time. There Emo stood, draped in youth and black nail
polish. All I could think was, "What is the world coming to?" All I could
say was, "Did I leave my food and drink in here?" At this point I was
ready to ask a Boy Scout to help me back to my vehicle, and then go
straight home and apply for Social Security benefits!

Emo had no clue. I walked back out to the truck, and suddenly a young lad
came up and tugged on my jeans to get my attention. He was holding up a
drink and a bag. His mother explained, "I think you left this in my truck
by mistake." I took the food and drink from the little boy and sheepishly

She offered these kind words: "It's OK. My grandfather does stuff like
this all the time."

All of this is to explain how I got a ticket doing 85 in a 40. Yes, I was
racing some punk kid in a Toyota Prius. And no, I told the officer, I'm
not too old to be driving this fast.

As I walked in the front door, my wife met me halfway down the hall. I
handed her a bag of cold food and a $300 speeding ticket. I promptly sat
in my rocking chair and covered up my legs with a blanky.

The good news was I had successfully found my way home.

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