Whippersnapped / by Courtney Mehlhaff

Last week this very elderly woman sat next to me on the bus. I have a soft spot for the oldies, probably because I have no grandparents left and my mom has worked in a nursing home for the past 20 years.

So I spent the greater part of my ride wondering two things:

1.  Should I offer to pull the stop cord for her as a courtesy?

2.  Does she think my iPod is a magical piece of moden witchcraft?

The second thought is obviously cruel, since it assumes this woman is not only helplessly out of touch but also incapable of embracing technology. Then again, I remember trying to teach my grandmother to play Super Mario Bros. once.  It did not go well.

But back to the first thought.  I went back and forth on this one.  Would offering to perform such a basic task make me seem like a respectful young lady, or would it imply that I feared that the simple act of reaching up would snap her brittle bones? 

Before I could make up my mind on this contentious issue, the woman stretched her arm behind me, yanked that cord like a mofo, and then managed to accidentally whap me upside the back of the head on the return trip.

At least I think it was accidental.  Maybe she was a mind reader.