I'm Not Old: Middle-age, aging and the comic truth about human frailty

Something was wrong!
Something was wrong!

So, my ass and I are really having issues lately. Many of you may have read my recent article about a pair of fiber bars and the total loss of dignity. Well, the fun just keeps on coming. This time, however, it was not quite so grisly as all that, but it was, well, equally humiliating if on a different plane.

So, here’s what happened: I’m at work writing what I am sure is the most amazing copy of all time—although I can’t for the life of me remember what it was now—and eventually I had to get up for something.

So, up I get, push my rickety chair back, stand, grimace as pain surges through my lumbar region—the price of a Sleep Number Bed, the most wicked deception of all time—and totter off stiffly through labyrinthine veal pens in which sit my co-workers rotting their lives away. That’s when I felt it. The nerve thing.

The back of my thighs, right where they sort of hang over the edge of my chair, just below the cheeks, were having this odd sensation. Not pain so much as just, something not right. I could feel it, like a band across the backs of both legs, a warm not-quite-tingle but not-quite-pain thing. Not pain at all, to be honest, but, well, it was something I’d never felt before.

I'm Not Old.

Which is typical as we age. Our bodies, once spry and resilient, have all kinds of weird crap just suddenly popping up and going wrong, sensations we never knew and never believed that we would know. We’ve all heard the old-man jokes. The hemorrhoids and hernias and incontinence jokes. We all know it’s technically coming, but we all like to think it’s going to be a long time before our bodies start breaking down. Before they fail.

Evolution of a Darwinian pate.
Evolution of a Darwinian pate.

I can remember blowing off my receding hairline. My old man was bald, all my grandfathers were bald. Hell, even my father-in-law is bald, so, you know, I never had a chance. And it’s fine. So I’m bald. I make “higher-evolution” jokes and point out monkeys are hairy. Who’s a monkey now? Being bald is fine. But it didn’t stop there.

When I get sick or when something unexpected happens to my body now, I worry. I didn’t used to worry, but I do now. When I notice a lump in a lymph node or a bump on a body part, I quickly check to see if I have one to match on the other side. Our bodies are symmetrical after all; I know this because I’m old enough to have learned what “symmetrical” means. And that’s the problem too: knowledge. They say knowledge is power, but sometimes it’s just a pain in the ass, especially if you are old and having some unexpected pain in the ass. Knowledge becomes the source of anxiety, especially imperfect knowledge, and the older you get, the more you hear, learn and see. The more you hear, learn and see, the more you have to worry about.

When you’re twenty-four, a lump somewhere is “probably a zit” or it’s an “I don’t know what it is, but it will go away” sort of thing. Nothing is ever a worry. You’re twenty-four—death is so far away it’s not even a joke yet. But when you start getting old, when you begin to become aware of mortality, every lump is a sure sign of cancer or something else just as bad; it’s always a harbinger of death and misery. A reminder that the grim reaper now knows your name.

So me, with my intemperate, fiber-hating intestines and my hairless Darwinian pate found myself confronted with my latest physical failure, something new to give testament to my impending demise. Nerve disorder.

I steeled myself, took a deep breath so that I wouldn’t let myself stress out. I gave it time to go away; it could just be the pressure from sitting too long had made a strip of flesh go numb across the backs of both of my legs. I told myself I was being silly, too young at forty-three to worry like I was. But, alas, the truth is not always as pleasant as we might hope.

Finally unable to bear it any longer, I decided I had to investigate. I’m not a doctor, of course, but, you know how it goes: you always go look for yourself first, run your ape-fingers over the tender area, the bump, the discoloration as if somehow you might know what that is, might be able, amazingly, with your acute but total lack of medical training, make the diagnosis of something less than benign. So, somewhere between hope and the certainty of death, the self-exam begins.

 

The area around my veal pen was clear.
The area around my veal pen was clear.

