Occasional blurbs in popular news media explain somewhat delicately why older retirees aren’t hired that frequently. Correspondents Richard and Pat are members of that pantheon who have more first-hand insight into that discriminatory behavior and offer this sociological example of why people in their 80s might not top any “To Hire” list:

Human Resources Manager: "What is your greatest weakness?"

Old Man: "Honesty."

Human Resources Manager: "I don't think honesty is a weakness."

Old Man: "I don't really give a d*** what you think."

More comments about aging from Correspondent Richard

Reporters interviewing a 104-year-old woman:

“And what do you think is the best thing about being 104?“ the reporter asked.

She simply replied, “No peer pressure.”

Welcome signs: “Everything’s up to date in Canisteo”

Sung to the tune of “Everything’s Up To Date In Kansas City:”

Ever notice the enameled fire-hall front and side signs calling attention to the constabulary in A-E‘s favorite municipality? Attractive yet functional red, black and white. Good job, village powers that be.

At the other end of the village, store owner Jon stocks shelves while busily helping customers locate goods. Reminded A-E of store front manager Mike at a larger greengrocer a few miles away. Business competitors Jon and Mike are collegial as they serve as Arkport village board members.

Brief Italian language lesson

A-E loves bruschetta and orders it frequently as an appetizer. His pet peeve involves correct pronunciation of the word. Here’s a typical conversation with a server:

A-E: “I would like the bru-sket-ta.”

Server: “Oh, you mean the bru-SHET-ta. It’s spelled incorrectly on the menu so I can see how you would make that mistake.”

A-E: “It’s actually spelled correctly on the menu; your pronunciation is incorrect ‘Ch’ in Italian is pronounced ‘k.’”

Server: Shrugs and walks away.

Some folks got it, A-E hasn’t

A-E enjoys actor Sam Elliott’s deep resonant voice, whether he’s hawking such manly items as pickups or dueling with bad guys while riding across the silver screen. Call the tones sonorously manly. Or muscularly imposing, like a mammalian rattlesnake: “Don’t mess with Sam.”

A-E thought about making a little spending money performing voiceovers until he listened to a recording of his nasal twang. The noisy voice is suitable only as a sound effect for scenes where the teacher scrapes her fingernails across a classroom blackboard in black-and-white episodes of Little House in Greater Jasper.

Recently-educated Americans depressingly don’t know much

A summer 2013 Roper survey of recent college graduates discovered only half knew that the Constitution establishes separation of Federal powers, 43 percent couldn’t identify John Roberts as chief justice, 62 percent didn’t know the correct length of congressional terms of office, 83 percent didn’t know what the Emancipation Proclamation ordered. An equally startling 36 percent of college graduates in a 2011 study didn’t show any significant "cognitive gains" (the ability to think) after fours years of college. Yet tuition for public and private colleges continues to skyrocket. Something’s wrong in the world of higher ed, A-E opines. Addendum: didn’t we learn the answers to those questions in secondary school? Except for the chief justice question: Earl Warren held that answer during A-E’s high school and college days.

Another tourist promotion recommendation for Greater Jasper

Iowa businesses and residents pocket tons of greenbacks from an early if somewhat confusing primary. Greater Jasper might try a matching money-making maneuver. With an Iowa-look-alike primary months or a year before the Hawkeye state caucuses, the Canisteo Hilton would probably be filled for half the year and residents could play “I saw the following famous politicians and journalists on Main Street today.”

A-E is kicking off the campaign season with this Shermanesque statement: “I will not be a candidate for president of the United States or Greater Jasper fence inspector. And if elected to either post (pun intended) I will not serve.”


Al Bruce of Canisteo writes a weekly column for The Spectator.