The other day the Men's Choir from our church entertained the residents at the Gateway Senior Community in Euclid.
About an hour before we began, I had the idea of dramatizing the latest addition to our repertoire, GRANDMA GOT RUN OVER BY A REINDEER.
Just a few days shy of Christmas, reindeer outfits were not to be found. The clerk at the costume shop said the only animal available was a dairy cow.
So it was with apprehension that we enacted the tune GRANDMA GOT RUN OVER BY ELSIE THE COW.
My brother dressed up as Borden's favorite bovine, udders prominent and well, you get the whole ridiculous picture.
Few audiences would have known how to respond to such bizarre theater.
Except for this audience.
These folks, average age around eighty-eight, loved it, laughing uproariously.
It was a grand time in the Gateway Social hall that night, walkers banging against the floor in rhythm to the music.
The Men's Choir was enveloped by a collective hug of warmth and appreciation despite Rudolph being replaced by the Great Guernsey.
Only a group of senior citizens would have had the goodwill and sense of humor to let us get away with a gag like that.
That's why I love old people.
I also love them because they tell it like it is.
Perhaps for them, the life left is too short to beat around the bush wasting time dressing up the truth.
Give it to 'em straight.
A famous Catholic preacher told the true story of an old woman who listened to a rather liberal Jesuit proclaiming that modern theology viewed hell as a fiction.
"You don't believe in hell?", she asked incredulously.
"I most certainly do not, madam", he replied.
She looked him right in the eye and said, "You will when you get there."
We called my mother's father "Gran" and we loved to listen to his stories of what Mom was like growing up.
He played piano with superb chord structure up until the day he passed away, despite his loss of sight years previous.
He trained us kids to be Chocaholics like him, always in search of new ways to incorporate the taste of a Hershey bar into a recipe.
He was the oldest person I knew and he embodied fun.
The Chinese revere oldsters. They value their wisdom and experience.
I value their joy.
So should you.
Besides, who else would appreciate the fact that you can't get milk from a reindeer?