I’ve been listening to a lot of true crime podcasts. Probably too many to be considered healthy even by Bundy standards. And after listening to soooo many eyewitness accounts of nefarious goings-on, I’ve come to realize something.
I would make a terrible witness.
Officer: Okay, check my understanding, I just got the following from officer fuzz-nuts over there. You say you heard a gunshot coming from over… there. Then a middle-aged man about average height ran out from behind that house, jumped into 1998 Tercel and headed east, correct?
Observant me: That’s right, I saw and heard everything! The shot came from over there… well, maybe there, now I think of it more… and I guess maybe it wasn’t really that loud, really. Kinda muted, if you can picture it. Like… like a hard closing of a garden gate maybe. And not even that hard really, kinda normal, you know? Like how you’d palm a door as you closed it, y’know? Yeah, not that loud, really. But the guy, maybe a woman, hard to tell… young though, like maybe 12? Really short, actually. Average height might have been generous, she, he, I dunno, couldn’t have been taller than three cats. And it wasn’t a 1998 Toyota now, I don’t think. It was more like, well, more like a little John Deere riding mower. Yeah, that’s probly more accurate. And not east. That sumbitch went right up into the sky like a space cadet, no kidding.
Disgruntled Officer: You know that if I do some creative paperwork I can just shoot you, right?
Them real-life murder case witnesses turned true crime podcast personas, they remember everything! Thirty years later and their recollection of events remains unchanged, unmarred by the effects of countless nights out drinking with pals, or the myriad late-night TV marathons trying to cram some semblance of a personal life after the kids have gone to bed.
And I can’t even remember someone day to day.
Maybe I’ve got a serious cognitive impairment I should have treated. Or at least diagnosed then completely ignored. At least I know what my problem is now. Meh. Or, much more likely, I’m just very lazy when it comes to social observation and retention.
Okay, he’s just told you his name. Now repeat it to yourself a few times so you won’t forget it…eh, too much work. I’ll remember it. “Oh, that is a great story, ….buckaroo… Gaddammit.
But I’m in my prime – and by prime I mean my worst – when faces are involved. Which, they usually are, as people tend to have faces and are very rarely just bloody, sinewy flesh monsters devoid of pleasant human features. Take for example interactions with a particular parent acquaintance. Let’s call her Sabine because that’s close enough to her name without risking libel. Besides, I think she’s too smart to waste her time reading this drivel. (But that’s nothing against you fine readers, of course! Thanks for reeeeadiiiiiiiing…)
My wife first met her through a community parent resource program, and I’d met her myself shortly afterwards. Delightful woman, mother to two wonderful young boys (here, I’m pretty sure two – don’t forget how lazy I am at social observation now, she might have fourteen of the silly things) who I’ve also met, at least two of them. And I met Sabine again at some other community event shortly after, which resulted in a no-need-for-follow-up-conversation-greeting like “Hey, good to see you!” before I scuttled off to whisper into my wife’s ear seeking clarification on who da heck that tall blonde lady was. “That’s Sabine, you’ve met her before.” Ahh, yes, I remember now. I totally didn’t remember.
And it wasn’t her fault. I don’t retain faces and people in general. But she does stand out. She’s tall, very athletic, she has a fairly strong Norwegian accent and distinguishable European facial features. Again, here I could be wrong. I once went to a health clinic and saw a particular doc exactly one time. Then I came back for a follow up. The secretary asked who I was there to see again. I couldn’t remember the name, but described the gentleman as east Indian. It didn’t ring a bell with her so she began to name the handful of physicians who worked there. “Yes, Dr. Reed, that’s the guy,” I said with certainty now that I’d heard the name. Yes, Dr. Reed had thick, dark hair parted on one side, which is mainly what I remembered about him, but he was as white as cream from an Oreo. All of a sudden I realized what that look shared between the secretary and a passing nurse was when I confirmed Dr. Reed as being my east Indian mystery doctor: pity for the clueless idiot talking to them.
