Rick's List - Elderly edition

A few weeks ago, in the stands at a Carolina Panthers/Philadelphia Eagles game, a 26-year-old fan and his date stood up the entire game. This frustrated folks directly behind them, of course, whose views of the contest were obfuscated. In fact, an older guy behind the pair complained about the rudeness factor until Standing Dude spun around, called Obscured-View Man a "geriatric (gay slur)" and sucker-punched him repeatedly in the face. (Video of the attack,which went viral, is easily accessed online. Caution: there's blood.)

Then, classy to the end, Standing Dude, loudly quoting from Cyrano de Bergerac — the "heaven's threshold/white plume" speech — took his escort's elbow and exited at top speed.

Not really about Cyrano. Otherwise ...

Some thoughts:

1. A mug shot of Standing Dude — yes, he was found and arrested and ID'd as one Kyle Adam Maraghy and is apparently no stranger to the booking process — is eerie in its generic similarity to every pledge-bullying frat-drunk you've ever seen.

2. "Kyle." Pretty perfect, though I wonder if Mom couldn't spell "Hunter" or "Logan."

3. If I'm the judge when Kyle Adam Maraghy steps before the bench on the assault and battery charge, my sentence is that Kyle Adam Maraghy gets a state-funded tattoo on his forehead that reads JUST WON NOBEL PRIZE IN MEDICINE. NO, REALLY.

4. Finally — and here's where the incident really hits home to me — both the Associated Press and Charlotte Observer reports of the incident referred to the victim as "elderly."

5. The victim is 62.

6. I'M 62!

7. Elderly!

8. Now, forever more, I shall feel the sting of knowing that not just the press but the world at large regards me as "elderly." This is sad because, while maybe I was in blissful denial, I certainly never regarded myself as "elderly."

9. This has had melancholy repercussions.

a. I found myself in a grocery store aisle last week, gazing at canned peas and thinking back on the mellow days of my youth,  when my family and friends would gather and eat canned peas together. All of those folks are gone now. All dead ...

b. A paleontologist called. He wants bone samples as I'm a fossil.

c. From now on, I'm taking all my meals in the cafeteria at L+M Hospital. At least I'll be on-site for the emergency responders when I keel over.

d. No, seriously: Within four hours of the AP and Charlotte Observer "62 = elderly" declarations, I developed chronic arthritis.

10. Wait! Kyle Adam Maraghy actually knew the word "geriatric"?! Wow. Note to AP and Charlotte Observer: Use "geriatric" instead of "elderly." Kyle said so.



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