Confessions of an old crank.

Elena Tucker
3 min readSep 16, 2021
Photo by Jackson Simmer on Unsplash

In some ways, I feel like a generic, stodgy old curmudgeon — ahem, … traditionalist. Not just that. Something worse, a cliché-riddled nostalgic traditionalist. Here’s how:

In my perfect world, at least on meal a day would consist of the same meal. For me, it’s either Pasta House salad (a recipe I learned years ago, based on the restaurant’s salad) or a tomato + green onion salad (tomato, chopped green onions, mayonnaise and salt). Like a dog, I do not get tired of eating certain dishes over and over and over.

In my perfect world, every British mystery that takes place in either a small village, or in the past, or in a small village in the past, must either begin or contain at least one scene of a powerful thunderstorm. If the mystery is set in London, in the present, the weather makes no difference, but if set in the London of old, they better have smoke coming out of those multiple chimneys and much fog, especially at night.

In my perfect world, on my workout tracks, I would listen to “The Eye of the Tiger” several times in a row each time I work out. It immediately pumps me up, each and every time. I am Rocky training with Apollo Creed, ready to beat the snot out of Mr. T. Let’s do this!

I find myself not only regaling others with old jokes — but telling myself old jokes and laughing hard, as if hearing them for the first time. Out loud. In the car. When I’m alone. Usually more than once.

And lately, I don’t mind just staying at home. I don’t mind not going anywhere, but when I am going elsewhere, the absolute best thing about gimping around with a cane and a hurty hip is my temporary handicapped placard that scores me a great parking spot. If loving that hanging placard makes me a bad person, then I do not want to be a good person.

Lately, I find myself thinking things like “everything was better when I was younger — music, cars, people, weather, education.” Everything, except air quality in Denver prior to emissions testing and catalytic converters, but that couldn’t be helped. And, in my mind, even though it polluted the air, the smell of burning leaves in autumn is inevitably linked to longing, teenage angst, and American football. I also wonder why are there still laugh tracks used in sit-coms? There should be a law — right after “Don’t be a…

Elena Tucker

Writer and storyteller, immigrant, wife, mom, knitter, collector of jokes, lover of cheap, sweet wine.