So Sabine is plenty recognizable. We live in a small community in conservative Alberta. I mean, how many Nordic Olympic-pedigree athletes could be squirreled away out here? And yet I still wasn’t sure if it was the same woman I’d met up to 4 times previous when she haphazardly asked for help to fit her mountain bike into the back of her SUV at the bike park. It didn’t want to fit, despite it being the way the bike got out there to the bike park in the first place, so I volunteered to toss it into the back of my truck and follow her home to drop it off. Only then, at her house, when a neighbor called out to her as she walked over to my truck for her bike, did I catch her name and remembered it once more. Sabine. You can bet I laid it on reeeeeeal thick to show I knew her name the whole time. No problem, Sabine. My pleasure, Sabine. Enjoy your weekend, see you on the trails, Sabiiiiiiiiine! I had her fooled, most def.
But the crux was a few months ago, before Covid took over and people were no longer allowed to use the public pool as a convenient stand-in urinal. Sabine was in the viewing stands, one of dozens of parents watching their young ‘uns test the patience of their swim instructors. Our gazes locked on each other as I came into the viewing area to find a seat, but I looked away quickly, not because I was trying to avoid her or anything deliberate, but because I don’t like making eye contact with strangers, even though she WASN’T A STRANGER! My sorry excuse for a brain hadn’t fully processed who it was I had shared a glance with in the mere nanosecond I had given it, so all I knew was that I knew the person, but that I had inadvertently given the person the cold shoulder and thus my social awkwardness was on high alert. Sandy. Sandiny. Sabra – Sabine! At least I remembered her name for once. Eat shit, social ineptitude. I’m gonna win this time.
I was set to salvage what I had already, unintentionally, turned into an awkward game of “slight thy neighbour”. And I remembered one of the kids’ names! Sabine called to a young boy a couple benches down to stay close, obviously one of hers. Yes! That means Mathias is in the pool! I turn to scan the groups of kids in the pool apparently learning how best to avoid drowning. I turn to Sabine, ready to lay on some friendly charm. “Mathias is doing great!” A smile breaks across her face. “Yes, ‘ee is loving to swim.” Nailed it! I watch my kid do his lesson for five or so minutes, gritting my teeth whenever he paws at the water in sheer panic as soon as the instructor lets him go. I’ve got my little girl with me, and she signals she needs to pee. As I’m getting up to step outside, I muster up my courage for forced human interaction, a need to salvage my reputation as a fully functioning adult leading me on. Address her by name, claim this moral victory in honour of your socially superior wife who never seems to forget a soul. Sabine. Sabine. Sabine. I pass in front, making my way to the door.
“Kids and bladders, eh Sally?”
Good gravy. This is just bananas, isn't it?
I don't typically entertain the idea of writing about topical issues. I prefer not to be timely or relevant in my posts for two main reasons.
1) I tend to procrastinate, so any efforts on my part to write about anything seasonal, currently relatable, and/or pertinent in any way simply results in my getting to the party about 6 weeks too late. I'm like that guy who is desperately trying to get that single wordy text out while all his other friends have already made the necessary decisions required for life.
"...which is why we should use Mike's car instead of Jessica's for tonight."
"Dude, that was last week."
2) It requires research. I avoid that stuff like, well, like the plague. If I wanted to write about important things which required brainy smart-making, I'd be a column writer for a reputable news outlet which no one pays attention to. People still don't pay attention to me, but at least I don't waste any effort into doing research.
Like I said, I tend to avoid topics-du-jour.
But all this COVID-19 hooplah, good golly, that is impossible to ignore.
I had spent the last couple weeks cobbling something together sentence by sentence about how I always thought my dad had old, crappy 20-year old ski gear when I was a kid and how I'm looking at my current stuff thinking it's super rad but hey, wait a minute, my stuff is 20 years old too now and does my kid think MY snowboard gear is museum-bound as well!?
But the thought of posting something completely off-topic from the entire rest of the planet just seemed a bit too aloof-y, even for me. But I think we can all agree that this pony has been flogged waaaaay beyond its point of expiration already, so much so that it can't even be salvaged for glue.
We've all been inundated with a toilet-paper ton worth of research, pointless rhetoric and sad statistics over the last couple months, and aside from the smarmy preppers hunkered down in their survival shelters, nobody wants to hear about it anymore.
