He was appalled when the cashier called him old, but what followed was priceless.

“Dude, ya’ can’t get too far without your car keys, eh ?”

But I’m a “man,” and I stared with utter disdain at the keys. And standing there, I began to rationalize in my mind! “Leaving one’s keys behind hardly makes a man elderly!” No, it could happen to anyone!” And with a little “huff,” I turned and headed back to the truck. I slipped the key into the ignition, but it wouldn’t even turn. “What now?” I thought.

But I’m a man, and not to be denied, so I checked my keys and tried another one. Alas, nothing happened; in fact I couldn’t even “turn” the key! And that about the time I noticed the purple beads hanging from my rear view mirror. My friend, I didn’t have any “purple beads” hanging from my rear view mirror.

And about that time a few other objects came into focus: “The car seat in the back seat, and Happy Meal toys spread all over the floorboard.” Now, I’m a fanatic when it comes to keeping my vehicle clean, and there it was, “a partially eaten dough nut on the dashboard.”

Faster than you can say “Jack Rabbit,” I hopped out of that alien vehicle. And just seconds later, I was speeding out of the parking lot, relieved to finally be leaving this nightmarish stop in my life. And that’s when I felt it, deep in the bowels of my stomach: “hunger!” My stomach growled and churned, and I reached to grab my burrito. But would you believe that it was nowhere to be found.

I had enough, and I want you to know that I turned that truck around on a dime, and summoned up my courage. And I strode into that Taco Bell like a men, one final time.

And there he stood, Elmo draped in youth and black nail polish. And all I could think was, “What is this world coming to?” I think I remember stuttering, “Did I leave my food and drink in here?” I want you to know that at this point, I was ready to ask a Boy Scout to help me back to my vehicle, so that I could go straight home and apply for Social Security benefits.

And Elmo didn’t even have a clue where my food was. As I was walking back out to my truck, a young lad came up and tugged on my jeans to get my attention.

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