I found a discrete locality. I looked furtively about, making sure the coast was clear, that there would be no witness to the horror that flushed my face when the fatal truth was found. I was in the clear. So I fished down into the back of my britches to face it, reached down seeking the first tactile glance of whatever this newest thing was, this latest human failing that had now gone horribly wrong with me. I dreaded what I was going to find.

The elastic band on my underpants had given way.

Yes, with a last elastic gasp, the tatty old things had just slipped right down my backside and bunched up across the back of my thighs inside my pants, creating something of a lump. That was my impending doom. My imminent demise. My goddamn underpants. The only thing dying was my waistband. And my pride. Both dead as a pair of boxer’s had its last hurrah, a last morning clinging to me and then they fell, mortally wounded down the back of my jeans, leaving me, the timorous middle-aged moron, in a fright thinking that the Reaper had rung the bell. Ding-dong. “Hello. Excuse me, is there a Mr. Shadesbreath here? I have a surprise for him.” And at work no less, an ignominious death to be found in a cubicle, my body contorted by the last spasms of agony, limbs akimbo, fluids loose, struck down by the dreaded Numb-Thigh Disease. NTD they would call it in my obituary. Found in a pile in a cubicle. Only the bathroom would be a worse place to die.

Not today.
Not today.

So I was fine. I am fine. But, My God, I thought as I stood there. What’s wrong with me? Then I laughed. What an idiot. How many more of these moments will I have before I can finally accept mortality gracefully, with dignity. I don’t want to become that old man who talks incessantly about his recent surgery, about his ailments and his pains, about the horrors of a hospital experience. I want to laugh in the face of death, “Hah Hah!” like the great, incomparable Jackamo. That’s what I want to do. And I’m working on it.

Until then, well, I need some new underpants.

The Incomparable Jackamo!

BUY Jackamo's movie - it's hilarious!

More by this Author


Comments 80 comments

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida

Shady - this was FUNNY! But you know it could have been worse. What if you were a female and had been wearing a skirt? The shame and mortification of drooping underwear would have branded you for life.


maggs224 profile image

maggs224 6 years ago from Sunny Spain

I loved this tale, it made me smile with you at what aging does to we frail humans with weak elastic in our undies Lol..


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 6 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

Easy enough to solve that problem, just quit wearing undies! Never could figure out why we need them in the first place. Or perhaps you live in a cold climate.

The Jester is hilarious! Thanks, SB


Aya_Hajime profile image

Aya_Hajime 6 years ago

I'm with Austinstar - just chuck the whole undies thing and go free. I'll bet Death doesn't wear any undies either coz really, he can't risk getting NTD while on the job. ;)


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Drbj, you make a great point. You prove that, no matter how bad we think we have it, there is someone who has it worse than us.

However, I have to say that as a man in a man-hating world, a woman would have it much better than me in that scenario. If a woman drops her panties, everyone loves it. Guys drool and fall all over themselves in ridiculous giddy glee. Women sympathize with her. Chicks win.

A guy drops his chones and anyone sees it... yeah... disaster. Chicks mock him and... uh... guys mock him. Being a guy may have lots of perks, but one of them happens to include the requirement of never showing a weak side. (Sorry, I went a little too philosophical there. It's probably the Coors brewing company speaking through me. Direct all complaint to them.) :)


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Maggs: ain't it just a bitch? Our bodies, given to us by God (or whoever else is running this thing) fail. THEN, to add insult to injury, our own man-made devices, the very elastic of our human construction, just fall down. Very disappointing, frankly. If there is a God, and if he will have some time for men when I croak of whatever it is he has chosen for me as my demise, I am going to complain vociferously. I would prefer to be born literate, quick witted and Adonis like. All this other stuff just vexes me.


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 6 years ago from Oakley, CA

ROFLMAO, Shadesbreath--you've done it again--made me laugh so hard I choked on my own spit! (Now wouldn't THAT look elegant on a death certificate?!)