Thankfully, God created memes, and people to make them. There are some great ones out there, terrific little wise-cracking nuggets of cheery gold there to keep us snickering at our phones in denial while society collapses around us. [See!? It can't be helped, more of that sad reality crept in, right there, and we don't need it!]
Anyway, memes are great, but they just distract us for a brief moment, until we're violently yanked back to the present as we are dutifully reminded that we could all die and there are people out there deliberately licking things, right in our very own neighborhoods! So I thought, probably foolishly, we should start looking forward to a future where this wretched virus has decimated the world's resources and society has in many ways collapsed. That way, should things turn out all right, we'll actually feel a touch saddened at the thought of not being able to try human meat after all.
Here are some examples of things we could actually look forward to in harsh times ravaged by cooties;
~ No more making school lunches for the kiddies!
Can't say I miss that. So the kids don't get an edumacation, big deal. Look at the waste of taxpayer dollars I was. At least now they can take after our forefathers and learn useful skills like scavenging for food and maintaining shelters instead of trying to justify the ridiculousness that is "new math." "But you could just home-school them!" Lady, (oh don't give me that look, you all read that statement in a woman's voice, and you know it,) I'm not all that bright to begin with. If I transferred any knowledge that I might have somehow retained from my youth onto my progeny, it would only become a blurrier version of whatever it once was, guaranteeing mistakes. Then their kids would be even worse off. Making photocopies from photocopies only breeds fuzzy pictures, sister. So, I guess my point is something, like, keep them at home and feed 'em from the same trough as the other livestock, easy peasy lemon squeezy.
~ Car shopping made easy!
Imagine strolling down the boulevard amid a myriad of cars, all yours for the taking. That could be a very pleasant reality with the world wary of sickness and contagion. Like that little blue Italian sports car? Just step in front of it, admiring the responsiveness of its powerful disc brakes. Look the driver dead in the eyes as you lower your head and begin to lick the car's hood in one solid, wet stripe. Rather than risk dying of your potential horrific disease, he or she will gladly toss you the keys and flee for their safety and, voila! You've got a new ride, no credit checks necessary! Of course, someone could just do the same thing to you, but how great would that be!? Everyday you could try a new set of wheels as people everywhere played an endless game of "Upgrade My Ride." Just remember to take that hand sanitizer with you!
~ Meal subscription kits will feature new, exotic tastes!
"This week our chef has put together everything you need for a superb, yet casual night-in of at-home dining; straight from the heart of Montreal; Roasted Swamp Rat with soy sauce reduction and dandelion thistle salad." You're a big, fat liar if you say you've never wanted to try rat. I know I do.
So, as you can plainly see, lots of great things to look forward to, societal collapse or not. I understand that it can be difficult to keep on grinnin' in times of uncertainty, but if there's anything I've learned from years of exposure from electronic devices to people everywhere, it's that we thankfully now have short enough attention spans that we'll forget all about this silly old disease just like everything else in the last decade, and we'll undoubtedly experience a whole new set of problems yet to come. Might as well make the most of it. Heck, if we're wrong and everything goes back to normal, at least then that shitty reality pre-Corona won't seem so bad.
Most politicians are horrifically ugly.
I don’t think they were born that way. I’m sure they all started out like the rest of us; mystifyingly cute bags of wrinkles and barf, cooing our way into the defenseless hearts of anyone naïve enough to think having one is a great tax deduction.
But they’re all ugly, aren’t they? Politicians, I mean. Babies, they’re about 74% ugly. Downtown male fatcats? 100% hideous. I mean, is there an official disfigurement requirement to get into the legislative building if you’re a man? Good gravy, it’s like The Hills Have Eyes casting call over there.
So what happened in their lives to turn them into such unsightly ghouls in the first place? I’m guessing, stress. That stuff’ll kill a person, given sufficient quantities. *Little known fact: The Soviet Union ran a deep-level research program between 1967 and 1975 in an attempt to bottle the stuff, their endgame being to scuttle the American Space Program by causing mental breakdowns of NASA staff via high stress levels. Unfortunately for them, NASA members were already stressed to the max trying to justify its budget to American taxpayers who no longer cared about silly old space rocks.
