Yanno how you see ads on TV celebrating the sweet old couple walking together through the park, holding hands, she looking at him admiringly and he beaming down at her? Then you usually get a jewelry ad of some kind that diamonds are forever.
Yesterday in Boston I’m walking with a guy with white hair and a white beard and you would not believe the people who came up to us. The partially sighted lady who was lost fixated on this former Coastie (Coast Guard Retiree). He gallantly tried to find her destination, tracked down local gendarmes (transport officers) to find her destination and had me looking it up on the iPhone (not an easy task in Boston) – and when all that failed he tried his best to hail her a cab (they all ignored him – welcome to Boston). And then there were the girls from (France? Quebec?) who asked for directions since we looked like we would not bite them – and, fortunately, I had an answer! And the lawyer in the courthouse and the couple from England and the… you get the point.
So the reality is, if you look like a sweet older couple you’re “safe” to approach. Never mind that the white-haired man could probably tear your arm off and beat you to death with it if he had reason to do so. And the lady is armed with a kubaton. Then again, we really were helpful, harmless, and enjoyable folks. As the Brit said when the Coastie smiled teasingly and inquired asked if the Brit was from the wee hinterlands under the rule of Ireland, “He’s a tiger!” and we all laughed.