Luckily, I was alone in the office, and the cats pretended not to notice.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

You know, DzyMsLizzy, I desperately want to feel bad for you, all choking and wheezing in public like that (even if just cat public). I do, really. It's just that, well, I thought I was dying because my underwear fell down, so, I can't help but just be glad that someone else has suffered embarassment too. Sorry. I really wanted to be a bigger person than that, but, well, it appears I'm not. :)


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 6 years ago from St. Louis

Man, getting old sucks. Which brings me to this retirement bull. If we don't retire until we're 65 (except for me it'll be, like, never. I'll have to keep working), then we're too damn old to enjoy it! Can't run, can't boogie, can't cruise for chicks! Life is cruel. And I never bought into that saying, "What you don't know can't hurt you." If you don't know there's an anvil about to fall on your head, that's gonna hurt you plenty!


Jane Bovary profile image

Jane Bovary 6 years ago from The Fatal Shore

Shadesbreath,

I've always had my suspicions about the sounds-like-a-wank Sleep Number Bed...well now I know.

Your post..haha..reminds of a Woody Allen film, when Allen was convinced he had a melanoma but it turned out to be an inkstain from a leaking pen.

I sympathise with the underpants situation. This happened to me in sixth grade when I was standing in front of a hall of students competing in a spelling bee final. Naturally I couldn't concentrate, since all mental effort was expended in figuring out the best way to contort my body so the limp white lace underpants could continue to defy gravity. I was so relieved when I misspelt "aeroplane" so I could clasp the offending pants through my school dress and get the hell out of there.

Chris is right about that anvil...lol


cally2 profile image

cally2 6 years ago from Paraparaumu, New Zealand

Can't help with the elastic thing but apparently baldness is a sign of high testosterone. Semen has the highest concentration of testosterone. So my advice to you is to stop swallowing.

Getting old is a bugger aint it?


Scribe For Hire profile image

Scribe For Hire 6 years ago from Connecticut

I am sill chuckling about your dilemma!

I once had a slip wind up around my ankles while walking in a parking lot after partaking in a few tasty libations but that's a story for another day!

It's so important to be able to laugh at yourself.

Aging isn't all bad -- it's all about the attitude!


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

You have my sympathies you poor old thing. I have a couple of hints: 1. This never happens to cammandos, 2. If children are following you through the airport and laughing and pointing, check to see if the toilet protector sheet if tucked into the back of your pants. 3. When you start seeing your co-workers as veal, it may be time to become a vegetarian.

I really enjoyed this expose of one of life's most personal experiences.


Scribenet profile image

Scribenet 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

I was just thinking, it could have been worse/even more funny, if someone from the veal pens had decided to walk by at the crucial moment of discovery! Glad it was just an underwear malfunction!


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Well, Christoph, the anvil will only hurt in relation to how high above your head it is suspended. If they drop it from an airplane several thousand feet up, I suspect it won't hurt much. If they drop it from a foot and a half up, well, that's a different story.

Jane Bovary, that sleep number bed is just awful. For me. The irony of it is that my wife had back trouble in our water bed, our first mattress and our second mattress over the course of the first 19 years or so of our marriage. We kept trying, but nothing worked. Until the sleep number. Now she finally sleeps through the night. Unfortunately, I LOVED the water bed, liked the first matress, LOVE-LOVE-LOVED the third mattress and now wish this sleep number thing would be swallowed up by a mattress swalling fissure in the fabric of the universe. :) As for your undies, well, it just goes to prove there are some advantages to illiteracy!


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Cally2, just LOL. I had to share that remark with my wife. And, uh... yeah, I'll work on that. :P (Yes, aging does suck, especially when you're not really all that "aging"-ish yet).


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Scribe for Hire, I have to tell you that sounds like a story for RIGHT NOW. It's got all the makings of a good one... perhaps a hub is in order!