Politicians deal with stress, it comes with the job. Endlessly trying to pretend they care about their constituents, holding up random babies at public gatherings (contrary to popular belief, babies typically don’t have much money on them to warrant a hold-up in the first place,) and tirelessly fielding off personal scandals can take a toll on just about any human, political or otherwise.
Ever seen how drastically a new parent will age in comparison to their children? It’s like 10 years to the parent for every three weeks of their kid. A guy can get ID’d at a liquor store until he’s in his mid-thirties, but as soon as a kid is introduced it’s a different story.
*Dling dling (sound of the door at the Liquor Depot.)
“Afternoon Tom, just coming in for your weekly six-pa OH SWEET PETE WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO YOU!? TAKE IT, MAN! TAKE IT ALL, IT’S YOURS! YOU NEED THIS STUFF!”
Alright, so there are advantages to horrific aging. Pity, for one thing. But not much else beyond that.
Point is, stress will turn even the sweetest of little, pudgy baby angels into the soulless succubi of adult society, and in particular, our current political landscape.
So whenever I catch glimpses of politicians online or in the paper (for you young ‘uns, it’s an analog papery medium used to insult us with crosswords and papercuts) and see their horrible disfigurements up close I’m like “Whoa! I don’t wanna turn into one of them! They’re hideous!”
And my wife is all like “Dude, you have children, and thus stress. You’re already half-way there.”
And I’m all like “Nuh-uh!”
And she’s all like “Fine, three-quarters.”
And I’m all like “That’s right, baby! Recognize.” And I sit back down, still trying to figure out a three letter word for not dog, six down.
So anyone with more sense than a politician (most of us, I’d wager) understands the devastating effect that stress can have on a person. And if that’s what people can see happening on the outside, well shoot, their insides are probably beyond recognition, causing surgeons to accidentally dismiss essential bits as “ruffage” during surgery, replacing things with olive loaf and rigatoni, their philosophy being Meh, it can’t be any worse. And the markup on pasta? Fuggedaboudit.
Anyway, it’s a long-winded way to say stress = bad.
And I’ve let myself consume waaaaaay too much of it. But I think I’ve narrowed down my stress-causing problems to just a couple things: 1) I care too much about everything. 2) A Nigerian prince needs my help to bring his family fortune into the country.
I mean, I’ve tried to help the guy. I emailed my bank info and passwords to him, but haven’t heard anything back. Not gonna lie, a touch stressed for his well-being. Hope he’s okay.
But the caring about stuff? Oy, vey. Environmental disasters? What can I say, I have a soft spot for turtles who have unfortunate accidents when doing lines of coke. Disease-borne apocalypse? As much as I believe myself to be an absolute badass shooting zombies in VR, I’m pretty sure in real life I would pull the trigger fruitlessly until my brains were consumed, the hammer clicking impotently against the safety the whole time. And political turmoil? As I get older, I just can’t help but get agitated that governments lie even more than I do whenever I see my dentist, and that’s a lot. Uh huh, I fwoss ehwyday, humtimes whice. Why?
It seethes inside me, almost like a cancer sometimes. And that’s a scary thought, isn’t it?
That stress, man. It’s a killer. And since I enjoy being on this side of the ground, the sunshiny side without all the worms, I’m trying hard to have less stress in my life. Or rather, I’m trying less, so to speak. The less I know, the less I care, the less stress can get the better of me.
I look at idiots, and envy them in that they seem unconcerned with the bigger picture. God bless ‘em, their shirts all inside out, but dang it if they aren’t happy and in the moment. Should I care that the planet is dying and it’s all our fault? Well yes, of course. Makes me sad just writing that. But I can’t fix the problem. Smarter people than me can, and so I wish them luck. And it’s not that I will stop trying to use less, or recycle, or look at alternative energies. Because we should, it should just be part of living sensibly. But I’m not gonna stress about the planet imploding, or melting, or drying out any more. Nothing I can do about that. Same goes for all the other big stressors. The political system in particular? It’s broken, no doubt. But people with political science degrees and the means to do something about it are working on it, I’m sure.
