Describing somebody as an Ol' Man River may seem lighthearted, but it can be a profound and deeply offensive slur. It denotes a certain air of premature decrepitude, of abandoned dreams and failed goals, of a life without youth, born into middle-agedness, and an adolescence as exciting, fun, and fulfilling as the average octogenarians visit to the doctor's office.
"Dylan is such an Old Man River! Male to male exchange
is really his only active hobby."
"Where's Debra Heart?" "Sleeping like Old Man River in there."
"Hey, you know that awkward-euro ginger kid that works at OVT?" "Yeah, that's Old Man River!"