Certain books, cartoons, and jokes, though understood on some level by people of all ages, are understood at a deeper level by people who can relate to them. Take the cartoon Pickles, for instance. It is about the day-to-day lives of an older couple, and it is replete with old-people jokes which are hilarious to people “of an age” who can relate to them big-time. A few weeks ago, for example, my husband and I drove up to Richmond and met my brother and sister-in-law at an upscale outdoor mall. We were in Crate and Barrel, a store all four of us enjoy, and had been walking around the furniture section for awhile when K said, “Where’s my shopping bag (from a store we had visited previously)?” She looked at my brother and said, “Do you have my bag?” My brother didn’t know what she was talking about and threw up his empty hands. My sister-in-law started to panic. I recognized the frantic look on her face because it has been on mine many times before. She was just about to start retracing our steps when I noticed a shopping bag hanging from her shoulder. “You mean this bag, K?” Case solved. Could be the next Pickles comic.
To end our outing, as we were leaving the Body Shop with some samples of lotion, my sister-in-law started reading the package aloud: “Use at first signs of aging.” We looked at each other and screamed, “Too late!”
Note to writers of old-people jokes and cartoons: Feel free to use these real-life scenarios.