SteveoMc, you know, it's the personal ones that resonate because we all have those issues. I think with a little bit of courage, we connect to people more through these moments than through stuff we admire or whatever. I read an article during the research for my Butt-Naked vs Buck Naked hub (WHICH, BTW HAS HAD THE ADS TURNED OFF AND I CAN'T BELIEVE THEY WOULD TURN OFF THE ADS ON AN ACADEMIC GRAMMAR ARTICLE, OMFG ... not to mention I already had ONE moderator clear it as perfectly fine a few months back... but I digress... Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr), anyway, during the research for it, I read an article on blushing (yes, it was random) and the researchers talked about the social value of blushing. People connect when they see us vulnerable, it activates some kind of social 'help' mechanism, and makes people closer. An evolutionary thing. Anyway, it was cool.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

ScribeNet, yes, it probably would have been a better story, but, it would have SUCKED if someone had come. Frankly, the privacy I was afforded by the universe might stand as some evidence for their being a kind and loving God up there somewhere.


poetvix profile image

poetvix 6 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country.

Totally and completely hillarious, mostly I think because we can all relate to the truth it contains, the feelings that come to us all, the anxiety, the worry, the feeling of the sands of time speeding to our demise as it were. Thank you for sharing. It takes a rare individual to share his/her weakness and fear... anyone can share what makes them look strong and secure. Bravo!


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Hi Poetvix, and thanks. I like that line "sands of time speeding to our demise." No wonder you are POETvix. Good stuff. And yes, I agree with you, it's easy to write about strengths. Vulnerability is where we are all joined together. Strength we may have from time to time, but in the end we, as mortals, are ultimately mostly vulnerable. Which is fine. That's why God or Fate or whatever you choose invented humor. :)


De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK

Reading this I realized that I have a 36 year old son! And at 62, I feel fine just fine, Young Shades, so don’t give up. It’s often a state of mind as well, Kid. :-))))


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Yes, De Greek, it is a state of mind. And the populace of my state is an unruly lot who never know what proposition to approve on any given day. But I'm working on it. Your dignity is an inspiration to us kids, even if those hairs growing out of your ears make us giggle some. :P


lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca

I began waiting for the guy with the scythe at around your age, Shades, and he's coming closer every day. He is such a bummer, you know? I've managed to send him on his merry way so far, but I know he's on a special mission-me.

Very fabulously funny, my dear-see, only old ladies can get away with 'dear' and 'punkin'-I enjoy that without an ounce of shame!


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Well, Lorlie, we need to figure out what to wear to ward them off. YOu know, like garlic or a cross or something. For now, keep dodging his body ass. (lol at dear and punkin... I heard old men get to grab asses and boobs with impunity... so, I have that to look forward to.)


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York

LMAO! No joke!


marisuewrites profile image

marisuewrites 6 years ago from USA

I loved the whole story!

OMG, this is hilarious because in some "form" or another, we've been there! But, if it's any comfort, when I was 18, and wiggling down main street in my new tightly fitting red dress....my slip fell down around my ankles.

Which might be a one time experience in life, and frightening enough to a young girl, but unfortunately, no, not one time for me. Embarrasssssment abounds. My first day on the job in the work-executive world...the CEO whispered to my fragile 19 year old ears..."your capri pants are on backwards...I just wanted you to know before the office staff did..." (they had a stitched seam which told the tale, and come to find out he had a daughter my age).

That sweet old man ( he HAD to be 40'ish at the time) saved my corporate life...and always had a conspiratorial wink for me.

So, I could fill a book with other embarassing moments...I just don't have the courage to tale.

My friend, you continue to share the joy of laughter with us. Your drawings are priceless!


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 6 years ago from Oakley, CA

LOL, Shadesbreath, one of the reasons I laughed so hard was because of two similar tales--that very thing happened to my father one time--albeit not in an office setting, but uncomfortable, nonetheless.

The other was a lady my mother knew--out with her fiancé. Being a woman, her drawers went all the way down to the sidewalk. It is told that she nonchalontly stepped out of them her beau squatted down & in one smooth motion, scooped them up & put them in his jacket pocket, and they continued on to their theater date.

Hmmmmmmmmm .......

(P.S. I see we're practically "neighbors".. we're about an hour from Sac.)