You think I’m wrong? You think I’m a lazy coward who doesn’t want to fight for what’s right? You think that everyone should care about all the big issues that affect society and the world as a whole? I say nope. And here’s why.
I’m just not made for it. I can’t handle big-issue stress. It gnaws at me from the inside out, and all it would do is kill me faster. Other people can handle it, other types of people. People whose life ambition and purpose is to champion a great cause and put it to good use. I’ll be honest, it’s just not in me.
What’s in me is to write, and to hopefully entertain. I’ve kinda let myself get derailed for a while, the cancerous influences of life in general and world issues pressing in on me and stifling the one thing I can do for people. Some like to read my writing, some don’t. To those who do, I will focus my creative energies in your direction in an effort to hopefully make you laugh and distract you from your stresses. That’s what I can provide to this world, and I’m trying to make sure I don’t lose sight of that. To those who don’t like my writing, well, to Heck with you. You’re not even reading this, most likely. So nuts to you. And know that the rest of us will be cracking wise about yo mamas behind your back.
I just don’t want to be ugly. I mean, uglier. Stress is a horrible debilitator, physically and otherwise. To be as beautiful as I can be to those that matter in my life (friends, family, you fine readers, Fraggles,) I’m caring less about the things that are beyond my abilities to do anything about, and do what I can do, without a care in the world for the bad stuff.
Weeks ago, I forced myself to open up to a special someone, baring my soul at the peril of their criticism. His name was Paul.
It was going to be awkward, I knew this going in, but it had to be done. Years of questionable habits had just become routine in my home life. Even my beautiful wife indulged in it, maybe because she liked it too, or maybe just to make me feel better, not wanting to address the elephant in the room that had been growing over the years.
But it was time to accept responsibility for my actions, and to begin taking steps toward my own betterment, for me and for my family. This would require professional help, and of a facility equipped for my needs, so off I went.
I was still embarrassed about it all, but I was determined to change my ways. Thankfully, anonymity gave me the courage to go where I needed to. I wore a dark sweater with a hoodie draped over my head, and sunglasses concealed my eyes. I walked into the building, hoping I could find what I wanted without even having to speak to anyone, but that was too much to ask, apparently. I think they do it on purpose. To find the proper items to help lost souls such as myself, they want to make sure you consult with their members first. Maybe to keep track of item use. Or maybe it’s carefully orchestrated by the big boys in corporate in an effort to curb reform, to prevent people like me looking to wean ourselves of the habit. Maybe. Or maybe it’s just the withdrawals making me paranoid, who could be sure?
A gentleman in a pin-striped apron walked by, saw me searching around with my eyes, clearly not finding what I needed. He wore a name tag. It said Paul.
“Can I help you find something?” he asked.
I was reluctant to speak to him. I looked to my left, then my right, to see if anyone recognized me. No one seemed to, though there were many people around, busily moving about in a quest to feed their own habits. Not taking any chances, I cleared my throat, and disguised my voice.
“Uh, yeah, where do you keep the…um,” I couldn’t help but pause, wondering why I decided to go with Christian Bale’s Batman voice. I swallowed hard, and steeled myself for the question I was there to ask.
“I need…where would I find…veggie burgers?” I whispered the last two words, as if that would soften their impact.
He looked at me like one would look at edible underwear; innocent enough, but why?
“It’s, uh, they’re at the end of aisle 2, with the tofu.”
“Thanks,” I murmured, still Batman. I took long strides to the end of the second row, quickly grabbed a packet of pre-formed veggie patties without inquiring into their chemical makeup, and beelined it to the checkout lanes. I dropped a few other items into my basket along the way to hide the vegetarian burgers amid a sea of unsuspicious products: a box of MilkBone dog treats (despite my not having a dog,) 3 gummi worms, half a lemon, half a lime, and a bulk pack of universal remote controls. I kept my head down the entire time in line while I munched on a MilkBone. No one gave me a second glance.
I high-stepped it through the doors, got into my vehicle, and drove straight home, which made it fairly challenging around the corners.
But I did it.
