Dave Simpson: Always Ask For The ‘Wisdom Discount’

Columnist Dave Simpson writes: "Let's talk about something other than war and politics this week, because, like, everyone needs a ding-dong break now and then."

Dave Simpson

April 19, 20225 min read

Dave Simpson headshot
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

Let’s talk about something other than war and politics this week, because, like, everyone needs a ding-dong break now and then. 

Know what I mean, Vern (obscure reference to wacky 1980s television ads featuring Jim Varney)?

– I got a haircut at Walmart last week (!) and they gave me the “wisdom discount” on my $18 basic, no frills haircut.

I didn’t think I’d ever be going to Sam Walton for a haircut, but my COVID-era haircuts at home were painful (my wife’s clippers pull out as many hairs as they cut), I get hair down my back, and she expects a tip. (A friend of hers cuts her husband’s hair topless, but no such luck at my house.)

I got a pretty good haircut at Walmart, but it didn’t include eyebrows, mustache, or an Elvis Presley sideburn trim. All that costs extra, and can run your bill up to, oh, gosh,  as much as $30.

I got the “wisdom discount” because I’m old. And society has gotten so darned sensitive that oldsters like myself might be offended by a “senior discount.” So they give us a “wisdom discount.”

They can call their discount whatever they want, as long as I don’t have to wait in line, or get hair down my collar.

– Couple weeks ago I wrote about the important things grandfathers teach their grand daughters, like “burned toast makes hair grow on your chest.” And I boasted that my 3½-year-old grand daughter is the only kid in pre-school who knows the answer to the song, “What do you do with a drunken sailor?” I taught her, obviously, that you “put him in a longboat ’til he’s sober.”


Two readers, however, told me I was wrong. One said you “tie him to the mast until he’s sober,” and another said “put him in the bunk with the captain’s daughter.”

Further research was clearly required, and I discovered that you can also “make him kiss the gunner’s daughter,” or “soak him in oil ’til he sprouts flippers,” or “throw him in the bilge and make him drink it.”

But my favorite was this:

“Shave his belly with a rusty razor.”

Not sure I’m going to teach my grand daughter these other versions.

– If you know Cheyenne, you know Pershing Boulevard runs all the way from Warren Air Force Base on the west to a narrow old bridge over the railroad way out at the east end. 

I live at the base of that narrow bridge, which was summarily closed to traffic last Fall when it was deemed unsafe. Barricades, detours, “Road Work Ahead,” “Road Closed,” “Dead End” and “Local Traffic Only” signs sprouted up. People went around the temporary barricade so many times that the county piled up dirt at the foot of the bridge and drove stakes into the pavement topped with fluorescent warning signs. Then a permanent barricade was erected with sturdy posts, and a turnaround was fashioned.

And yet to this day, six months later, just about every day we see people drive right up to the barricade, after blithely driving past “Dead End,” “Road Closed” and “Local Traffic Only” signs.

Will Rogers had something to say about drivers like this:

“There are three kinds of men: The ones that learn by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence to find out for themselves.”

– I enjoyed Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” show on the Food Network last week that featured the Alibi Bar in Laramie, which now serves awesome pizzas, a killer Reuben sandwich, and other dishes.

When I worked at the Laramie Boomerang, across the street from the Alibi, it was my job last thing on Monday nights to go over to the Alibi and purchase two rather large bottles of beer to enjoy with the Monday night editor (a law school student at the time, whose name you would recognize) as he waited to OK the front page.

To quote Mary Hopkin, “Those were the days, my friend, we thought they’d never end.”

Great to see Laramie – one of my favorite towns – getting nation-wide acclaim.

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Dave Simpson

Political, Wyoming Life Columnist

Dave has written a weekly column about a wide variety of topics for 39 years, winning top columnist awards in Wyoming, Colorado, Illinois and Nebraska.