Meeting Local Retirees

As I was rollin’ down the street this morning (with my alma mater proudly displayed on my license plate holder) on the way to the ole’ grocery store, an older couple pulled up alongside of me at a stop light. The husband was driving, and he busted out the “Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon” window roll down. His wife was sitting in the passenger seat with a map spread out in front of her. I assumed the husband would be asking me for directions.

Flashback: A few months ago I was in the supermarket, sporting my alma mater on my hat. While in the produce section, an older gentleman walked up to me and began singing said alma mater’s fight song. This had never happened to me, so I wasn’t sure how to respond. He got to the third line and asked me whether I knew the words. I replied that yes, I did know the words. But I didn’t join him in singing the fight song. We talked for a couple of minutes, and I found out he graduated in the late 50s, over 40 years before I graduated. He also played on our school’s much maligned basketball team, back when sub-six foot tall white guys were allowed to play D-I basketball.

Back to today. I obliged the man, and rolled down my window. Instead of asking me for directions, however, the husband asked me when I graduated from my alma mater. I told him my year, and he told me his year from the same school. And then it clicked: this was the same dude that I met in the supermarket a few months ago. We chatted — as much as you can chat through a car window at a stop light — and I found out he’s an emeritus professor in the Architecture Department.

Note: This blog will soon be renamed “My encounters with old people.”


  1. #1 razib
    September 9, 2006

    dude, old people are funny. like kidz.

  2. #2 Amit
    September 9, 2006

    That’s a funny story! Whenever I see people with Univ of Arizona stuff on, I ask them if they are from Tucson. But I don’t sing them the fight song, though.

  3. #3 Paul Decelles
    September 23, 2006

    Never had an old alumus sing the fight song but I did have a grey poupon moment. Only in my case it was me driving my 1980 powder blue Ford Pinto wagon-hey I was desperate for a car-and this guy in a red sports car pulls up next to me and leans over and asks if I had any Grey Poupon.

    People used to laugh at my car and I would simply challenge them if any one had ever asked THEM for some Grey Poupon.

    The car got me through a year of teaching until it died a merciful death on the Kansas Turnpike.

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