I felt wild. My nerves were jittery from the sudden jolt of nervous adrenaline, but I had my prize. Veggie burgers. I was proud of myself, almost in tears from the significance of it. I sat in my truck for a long time, parked in my driveway, letting the tears roll down my cheeks in happy elation, listening to “Salvation” by the Cranberries. It was a wonderful moment in my life.
* * *
Okay, that was all horse-pucky. Except for the part about asking directions to the veggie burgers. And I really did buy some. And his name was Russel, not Paul.
Point is, thanks to that little adventure, I honest to Raffi had veggie burger patties sitting in my freezer, waiting to be fried up for my personal consumption. It felt weird to know they were there, getting the stink eye from the frozen packs of bacon and ground chuck with which they shared a drawer.
I like meat. I love meat. So much so that I even married a beautiful formation of the stuff, though I promised never to eat her, barring a soccer-team-stranded-in-the-Andes-and-we’re-all-out-of-chocolate kinda situation. But cooking animal flesh…the taste, the smell of it, especially on the BBQ…Gaddang! Mmm mm mmm!
Problem is, I never really realized how much of the stuff I would consume on a regular basis. That is, not until one particular stay over at my meat-wife’s aunt’s place, enjoying a nice, meatless evening meal. That evening was the catalyst which sent me on that dangerous quest for veggie burgers.
We were talking about different foodstuffs, and jokingly about how our kids won’t eat much of anything besides cereal and hotdogs. And then about the general ease of cooking meat, and how that’s usually the staple fixture in pretty much every meal at our home because it’s nice and filling and easy, with the exception of rushed weekday breakfasts, of course.
My aunt-in-law (I’m running with it) is a classy woman. And she leads a pretty clean life which includes a very balanced diet with limited meat intake, and then usually reserved only to chicken or fish. These two facts about her aren’t necessarily linked together, except to say that she has enough decorum in her not to openly show disgust at my beef and pork consuming ways.
But I could tell she thought it odd that our daily food intake included a fairly hefty amount of animal bits. Which got me thinking. Do we eat too much meat?
At this point you might be imagining me and my family at dinnertimes as a bunch of unrefined Vikings, snorting and huffing our way through greasy hams and turkey legs clutched at the bone, gulping steins of mead with our elbows on the table, and nary a napkin to be found anywhere. But we’re really not that bad. Really. It’s just that we would usually plan our meals around some kinda main course meat thingy, and go from there. Roasted chicken tomorrow? Okay, we’ll throw some broccoli around that with some rice. Ribs on Wednesday? Salad on the side with garlic bread. Pork loin on Thursday? ‘Kay, with bacon on the side. Oops, scratch that. Double bacon.
So we’ve been trying to cut that back a bit. Some for personal reasons (too much red meat be bad for you blah blah blah colon cancer blah blah blah how come I’m lactating blah blah blah) and some because I agree that the way North America currently conducts animal farming is often unethical and environmentally unsustainable. That’s a whole political debate which I am not drunk enough to get into at the moment, so don’t worry. Suffice it to say that it got me thinking of alternatives.
Like these really cool vegetable enzyme burgers gaining momentum in California from Impossible Foods, where veggie burgers even friggin’ bleed like real meat, not to mention they feel, smell and taste just like the real moo-cow versions. Impossible Foods is not yet in Canada (I'm pretty sure,) but we do currently have something similar introduced into A&W restaurants and recently onto the deli shelves at Safeways (and possibly other retailers) across the country, in the forms of vegetable-protein burger patties, sausages and beef-like crumbles for tacos and such. I’ve tried the Beyond Meat burger from A&W, comparing it side by side with their traditional beef burger, and I gotta tell ya, it’s amazing. If I didn’t know ahead of time which of the two had actually mooed in a previous stage of life I would not be able to notice a difference. How cool is that!?
I don’t want meat just because it was once an animal. Animals are gross, really, especially considering the living conditions most of those things live in at feedlots and hog or chicken farms. Not to mention injected hormones and such. Oh sure, there are definitely some quality farms out there where animals are free to frolic over meadows and step on gophers as they please and shit on clover patches just before eating them, but they’re not that plentiful. It’s just economics, really. So to that I say, “Bring on the plant burger!” Shoot, if my taste buds can’t tell the difference and it’s healthier, why not?
