Old folks say the darnedest things.

So I’m sitting at Macdonalds having supper with May last week–of course, this would be before I start doing this regularly again, and this nice enough couple of old folks come in and grab the table next to us. Now, ordinarily I don’t really take much notice when old folks drop in–they usually just do what they do and either ignore your existence or, in rare circumstances, go absolutely bonkers over the fact that OMG you’re blind and you got here by yourself! The former’s perfectly fine with me, the latter’s somewhat amusing. What these two did, though? If I’d borrowed Shane’s recorder that day, I could have had interesting fun with that. From a couple of old people in a fast food joint, we learned:

  • Turtles don’t actually die of natural causes. Sure, they’re vulnerable to disease and whatnot and would make for easy prey, but if it wasn’t for that, they’d be immortal.
  • Water will become the new oil. Before too long, we’ll be facing the possibility of being invaded for our water. Which, of course, will drive the price up and all hell will break loose.
  • Everything’s being run by technology nowadays. Machines and the like are everywhere, doing just about everything. If we’re not careful, it’ll cause the US’s already high unemployment rate to smack into 28%, as opposed to the current 8%. They didn’t say a thing about Canada, but the inner geek just went all “Skynet exists” for about 15 seconds.
  • Dogs can apparently understand complex sentence structures. Or at least, they have a vocabulary of around a thousand words and can understand phrases such as, we’ll say, “would you like”. Gee. I wonder if May’s pup would like to demonstrate for us. I’d ask mine, but sadly she’s only motivated by food.
  • Related: cats only understand about 500 words. So much for that theory about cats being smarter?
  • There was something in there about life either being or having been or possibly could be present on Mars. We may or may not have actually landed there. We may or may not be wanting to start a colony up there. Uh. Maybe. depending on which 5-minute period of the conversation you’re listening to. But we know Mars exists, anyway.
  • And we somehow went from those toy lasers your kid brother probably habitually pointed in the general direction of the eyeballs of a passing pilot, to those same lasers being used for corrective eye surgery, to those exact same lasers being used as aircraft defense. Or, at least, to bring down an aircraft–they never actually mentioned defense or anything. Bright side: at least one of them was sane enough, ish, to point out that maybe his buddy was getting just a tiny bit whacky with his predictions. Okay, okay, so the word he used was “futuristic”. “Science fiction” could also apply. I’ll stick with “whacky”.

And I didn’t even have to stir anything up with this conversation. Of course, May had to point out as they were leaving that it could have been rather amusing if they’d taken notice of the fact the two people seated at the table next to him were pretty much totally blind, and huge fans of the very technology they say will be the downfall of the US’s job market. I, personally, still cringe at that very thought. Although, to be fair, I don’t think they’d of paid much attention had we chosen on that trip to bring the guide pup. Their own little reality seemed much more comfortable to them. Thank christ, because it was a hell of a lot more amusing for us. Forget about kids. Old folks say the darnedest things.

6 comments
  1. Some of that stuff is fairly out there, but the water thing…I’ve heard some pretty smart people say that, and it makes quite a bit of sense. Everybody needs water, and there are haves and have nots just like there are with oil now. But where if government and industry truly wanted to put resources into it an alternative to oil could exist, water is a different matter. We need it. for everything. Humans can’t survive for more than a couple of days without it. It’s kinda important. And if places dry up and don’t have it, those places are going to go looking for it. And those that have it can either do things the easy way or the hard way.

    But that turtles thing…that’s a new one on me.

    1. See, here’s the thing with the water thing though. Oil’s not a renewable resource. Once it’s gone, so the common theory is, that’s it that’s all that’s the end. And people have been saying the US would invade us for our oil since, uh, they first realised we had oil. There’s a reason water isn’t traded on the TSX, isn’t there?

      1. I see what you’re saying. But at the same time, renewable resources are only renewable if they’re able to renew. If the climate models for the future are correct, there are going to be a whole lot of people getting a lot less rain. the water they need has to come from somewhere, and if not the sky, then where? Maybe it’s a worst case thing and none of this will happen, but I’m willing to allow for the possibility. And come on, there has to be a company involved in the bottled water business on the stock exchange. There just has to be. Is Coke still selling whatever fancy name they gave theirs?

        1. Oh, there probably is. But we both know there’s only such thing as a bottled water company because, uh, the eco nuts would go crazy without ’em.

          1. Well, nowadays the in thing for the eco nuts is to call for bottled water bans because the plastic is a real waste and because all the extracting for the absurdly marked up bottled stuff is destroying the natural water table. I’d have to say I largely agree with this line of thinking, though I’d hardly call myself an eco nut. Bottled water is an emergency thing, nothing else. Guelph had a big go round about water taking permits a couple of years ago and partially won. Didn’t go far enough, though.

            1. You’ll get no argument from me re: bottled water being for emergencies only, but the oil versus water arguments will always be different. People’s largest gripe with oil is we’ll eventually run out. We *can’t* eventually run out of water, even if the occasion place goes dry (note: they haven’t actually solidly proven that’ll happen yet).

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