Noilly Prattle: My Hero

Thursday, August 1, 2013

My Hero

     A 96-year-old gentleman walking with a cane and carrying a bag full of money was picked up by the police at the Nagoya Airport recently. The story is true, funny and inspirational because it shows that one is never too old.

      It seems the old gentleman had a domestic disagreement with his 87-year-old wife—in more blatant terms he and the old lady had a fight. That they actually had a fight at that age shows a certain feisty spirit on both their parts. The kind of spirit that may have been conducive to the fact that they have been married probably for some 70 years give or take since people married much younger in those days.

      Many a couple, I am quite sure, have had their “I'm-out-of-here!” moments and stormed out of the house in a huff and a snit. Yours truly included. But, good lord!, at 96? I stand awed in admiration and can only hope that there, thanks to fortune, will go I. Not so much the fight, but the spunk to do something about an uncomfortable situation and make a change. A long drive in the country, for example, can give you the space and time to cool off—for both. Then the issue can be dealt with more rationally and calmly with more listening and less shouting and scoring points.

      But our 96-year-old went far beyond a mere drive in the country for a few hours. He decided to start a new life if you please, or even if you don't please. He walked out of the house, with the assistance of the cane, of course, with a traveling bag, went to his bank and withdrew 28,000,000 yen in cash and stuffed it into the bag.

      He had traveled to Okinawa in the past and thought he liked it there. (It's a little like going to Miami Beach.) He bought an airline ticket to Okinawa with the intention of setting up a new life there. Remember, this is a 96-year-old using a cane, with the presence of mind to get to the airport, buy a ticket, check in and go through immigration and security while carrying a bag containing 28 million yen (nearly $300,000), board the plane and get a hotel in Okinawa. (I wonder how Airport Security didn't pick up that much money, it must show up on the X-ray even though it wouldn't set off the metal detector.) 

      Meanwhile, I suppose, his wife filed a missing persons report with the police.

      After a several days stay in Okinawa, the old boy decided he didn't like Okinawa enough to live there after all, so he bought a ticket back to Nagoya with the intention of going to Kyushu and trying his luck with resettling down there. But, when he deplaned in Nagoya he was met by the police who picked him up and escorted him back to his loving (one would hope) wife. Hopefully their reunion was one of welcome home and not more recriminations.

      I'm an optimist and opt for the welcome home scenario. I like to think the old boy thought the old girl isn't so bad after all if she can still care enough to fight with me. And maybe the old girl thought, well, this old guy still has some spunk left in him. Maybe they will look at each other with newly opened eyes and think, hey, things could be worse! 

      But, then, I'm an incurable optimist. And I like it that way.

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