But jeez, they’ve got their work cut out for them if they’re planning to make a mock version of a steak. ‘Cause dang dagnabbit, dem things are damn fine every once in a while.
Stay tuned for an upcoming review of Goodfood's meal-in-a-box meal service! It was another way to find alternative meal ideas to lessen our meat intake, so come check out what we think of it, posting soon!
There are caterpillars in my ears.
I have a five-year- old and a two-year old so it's not entirely out of the question that I should wake up one day and learn that my ears have become low-income housing units for fuzzy bugs. But I don’t mean that there are actual real caterpillars in there, it just looks like it.
Though not perpetrated by kids, I've witnessed this kind of mischief before on others, and it's a handiwork that men everywhere are regrettably familiar with. (Weemen experience it too, but in different ways.)
It's from that relentless old codger of curmudgeony -a close cousin of Time - which we all know as Old Age. And from all the wrinkle cream ads, Viagra posters and glossy magazine sports car pages out there to mitigate his influence, it is quite apparent nobody wants that old coot around.
For me, lately, weird, new stuff has been happening. You’re-flirting-with-old-age kinda stuff.
Like, how riding a merry-go-round with my kids will cause me to forget my name for three days…
I now get constantly worked up over political idiocies as if my suggestions actually mattered and could be heard backwards through the radio to the looney toons in parliament...
My inner thighs collide together like unshaven tectonic plates when I walk, creating enough friction and heat to have me banned from fire-sensitive areas…
A single robust, grey hair sprouted by my right nipple and it's tougher than steel wool; damn near broke the wife's garden shears, it did…
Sometime over the last couple decades hiccups transformed from a laughable interruption to a brass-knuckled death punch to the esophagus…
People keep talking about all these great new indie movies and music artists coming up, and I’m trying to figure out how come India is suddenly the world’s largest exporter of worldwide entertainment.
I listen to CBC talk radio, on purpose.
And, and, there's Ovaltine in my pantry. I wish I were joking.
It all points to getting older.
But really, I don't feel old.
Physically, I'm growing weird hair, my abs haven't come out of hibernation in years, and I get winded chasing the kids around the playground (I’ll concede that most of that is because I'm just out of shape, really. There are plenty of seniors out there who could put me to shame without even having to take their dentures out. My grandmother, for one. But still, getting older here.)
Physically, I’m starting to feel it. But mentally? I still feel like a kid most days (except that I listen to CBC, no kid does that), and when I think about how responsible my parents were at my age, I can't help but wonder-
What the fishsticks am I talking about? They weren't any more adult-like than I am!
Shoot, I remember Dad goofing around pretty much all the time, setting a fine example for his impressionable son. Even recently we shared a fine learning experience together where we wanted to see if we could ride a mountain bike on mum’s treadmill (my kid was there too to witness the moment, three generations of incorrigible fools.) Or the time he tried salamandering up a snow covered hill after midnight on New Years’, hollering for the hill to come down to his level and fight like a man… I could go on for days with stories from that guy.
Okay, so maybe Mum was the more level- headed of the two, so calling them immature might not be fair. And nor can I just call Dad immature, that's not right either. He was an incredibly responsible and caring father figure, he was just young at heart through it all. And he still is.
I dunno. I guess it's all relative. Just because Old Age seems to be visiting more and more these days like an uninvited second cousin doesn't mean I have to hang out with the old gaffer all the time. If he doesn't feel up to going on a hike or bouncing like an idiot at a trampoline park designed for kids, well, nuts to him, Old Age can just stay home. I don’t need to bring him with me everywhere I go.
I suppose the fuzzy ears and ab-less mid-section will have to come with me regardless, but at least that Donnie Downer of getting older won't be around to constantly remind me of them, so I can have some un-adult-erated fun anyway.
I just gotta remember to tell Old Age to piss off a little more often and to suck a lime when I don't want him around. Which is pretty much all the time.
I'll just block his number.