The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Will You Still Feed Me?

Posted on | October 6, 2023 | Comments Off on Will You Still Feed Me?

Portrait of the Author as an Old Man

When I get older, losing my hair,
Many years from now,
Will you still be sending me a Valentine?
Birthday greetings, bottle of wine?
If I’d been out till quarter to three,
Would you lock the door?
Will you still need me? Will you still feed me,
When I’m sixty-four?

Turning 64 is an auspicious occasion, I suppose, and today was the anniversary of the date — October 6, 1959 — when I was born at what was then Georgia Baptist Hospital in Atlanta. (It later became Wellstar Atlanta Medical Center, but was permanently closed last year.) Atlanta’s metastatic growth is such that most people who tell you they’re “from Atlanta” are actually from Cleveland or Pittsburgh and live somewhere in Gwinnett County. But no, I was actually born in Atlanta, “early on a frosty morning,” if it’s still legal to say so.


Past a certain age — and it may be 30, but perhaps as early as 21 — birthdays aren’t much of a celebration, and this morning I was toiling away in the home office without a thought of the occasion when my wife asked if I wanted to go out for a birthday dinner later, which of course I did. At first, I’d suggested Olive Garden, but later changed my mind: How about Golden Corral?


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A post shared by Robert Stacy McCain (@robertstacymccain)

We got there a little before 2:30 p.m., and I remarked to the wife as we approached the cashier that we were eligible for the Senior Discount. My wife mentioned this to the lady at the register, who replied: “I already gave it to you.” Not necessarily flattering to be recognized as a geezer, but it is what it is.

Mrs. McCain went for the salad bar, while I headed to the main buffet. My first plate was roast beef, mashed potatoes with gravy, green beans and turnip greens. If you’re going to eat a week’s worth of calories at one sitting — which is the basic goal of a buffet dining, right? — you should at least try to make it a nutritious meal, hence the vegetables. On my second go-round, I got meat loaf, roasted potatoes, collard greens, black-eyed peas and fried okra.

Meanwhile, my wife pointed out that the lobby was now crowded with geezers, who were lined up out the door. Apparently, the Early Bird Special begins at 3 p.m., and I don’t know what kind of discount they offer, but it was sufficient to attract dozens of geriatrics. We’re not that old are we? Well, no, but we are far enough along that it’s within the foreseeable future.

After pecan pie for dessert, I was fully stuffed. We had talked about buying me a new pair of shoes as a birthday gift, but I could feel myself rapidly headed toward a buffet-induced coma, so we skipped the shopping trip. As soon as I got home, I went right to bed and zonked out for two hours before being awakened by a phone call from my Army son, calling from Alaska to wish me a happy birthday. This was followed by a call from my oldest daughter in Florida with similar greetings. Our offspring are scattered far and wide — the youngest is now attending a year abroad at a university in Latin America — and so there’s no gathering for the cake-and-candles kind of celebration. And really, at my age? Just give me the Golden Corral buffet and a two-hour nap.

Among the inconveniences of advanced age, many suffer from increased near-sightedness, which makes it hard to spot the yellow PayPal “donate” button on the sidebar, so I’ve enlarged it for your convenience.


If you’ll click the Big Yellow Button, you’ll see that the default contribution is set to $6.40 for this occasion, although of course I wouldn’t protest if readers felt generous enough to kick in a full $64. Or, if you just wanted to pay for our dinner, it was about $20 with the Golden Corral senior discount.



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