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October 24, 2014

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OTHER VOICES:

When 85-year-olds pack heat

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News item: An 85-year-old suburban Boynton Beach, Fla., driver cut off another vehicle, then pulled a handgun on the other motorist after exchanging hand gestures, police said. The 85-year-old man was arrested for his armed road rage display.

Dear fellow condo residents:

We here on the board have become aware that many of you may be carrying concealed firearms, which is a grave concern not only to our unarmed gate guards but also to some of your neighbors, who fear they might be putting their lives in jeopardy by engaging in the sort of cherished verbal put-downs that have long been a staple of conversation here in paradise.

So with that in mind, we have decided to institute a program at the condo that we call EGADS — Expect Gramps is Armed, Dangerous and Surly. We hope that once EGADS is fully implemented, a new vigilant form of civility will in be in effect and lives will be saved.

This memo will address some problematic social situations that may require an EGADS response on your part.

• Situation No. 1:

You win a hard-fought game of canasta.

Traditional response: You stand up triumphantly and celebrate your victory with a little dance around the table, ending it by sticking your tongue out at your opponent and saying, “Take that, you old buzzard!”

EGADS response: You nod your head solemnly, and don’t make any moves to shuffle the deck until you announce in a very loud voice aimed at your partner’s good ear: “I — am — reaching — for — the — cards.”

Proceed by extending your hands toward the middle of the table, palms up.

Should your opponent make a sudden move toward his waistband, prepare to stop, drop and roll.

• Situation No. 2:

Your neighbor has parked his car so carelessly that half of the car overlaps your assigned parking spot, leaving it too narrow for you to park there safely.

Traditional response No. 1: You squeeze your car into your assigned spot anyway, making sure to open your driver door with sufficient force to leave a ding in the door of his car.

Traditional response No. 2: You park in a guest spot, but leave a note under his windshield wiper that says, “Get your eyes checked or stop driving!”

EGADS response: You park in a guest spot and put an NRA sticker on your car to avoid getting in trouble for not using your assigned spot.

• Situation No. 3:

Your neighbor’s teenage grandchildren are staying at his unit well beyond the two-week limit allowed by the condo rules.

Traditional response: Report the violation, and if he confronts you about it, say, “Yeah, that was me who complained. We all have to follow the rules around here. What makes you think you’re so special?”

EGADS response No. 1: Report the violation, but only after you have packed your bags and made plans to spend the next couple of months in hiding at your sister’s condo in Sarasota.

EGADS response No. 2: Persuade another neighbor to report the violation while you go out of your way to be nice to the visiting teenagers, which may include saying, “What’s up, dawg?” while they are skateboarding on the wheelchair ramps.

• Situation No. 4:

Your outing on the golf course is being ruined by a foursome in front of you that is playing way too slow. You’ve already asked them if your group could play through, and they said, “No.”

So you tee off when they’re still lollygagging on the fairway. One of the golfers walks back angrily toward you.

Traditional response: Hold your driver firmly. Walk toward him as you say, “C’mon, I missed you by a good 20 feet. If you’re so concerned, why don’t you let us play through?”

EGADS response: As he approaches, run to the nearest sand bunker, dialing 911 as you go. You can have yourself completely covered in sand if he walks as slowly as he plays.

• Situation No. 5:

For the umpteenth time, your neighbor hits you in the shins with his motorized scooter as he rolls onto the elevator.

Traditional response: Tell him, “I’ll see you in court!”

EGADS response: Smile through the pain, then make plans to get yourself a scooter for safe and injury-free elevator travel in the future.

Frank Cerabino writes for the Palm Beach Post in Florida.

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  1. I'm not at all concerned about 85 year olds carrying. They earned the right to do so and know enough to do so responsibly. I'm more concerned about 8 and 5 year olds carrying.

    Carmine D