Woven into our information signage that motorists traveling our major highways view daily, are important posts that concern its citizens. It warns of upstream accidents, ongoing or future construction and more recently: Silver Alerts. These electronic town criers send out a regional report of an escaped or missing senior citizen. The LED billboards scattered strategically across the county, flash the license plate and description of the perpetrators getaway vehicle with instructions to call 911. So, what heinous crime was committed? Old Fogey Fred woke up this morning in the confines of the geriatric penal institution (nursing home) and for once in 5 years his brain was running on all 8 cylinders. Freedom was his inspiration of the day. He seeks the car belonging to that fat, lazy, food stealing attendant, locates the keys, and off he goes in his quest to see the sun set in a beautiful rural setting. SWAT teams are alerted, roadblocks are contemplated, and all citizens are upgraded to deputy status in hopes that one will rat out Fred’s location. West bound, the silent felon is in the subconscious mode and is obeying all traffic laws burned into his long-term memory. Fred has gone stealth. But wait, the ever-vigilant Mrs. Kravitz with her keen eye, spots the “wanted wagon,” and no social pariah in his exiting chariot of deliverance is going to get away on her watch. She reaches for her trusty cellphone. The gods have smiled on Old Fogey Fred today as he passes Mrs. Kravitz in her vehicle going the other way. Over the hill, Fred turns north and slowly climbs a small mountain range in order to get a better view of the upcoming twilight. The terrain has now blocked her cellphone signal. Awaiting sunset with a coveted McDonald’s burger digesting in his gut, Fred instinctively knows that tomorrow he’ll be running on 4 misfiring cylinders, but for now, all that matters is that scarlet and crimson sky to the west that is burning in to his content soul.
He must be in Wisconsin, Tennesse finds him in a smokey wooded area back in the hills where he’s about to enjoy some fresh moonshine. Tomorrow may come with four cylinders, but running on the high octane, the battered eight from a 1933 Fred, could never produce in his early 20s. Go Fred Go!!!