Not All Old Guys are Praying

Without fail, every time I go to Panera before 11:00 am, there is a group of 60, 70, or 80-something men sitting around a table chatting about life. Judging by their Bibles, prayer and bits and pieces of conversation I overhear, they are nearly always "Christian men's groups." After experiencing a few such groups, I've been conditioned to tune them out. Don't get me wrong. It's nice. And I admire their faith. After a few such encounters, I've learned what I can about that slice of the human experience and I'm ready to move on. In other words, it's just not that interesting of an eavesdropping* experience anymore.

This morning men's group has turned my world upside down. The group of 60-something men du jour are apparently bound by sarcasm, cynicism, iPhones and hearty laughter.

I've heard them discuss the iPhone news from yesterday's WWDC (Apple's worldwide developers conference). "Yeah...video...faster...happened to me the last time...I got mine just before they released the 3G."

Then there was the outburst, "Miley Cyrus!" followed up by the story of one of the men toying with his granddaughter. He said she listens to "rap crap" that he can't stand and that his granddaughter gives him a hard time about being so old. One day he was talking with her on the phone and said, "tell you what, you put on the most awful, obscure rap song you can think of and I'll tell you what it is." So, when she started the song, he put his Shazam loaded iPhone up to the receiver, got the result and announced it to the amazement of his granddaughter who was apparently none the wiser to his scam.

One said to another, "yeah, I looked at your house from above." The other made a rude gesture and said, "did you see this?" Laughter.

Then they moved on to comparing Lexus models. And now they are discussing sewer systems. My interest is waning.

I wonder if they have any idea they're crushing not only the paradigm that "old people are not technologically proficient" but also my assumption that every group of men in a Panera is holding a prayer group meeting. I love a good challenge.

*By the way, I don't intentionally eavesdrop. I have not yet learned to tune out unique sensory input. Put another way, I have attention issues.