A rising trend within the internet community over the past decade has been the popularization of memes. Some might say they are too popular. I’m not some people.
While I agree memes increase the reduction of people’s attention spans, I cannot - will not - lie to my readers. I enjoy a witty meme as much as the next web surfer.
Memes are like anything else. After a while, they lose their shine, their allure, their vivacity. Once a meme’s shelf life expires, two or three new memes rise up to take its place.
However, some memes, while not as hot as before, withstand the brutal test of father time.
One such meme features an old man yelling at a cloud. And, as if that imagery, like the cloud, sails over your head, the creators were kind enough to type ‘old man yells at cloud’ in the meme. Always safe to make things idiot-proof in life.
The meme does leave us, here, at Mediocre Excellence wondering one thing. Do old men really yell at clouds?
We made our way down to the nearest assisted living facility to find out.
“Excuse me?” the bewildered nurse asked, looking as though she was prepared to call security.
“Do…” we paused, feeling the impending boot heading swiftly toward our ass. “Ya know what, nevermind. I’m here to see Mr. Jer…” we paused, looking at the nurse for help.
“Are you talking about Mr. Jergensen?”
We snapped our fingers, “That’s the one!”
The nurse smiled, “Well that’s lovely. He’ll be so happy to finally have a visitor. He kinda keeps to himself. Nice man. I think you might be the first visitor he’s entertained.”
We followed her toward the room of Mr…eh, we’d already forgotten.
Anxiety crept in. We feared this man may not be in the best of health. Would he smell? Could he talk? Going into this thing blind was less than ideal. Luckily, we were introduced to a fully functional senior citizen. It was our lucky day.
“Well, I’ll leave you to it!” the nurse’s joyful voice lingered as she turned to leave the room.
Mr. Jergensen didn’t know us. But, that didn’t matter. He was just happy to have some company. After about half an hour of Mr. Jergensen telling us about – things, we decided to get to the point of the visit.
“Can I ask you something?”
“Why, of course you can, son.” He smiled, leaning forward. It might have been the first question he’d been asked in years.
“Do you yell at clouds?”
“Yes, clouds. Do you yell at them?”
He was perplexed. “Why would I yell at a cloud?’
“I’ve heard old…err, experienced people yell at clouds.”
“Hmm,” he thought for a moment, visibly perturbed. “It doesn’t make much sense to me. But, ya know what? I’m willing to try anything.” We got the vibe he felt as though this was some neo-senior trend everybody failed to tell him about.
So, we went outside to give it a test. If we weren’t going to get a definitive answer on how common old men yelling at clouds was…at least we’d get to see it in action.
“So, I just look up and yell at a cloud?”
“Uhh, yea, I think that’s how it works.”
We stood, awkwardly, silently agreeing it was a pretty strange activity.
The sky was blue. Not a cloud in sight, creating a lapse in action which prompted the man to recount the time he visited Mt. Rushmore. His story went on and on and on and on until…a cloud appeared upon the horizon.
“Look!” we shouted, pointing at the cloud.
“Yes, a cloud,” he smiled. There was silence. It appeared as though he’d already forgotten why we were outside.
“Aren’t you…ya know, going to yell at it?”
The lightbulb struggled, it flickered until shining brightly. “Ah, that’s right!”
Mr. Jergensen pointed into the sky, “Hey! Cloud! Yea, I’m talking to you!”
“Good stuff, sir!”
His finger became a fist, “What do you think you’re doing in that sky, huh? Why you’re a puny little cloud, aren’t you? Some cloud you are!”
“You tell that cloud, sir!”
“I’ve seen bigger clouds on bedsheets! Sorry excuse for a cloud! Why I oughta come up there and give you what for!” he threw a few fists into the air.
“You are eviscerating that cloud, sir!”
“Listen here, Cloud…” he paused. We looked up.
“Sir…is that cloud getting…closer?” we asked because, well, it looked as though it was descending.
“You trying to scare me, cloud? Well, I ain’t scared of no cloud!”
The cloud got closer. And closer. We aren’t afraid to admit that we were beginning to grow concerned. But the old man, well, he remained steadfast.
“Ha! You ain’t scaring me, cloud! Come on down here and show me what you’re made of! Probably a bunch of worthless steam!” his fist was flying around like crazy.
The cloud seemed to be heading right for us, only a few hundred yards away.
“Uhh, sir…” we tugged at the man’s sleeve, thinking now might be the time to wrap the experiment up.
But the old man was not going to let the cloud win the day. “Is that the best you got, Cloud? Bunch of nothing, if you ask me! Why, you’re just about the silliest, most worthless cloud I’ve ever seen! No rain! No lightning! No thunder! NOTHING! If you ask me – “
We dove out of the way. The cloud swooped in and covered the old man. We turned, frightened. Once we overcame our cumulus fear, our eyes were unable to locate the old man.
“Where…where did he go?”
All that remained was a set of dentures. The nefarious cloud rose back into the sky, resuming its atmospheric adventure.
“Mr. Jergensen!” the nurse’s voice called. “It’s time for your afternoon medication!”
That was our cue to abscond. And abscond we did, quickly and quietly.
So, do old men yell at clouds? If they do, they aren’t around to talk about it.