September 5, 2017 at 3:32 p.m.

Aging ungracefully

By Jerry [email protected] | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

I saw a clever bumper sticker the other day. It said: "Of all the things I've lost to old age, I think I miss my mind the most." I started to laugh until I saw the driver. He was a guy about my age.
Like all kids, I couldn't wait to grow up. I remember attending summer Sunday get-togethers with my cousins and aunts and uncles in a local park. After stuffing ourselves silly, the adults would sit and visit while we kids tore around and begged to go swimming before the federally-mandated half hour had passed.
Some of the men had chest hair that was absolutely awe-inspiring. Chest hair that was so bountiful, tufts of it hung out of the necks of their shirts like squirrels' tails. Chest hair that seemed to be sending out tendrils, as if it had half a mind to creep out and grow hair on everything.
Which would have been fine with me. I wanted chest hair. Lots of it!
Every night, I prayed long and hard to the Chest Hair gods. Every morning, I would unbutton my shirt and once again be disappointed.
I also remember playing in the dirt and looking up at the adults. At that angle, you can't help but get a glance up the occasional nose. And I couldn't believe what I saw! Cobwebs! In the adults' noses! I tried to calculate how long you had to skip washing your face before you developed nasal cobwebs. As I said, I couldn't wait to grow up.
Time passed and I learned two important lessons. First, be careful what you wish for. Second, the Chest Hair gods have a twisted sense of humor.
Yes, I got the chest hair I had begged for. But now I have to decide what to do with all this ear hair that came along with it. I'm in favor of installing braids, but my wife says that would look stupid. Some people have no concept of what might be cool. Who's to say I wouldn't be starting a trendy new trend?
I have a brother-in-law who is so hirsute, he would make a gorilla look like a cue ball. Yet at the top of his head is a small and steadily growing bald spot.
This past summer, he learned the hard way that it is definitely worth his while to slap sunblock on the part of his skull that sits closest to the sun. So here the poor guy is, hairy where he doesn't really need to be and bald where he wished he had hair. That snickering you hear is the Chest Hair gods.
The passage of time has also taken a toll on my hearing, which has led to some major misunderstandings. For instance, some years ago, the family and I decided to visit a new restaurant that everyone was raving about.
"Wow!" I said to the kids, "This is exciting! What are you going to try first, the anaconda python or the boa constrictor?"
They rolled their eyes at me. "Dad!" they exclaimed with exasperation, "It's a steak buffet! Not a snake buffet!"
Then there was a new casino that opened up nearby. I told the wife we had to go check the place out, if only to sample their drinks.
"The stuff they serve there must be pretty strong!" I said. "Heck, they even named it The Boiled Liver Casino!"
"Honey," she shouted patiently. "I think the name is actually The Royal River!"
Once, while calling around for truck parts, I must have accidently dialed one of those 800-Talk Naughty phone services. The gal at the other end of the line certainly didn't seem to know much about differentials. She instead commenced to yakking about putting her tongue in my gear or some such.
My wife saw my puzzled look and listened to the phone for a few seconds. Her eyes got wide and she violently hung up the phone. On my hand.
"Ow!" I exclaimed as I winced in pain. "I just wanted to fix up that rickety old rear end!"
That must have been the wrong thing to say, because she slammed my other hand, too.
Despite all of this, I don't think I'll ever get a hearing aid. Instead, I'm going to get a bumper sticker that says, "I'm not deaf. I'm just ignoring you!"
Besides, a hearing aid would just get tangled up in my braids.[[In-content Ad]]


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