I Am Almost Old

The best thing about life is that you can always find someone worse off than you to make you feel better about yourself. –Rich Sparhawk

I feel the end coming on. It’s looming. I am about to get old. One kid with another on the way. Buying a second house for the first time. It’s there, right over the edge of the sink, in the mirror where the grey hairs have started to nest.

You can look at your parents and grandparents and see that they are old. They are old because they have given up. You get so much piled on top and you just give in to old age. It’s inevitable. You look at yourself and you can see it roosting. You’d like to avoid it, but you just can’t. Usually you can fight it off by being too busy to notice, but you can’t avoid it forever. Now, there are a very slim few who can fight it off for a little bit. (Robert Redford did for a bit. So did Britney Spears.) Everyone else who tries to stay young just looks creepy. You can date young and you can wear young clothes and dance at the young clubs, but you still hurt in the morning and can’t crap when you want.

I’m still young though. I sneak by through hanging out with younger people. It about time I dump my current friends and pick up new younger ones. They were great five years ago when they were 25, but now they are all getting married with kids… old. I need a new batch of green punks that still have good parties and don’t mind being four hours late to work. I need new irresponsibility.

But that’s not going to happen, because the one thing that takes and knocks your old ass over the old edge is going to pop out any day now.

This thing I keep rambling on about is the “I don’t get it.” As soon as you say or even think it, you are old. It’s either fashion or dance or technology that dumbfounds a forty something right into Depends. So far I have been able to accept baggy pants and bluegrass-acid jazz and tattoos behind the ear and 16 year olds with pacifiers and IM and blogs and lip piercing and Ugg boots and tipped – no- slanted – no- backwards – no – oh shit they’ve gone full circle and now it’s hats on straight. I’ve made it though. But I am waiting for the one trend that makes me shake my head and pull my belt up to my tits.

So screw that. I’m inventing that trend. I am going to be behind the movement that pushes most 30-somethings into old age. The synchronic screams of passing youth will fill the air as the stock in Rascals triples.

The trend is: Knock Yourself Out Dancing. It goes like this: Try to punch yourself into unconsciousness while dancing. Its beauty is its simplicity. It will start quite simply: A random teen punk will be searching the internet for “beer bong” and “Elvis riding a unicorn” and stumble across my blog. As he reads every tenth word, he’ll accidentally read “Ugg boots” and slow down enough to catch the phrase Knock Yourself Out Dancing. Later that weekend at the 16+ dance at the Reef Graveyard, he’ll begin the trend. By the end of the night, the floor will be covered in Red Bull and bruised wannabes. So it begins…

He’ll take the credit, but you will all know the truth behind your own giving in. I’ll sit and smile as web sites bulge at the seams with comments on how that Knock Yourself Out Dancing (or NyO as it will be called) is the dumbest thing in the world and that they just don’t get it. Kids these days.

Ohio has something called the Golden Buckeye Card for seniors. I hope your state has the same.

Late Night Shopping

I was shopping at Kroger’s around midnight. Late night shopping is the best. No people to slow you up. The night stockers leave zig zag paths through their isles that you can race down, trying not to hit the unshelved product. And if you go with a buzz on, you can buy 10 -15 items that aren’t on the list that sound really delicious at the time. It’s fun to hear Miss Sally ask why we have four 32oz cans of Corn Beef Hash in the cupboard. Though you need to time it right at checkout so you are not stuck behind the embarrassed food stamp people who also shop late at night. “I’m sorry miss, you can’t buy Basic 100s with your WIC coupon.”

I was at the stand up coolers deciding between the Klondike Regular and the Klondike Krunch. (I was off the list.) It was a little hard to see in the cooler as there was a bit of condensation on the inside. I opened the door and was hit with a blast of hot, wet air. Something was amiss. I grabbed the Krunch variety and SMOOOOOSH. The packaging squished in my hand as the melted contents of each individually wrapped bar tried to seep out.

The coolers must have broken. Or there’s a secret switch on the back that reads COLD and HOT and someone was having a bad first day.

There was an employee in the isle that I recognized from my other late night shopping trips. I walked up to him and said, “Hey, the coolers are broken and everything is melted.”

He leaned in towards me and whispered, “I get out of here in 15 minutes. Don’t say anything or I will have to stay and help clear it out.”


In the checkout line, I got a Kit Kat and ate it as I waited for the food stamp person to write a check without ID.

Money talks...

"I'd rather be lucky than rich. Luckily, I've had a run of bad luck." -Doug

Sorry folks. I've had a paid writing gig and have been focusing my efforts there.

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