Op-Ed

The generational disconnect

Just when I thought our local political landscape couldn’t get any better, I mean, it’s filled with alleged conspiracy, countless episodes of idiocy, unnecessary pomp and circumstance, VAT, crime and the list (insert your issue here) goes on and on.

Our government (the present administration and the opposition) provides enough drama to keep reality television, the WWE, and a specific Friday column in The Nassau Guardian storylines flowing for years.

Material in abundance, a comedian’s dream, and now add Joe Biden’s escapades as president of the United States to the equation!

Comedy manna, flowing from comedy heaven, further proof that God does have a sense of humor.

It would be quite easy to gorge myself on the “whole hog” with the myriad political stories making headlines, both locally and in the US, but why be a glutton with so many “comedic delicacies” to consume?

I’m going to pace myself and enjoy each comedic morsel painstakingly.

(More to come on this in future columns)

What I will address are millennials and baby boomers and their lousiness at times.

The young and the old:

A few weeks ago, I was at a barbecue at a friend’s house enjoying a leisurely Sunday afternoon.

As is tradition with these outings, everyone brought their family and their choice of burgers, beers, and libations.

A friend of mine (who shall remain nameless) showed up with his wife, his 65-year-old father (whom we affectionately call “The BBQ King”), and his 15-year-old son (whom we teasingly call “Booger”).

The BBQ King immediately took his rightful place behind the grills (three of them), where his skills are second to none.

As he began prepping the food, he ushered command after command to his grandson, “Booger,” who looked less than pleased to be serving as gopher while all the other kids were splashing around in the pool.

“Booger” was moving slow as molasses (on purpose, I’m sure) as he got the charcoal, then the lighter fluid, then the tongs, then the foil, the plates, the corn, and whatever The BBQ King needed to serve up the most delicious ribs, steaks, and burgers you can imagine.

As the sun shone bright and the air started to smell of sweet barbecue, I noticed “Booger,” iPod in hand, longingly staring off in the distance while the hot dogs began to sizzle.

The BBQ King must have noticed his indentured sous-chef’s lack of attention, too, because he hollered, “Boy, turn them dogs ‘fore they burn!”

“I turned them!” Booger responded half-heartedly before being pushed aside.

“Boy, go find something else to do before you mess up my food,” The BBQ King said. “How you expect to cook and play with that thing in ya head?

“That’s the problem with y’all young people; y’all don’t know how to pay attention. That’s why yinna so lousy!”

As Booger rushed toward the pool (with a sly smile on his face), he murmured, “That’s the problem with y’all old people; y’all too grumpy, and want everybody to do y’all work!”

Say what?

Can I get a connection?

For some time now, I have been amazed by the growing disconnect between our elders and the younger generation, as well as the fact that we as a nation have accepted this as the status quo and allowed it to get progressively worse by the second.

On the one hand, some young people have no respect for elders and their contributions to our society, while on the other hand, there are older people who the world has passed by; they are too afraid (or too stubborn) to move with the times and as a result brand anything new and different as “foolishness” or a “flash in the pan”.

I remember my wife’s very first OBGYN, an older doctor with a busy patient list who must not have had a clue how to run the brand new ultrasound machine in her examining room.

One day, I dared to ask her when we would be able to see our baby, only to have my hopes dashed with, “Oh, that ultrasound machine is broken; I am waiting for the technician from Florida to fix it.”

Obviously, the technician was on Bahamian time, because throughout all our visits right up until the birth of our child, we had not received a single ultrasound from that OBGYN.

We did have several done at Doctors Hospital (where they always did an excellent job) while our then doctor allowed dust to cover the only piece of equipment resembling modern technology in her office.

Imagine my surprise on our second child; with the help of our second (and still) OBGYN, who’s very smart, and who also happens to be young, and her plethora of modern resources — I was able to view an ultrasound right there in her office.

It was one of the most ironic moments of my life; the ultrasound showed my son in such detail, I was left to marvel (and laugh, hysterically) at the fact that, he had his foot (specifically, his big toe) in his mouth.

With everything in life, change is happening every second of every day.

There are some amongst us who resist or even loathe change (as in, extra or unwanted work in the form of a “modern” ultrasound machine).

Alternatively, there are others who fly blindly into the future without an inkling of the past (as in, downloading an iTune when the better, original version is freely available in your parents’ CD collection).

Sadly, both are doomed!

As the baby boomers and millennials age and are forced to share the planet with the fruits of their loin’s loins, respect, and mutual understanding will surely make the forced cohabitation much easier to stomach.

Speaking of stomachs, I am happy to report that The BBQ King retained his crown by serving up the best ribs I have ever tasted in my life.

Sadly, the barbecue didn’t go so well for Booger.

In his haste, he was already neck-deep in the pool before he remembered his iPod was in his pocket.

All I can say is, “yep, lousy.”

 • Inigo “Naughty” Zenicaze- laya is the host of radio show “Talking Heads” on Guardian Radio.

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