By Mike Pound
Globe Staff Writer
JOPLIN, Mo. —
Finally, they believe me.
Since shortly after we arrived in St. Augustine, Fla., I have been trying to tell my wife and our 15-year-old daughter about the aliens.
“We don’t believe you,” my wife and Emma would say. But I knew the truth. I knew that all of the old people from St. Augustine had been kidnapped and replaced by alien old people from Ontario, Canada.
We were in St. Augustine for spring break. We picked St. Augustine because it’s not a college spring break destination. My wife and I didn’t want to go somewhere where we could see college students throw up on each other. We’re funny that way.
What we didn’t know is that St. Augustine, at least in March, is populated entirely by old people. How old? So old that I was called a “young whippersnapper” at least four times. So old that at least two guys where we were staying referred to our rental car as a “horseless carriage.”
When I shopped at the St. Augustine Winn-Dixie, the bag boys were old guys. So was the clerk at the convenience store where I bought a paper each morning. From what I could tell, the average age of the people in St. Augustine was 87.3, and most of their Social Security cards only had two digits on them.
At first, things seemed normal. All of the old people we ran into on the beach were very active and very friendly. All day long the old people walked up and down the beach. Every once in a while a group of old people would gather and start talking. They would turn around and look at Emma, my wife and me, and then they would start talking to each other again.
“I think they’re talking about us,” I said.
“You’re crazy,“ my wife said.
Later, an old man approached my wife and me.
“Hi,” he said.
I said “hi” back, and then the old guy pointed to the beer in my hand.
“A word of warning,” he said. “They frown on that around here. They will make you pour it out, and they will give you a ticket.”
I thanked the guy and he moved on down the beach looking for more young whippersnappers. At first I thought by “they” the old guy meant the St. Augustine police. But then I realized he meant the aliens from Ontario.
I decided the aliens had to be from Ontario because I saw at least 10 cars with Ontario license plates in the parking lot of the complex where we were staying.
When I told my wife about the license plates, she laughed.
“Emma, your dad thinks we are surrounded by aliens from Ontario,” she said.
“You won’t be laughing when you’re forced to have universal health care and go to hockey games,” I said.
My wife laughed again.
On Thursday morning we stopped in a Starbucks to get some coffee. A young guy was working behind the register.
“Do you know about the aliens?” I asked him.
He looked at me like I was crazy. Then he asked my name, wrote it on a coffee cup and handed it to someone next to him.
“They’re trying to tell me something,” I said.
“They’re trying to tell you that you’re crazy,” my wife said.
Later, in the parking lot, a guy who was loading his car next to ours stopped to let my wife pass so she could get into our car. My wife chatted with the guy for a second, and he recommended a nice place to eat.
“Everyone here is so friendly,” my wife said.
“That’s because they’re aliens,” I said.
My wife laughed and then, all of a sudden, she stopped laughing and started screaming.
“Mike. Look at his car tags. He’s from Ontario!” my wife shouted.
I would tell you more, but I’ve got to stop typing. The hockey game is on.
Do you have an idea for Mike Pound’s column? Call him at 417-623-3480, ext. 7259, or email him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @mikepoundglobe.