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  • Writer's pictureGary Gruber

My New Friend

I do not flirt with strange women, but for some reason they flirt with me. At 72 I figured I have little to offer, but that does not seem to be enough for many of them. Whether they be in their 20’s or their 70’s, I get plenty of happy faces willing to talk – usually in the checkout line at the supermarket or the Dollar Store.

Many times, it is the fanciful tee shirts I wear. Who isn’t going to be a little bit curious if you have one on that says:


This seems to always be a conversation starter in the supermarket. I take it as a way to connect with another person and hopefully brighten their day. My answer the first time I was asked why I should not be arrested was “I haven’t done anything wrong…today…yet” I am 100% faithful to my wife and always tell her of the funny encounters I have, and her and my daughter always kid me when I go out: “Are you going to see your girlfriend at Ralphs?”

I design most of my tee shirts myself and this one made me a different kind of friend today:

Hoy, esta hinchado

That’s Spanish for “Today, it’s swollen.” I had it made four months ago after finding out that I have been walking around with a broken thumb (now permanently calcified) for 40 years – martial arts training. I wanted to celebrate that many years of supreme idiocy for not recognizing I had done that so long ago. That’s why I had the tee shirt made. I’m sure you are probably thinking I had some other part of my anatomy in mind, but nothing could be further from the truth, I think…

Well, I’m at the pharmacy picking up a couple of prescriptions and the guy who is waiting on me is very pleasant. After he hands me my change, he says to me “Esta hinchado? Me too!

I thanked him and walked out of the drugstore chuckling. I now had a boyfriend to go along with all of my girlfriends.

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