Saturday, March 5, 2011

Hurry up, Brain...My body is waiting.

It was a dark and stormy night.  It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
My English teacher said you should try to grab your readers right from the start.  It worked for Bulwer-Lytton and Charles Dickens.  It will work for me.  I actually tried to fit Hemingway into this but saying, "Did the earth move for thee?" did not seem to fit into the introduction.  My English teacher would be so proud.
So much for introductions.  Let's move on. 
This is for all of you who tuned in late.
My name is Jonathan Hemlock.  But not really... this is a fake name.
I try to write blogs that have a beginning, middle and end.  My English teacher also mentioned that.  I want my blog to be original and quirky.  A wry little story about life as you get older.

"Getting older beats the alternative."

The thing about getting older is that your body knows but your mind is usually eight to ten years behind.  That is why I have pain medication.  I try to do things I did in 1973.  I can still do a one and a half back flip off a diving board.  I am sure of it.  
I can barely walk down the street without falling off the curb but I believe I can run a hundred yard dash in under a minute. I say fifteen seconds.  I am sure of it.
I probably could do ten or twelve pull-ups if I didn't have a torn rotator cuff.  I am sure of it.
I  thought about training for a half marathon.  I probably could win my age category if my hips, back and shoulder did not hurt so much.  I am sure of it.

This is my current mindset.  There is a lot of things going on in your body that you are not ready to accept.  Just the other morning my wife said to me, "Your loud snoring kept me awake half the night."  My response was, "Really? I kept you awake? How long have I been snoring?"   Her quick reply was, "Since 1993!!!!"  That's odd! I never heard a thing.

The body is like a finely tuned automobile. My mind tells me that I have a Rolls Royce but I went to my mechanic at the health clinic recently and he told me I have an Edsel.

I noticed a few quirky things.  When I enter a building ... or even plan to enter a building, I always have to check out where the restrooms are. This is very important as you get older.  We have two and a half bathrooms in our townhouse.  A good thing.  In the morning all of them will be in use.  Wilson will use the half bath as his personal water supply.  The initials IBM have a totally different meaning now.  IBM means Impending Bowel Movement.  I can't imagine living in a place with one bathroom.  I shudder.

I also noticed something about flatulence.  In my youth it was something we did for amusement.  We had total control over this.  It was like burping.  Something the guys did to amuse each other.  Who ever burped or farted the loudest or the longest was a person to be envied.  At some point, like in your early twenties, you mature and stop doing it for amusement.  This is something you control, more or less.  But then you realize you don't control it so you try to be discreet.  You try to find open space.  You run to an open field. You avoid places that have echoes.  You blame it on the cat. You adjust your life... then you get old.  
The rules change again.  Now you are afraid to pass gas.  There is a degree of uncertainty involved in this endeavor.  This is why older people are cranky.

There are other issues involved in olditude.
When I was growing up I thought old people smelled funny.  I am now "old people".  Do I smell funny?  My wife tells me I smell just fine.  She is starting to be "old people". Should I trust her opinion?  I don't dare walk up to a young lady at Walmart and say, "Do I smell old?".

Your other senses start to diminish.  You don't know you smell old.  My sense of smell has gotten so bad that my neighbors call me when Wilson's litter needs to be changed.  I can eat a Limburger sandwich and a glass of sour milk while I change the litter.  I'm guessing that my sense of taste is diminishing also.

My sense of hearing is not as keen as it used to be.  I learned to compensate.  I learned a few tricks from my dad who had the misfortune of being too close to numerous dynamite blast in the mines.  
An example of my dad's bad hearing would be: I would say, "My sense of hearing is not as keen as it used to be."  My dad would say, "My fence of fearing snot as bean looses bees? What does that mean?" It made for some comical non-sequiturs, but it was also very frustrating.  He would never admit that he had a hearing problem.  We just didn't talk loud enough or there was too much background noise.  He had trouble accepting his aged hearing.  I guess the acorn did not fall far from the mighty oak in that respect.  I will try to make a better transition, or as my father would say," I will dry and bake a letter transmissions?"

As a person gets older it gets more difficult to sleep unless you are watching your favorite television program on the couch. Then it will take about ninety seconds to fall asleep. Why is that?
Someone told me to count sheep.  It would make you sleep.  I tried it.  Guess what?  It didn't work.  The damn sheep kept moving.  I had to keep starting over.  I was getting really annoyed with those sheep.  I decided I would sheer the sheep for their wool.  That way I could keep track of who was counted and who wasn't.  This would have worked except I started to get allergic to wool.  So I would wake up exhausted and itchy.
My wife has a similar problem.  She can hear crickets farting at three o'clock in the morning. She has extremely keen hearing except when I am talking to her. After I repeat something three times she will then demand I write it on paper.  Then she scolds me about my bad handwriting.
Yeah....Penmanship does not get better with age either.  I now write like a doctor does a prescription.  So now we just email each other.  This does not make for good dinner conversation. But...we have documentation.

There are other things that just don't make sense anymore.
  • The hair on my ears is growing faster than the hair on my head.
  • A young whippersnapper is someone under sixty.
  • The diaper aisle at the pharmacy has as many diapers for adults as for infants.
  • Television..(kata...boomm!) grams hav...(kata...boommm!) a lot of backgro..(boom...boom) background..(boom...boom!!) noi..(boom!..boom!) noise.  Am I the only (boom...kata..boom!!) person this...(boom!..kataboom!) annoys, Dr Phil? (Kata...boom!!)
  • My television has I about seven thousand channels. Why is there only about five good programs on television?  Why isn't one of them "The Codger Channel?"
  • Jennifer Lopez looks like a teenager and I yearn to see Betty White's cleavage. She's hot.  I am not well.
  • If I am not snoring my wife puts a mirror under my nose too see if I am still alive.  So far so good. 
  • One of our neighbors is so old that she was friends with (and outlived) people who had streets named after them.  She called the "Robert Grissom Parkway" The Bob!!!! A personal friend of hers.  That's old.
I have a lot more questions, but this is a good start.  Now I can go read my book.  My book?  I don't remember where I put my book.
Someone told me yesterday that memory is the second thing to go.  That person told me what the first thing to go was.  I can't remember who told me that and what he/she said.
If you are reading this, call me.  Whoever you are.  I need to know.
Hmm...What do I need to know?


  1. As usual Jon your article brought tears to my eyes. I live in a seniors town so I can relate to everything you talk about. I've often wondered if I was going to smell old when I get there. I asked my hubby and he says I smell just fine but I've noticed a hint of olditude about him but that could be because he's a Newfie.
    Keep up the good work Jon. Your articles are great with morning coffee or a pick me up when I get home from work.

  2. Hey Jon, I thought you might enjoy this little joke:
    An older couple is lying in bed one morning.
    They had just awakened from a good night's sleep.
    He takes her hand and she responds, 'Don't touch me.'
    'Why not?' he asked.
    She answered, 'Because I'm dead.'
    The husband asked...'What are you talking about? We're both lying here in bed together and talking to one another!'
    She said, 'No, I'm definitely dead.'
    He insisted, 'You are not dead. What in the world makes you think you're dead?'
    'Because I woke up this morning and nothing hurts.'

  3. I know that feeling. One of my facebook friend drives a bus. What a coincidence. Every morning I feel like I was run over by a bus.

  4. Thank you for answering the question about why seniors are so grumpy!


  5. Well, NOW I'm depressed. I'm going back to bed...after I pee.