“Rooney,” I say when meeting Big Fat Rooney by accident on the streets of Independence, “Rooney, how old are you?”
Rooney takes a few seconds to come back from wherever he went after greeting me and expressing some surprise at seeing me.
“What do you want to know that for?” he grunts. Rooney is a good one for grunting. It saves him energy, I guess.
“Well, I was wondering if it would mean anything to you if I told you you look like a violation?” I says, stepping out of the way of a lady bundled warm from the cold. She looked to be returning Christmas presents for exchange or cash. We were in the pawn shop area of Independence – that includes the bars, by the way – and several law offices.
“I was born in 1980, what of it?” Rooney said.
“You’re too young then,” I said, thinking out loud, “you wouldn’t remember.”
“Remember what?” demands Rooney, “ and what’s all this violation stuff?”
“Well,” as I take a close look at Rooney, “back in the day the government was beginning to use what were called punch cards. They used them for checks and certain forms?” I paused.
“Yeah, yeah, go on!” Rooney grates.
“You found work yet, Rooney?” I asked.
“Naw. Too early for farm work and,” his face brightens up, “the government extended the unemployment checks. Mine should be in the post office now.”
“I see,” I said, as I started around Rooney. I had other things to take care of before returning home this day.
“I’ll see you later, Big Guy!” I set out the words in departure.
Rooney reaches out and laid a hand on my arm. “What do you mean about me looking like a violation?” he demands.
“Oh, that!” I exclaimed. “Nothing bad, Rooney, except you look pretty well like a violation of the government warning they used to put on those check and card. Like you’ve been Folded, Spindled and Mutilated – almost beyond endurance.”
“Yeah,” he says, wiping a hand across a new scar on his cheek. “I guess I have, err, do.”
“Get your check, Rooney, and enjoy life.” I throw over my shoulder as I’m leaving him standing there beneath that leaf bare tree.
His face brightens considerably and he says; “Yeah. That’s where I’m headed.”
I suppose, I’m thinking as I continue my business, that the Obama Health Care System with their death squads encouraging old folks to leave early and get off the systems rolls applies in a different manner to the young.
It is just going to take longer and work differently. One thing for certain is the insurance actuary tables will have a definite end rather than a probably.
From the reaches,