By JOHN PAUL CARTER
We call ourselves the “ROMEOS” – far from being skilled with the ladies, we are just “Retired Old Men Eating Out.” On Tuesdays over our favorite barbecue, the topics of our conversation are wide ranging. But one subject that often reoccurs is our frustration with computers that frequently breakdown and have to be taken to the shop for repair.
This usually leads to the debate about whether it would be cheaper to junk the old one and buy a new one. And that touches a deeper nerve – it’s not just about the money. We were all raised to fix things (ourselves) when they broke down.
A while back, Bill told us how he disposed of his errant printer at the city landfill. Preparing to carry it from his pick-up to the trash heap, he remembered the frustration it had caused him. On impulse, he lifted the printer high above his head and hurled it to its destruction. “I don’t know about guilt,” Bill confided, “but it was amazing how much better I felt driving back to town.”
Ben, who has spent a lifetime helping folks deal with their feelings, chuckled and said it sounded like one of the best ideas that he’d heard in a long time. We all laughed as we imagined the joy of casting some computer, weed-eater or cell phone into outer darkness.
I confess to losing my patience with hard-starting lawn mowers, disobedient dogs, hard-headed people, seemingly hopeless situations and most of all, myself - especially if I’m in a time-bind. I’m usually not a violent person but sometimes I feel like Ralph Cramden in The Honeymooners, “One of these days, Norton....Pow! Right in the kisser!” To the garbage dump!
Since my recent open-heart surgery, I’m grateful that they didn’t give-up on me and send me to that great landfill. Now, if I can only develop the patience to deal with my recovery!