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Paradise7: I'm happy to have amused you. :)

Marisuewrites: lol @ you with your pants on backwards. That was nice of him to point out... even though he had to have been checking you out to notice, lol. And it's funny how many people have already in the course of a few comments revealed similar experiences, especially women. Frankly skirts and slips have to be a PITA from the sound of it.

DzyMsLizzy: it seems that, with your story, Marisues and a few others above, the skirt is a dangerous choice. OR at least, undergarments and a skirt are. lol. Oh we men will have won the day when that thinking becomes standard practice! :D And, since you are close, you going to that HubPages camp thing? I would have but not on a WEdnesday night. Too much driving for a work night.


Sa`ge profile image

Sa`ge 6 years ago from Barefoot Island

funny story:D


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Heh, heh, yeah, we have to laugh at ourselves so we don't cry. :)


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 6 years ago from Oakley, CA

Don't know about hub camp--it depends if I can scrape up gas, bridge toll and parking costs by then. SF parking is outrageously expensive!

As for it being a 'work night,' we are self employed, and work whatever days fit into whatever else we are doing...that said, there is no work at the moment.. hence my dilemma with whether or not I will attend an otherwise free event.


FloBe profile image

FloBe 6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

Oh my! I needed a good laugh and this provided it for me :) Age sure does it to us! Thanks, Shadesbreath


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Well, I wish I was self employed. Need to stick a book deal or something get a financial boost long enough to dash off a thousand commercial hubs. :D And yeah, S.F. is a great town, but stuff like parking and tolls do take their... uh, toll on your finances.

FloBe, thanks for reading and commenting. And you are right, age does do it to us. (sigh). Where's that damn fountain of youth when you need it, eh?


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 6 years ago from England

Hi, FORTY THREE??? OLD? ha ha that was hilarious! I burst out laughing and scared my son half to death! ha ha I have had a couple of lets say, umm, accidents too, one was when I was on my motor bike and I noticed something white appear down the bottom of my trouser leg, it turned out to be a new pair of knickers that I had got caught up in my jeans! I had wrapped them up after washing the jeans, to put them on in the morning and for some reason they had disappeared down the trouser leg! so when I got dressed I wore another pair and forgot I had put them there! they were sailing along the edge of my bike at 60 miles an hour like a union jack flag! hee hee and the second one was after a slight indescretion with a certain male, I hobbled home and tripped on the pavement, I couldn't figure out what was wrong until I got home and turned on the light and realised that I had put my underwear on in the one leg! oops! hee hee cheers nell


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Nell Rose, I know. 43 is not old, that's what makes this mortality reflex of mine a terrible arrival to my psyche and I'm working hard to kill it. The upside, however, is that it caused me to write this hub, which has in turn caused folks like yourself to share stories like those you just gave. So, while I may not make any money to speak of doing this, there is payment of a kind. :) (I would have probably crashed my car from laughing if I had driven by you whipping along on your bike with your knickers flagging in the wind. Just so you know.)


lightning john profile image

lightning john 6 years ago from Florida

You know Shades, this reminds me of one of my failed attempts to get into "great shape". Once after over working my legs on one of those science fiction looking leg machines, I felt a strange feeling in the back of my gluteus maximus, then later while walking out to my truck, my legs just stopped working and I fell down in front of a bunch of hot chicks. Two security guards had to carry me to my vehicle, it was so embarrassing to say the least. And I was 35 at the time.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

OMG, that would have sucked so bad. LOL. It's funny to think about as a spectator, but painful to think about as a human being. We are such a ridiculous creature if you think about it. I bet the aliens looking down at us are shaking their heads, going, "WTF?" trying to figure out how we made it TO the stone age, much less through it.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 6 years ago from England

Hi, again, forgot to tell you about the time I got out of bed, didn't realise that my leg had gone 'dead' from sleeping on it, and fell flat on my face on the floor! lol but at least clothes were'nt a part of this tale! ha ha


spryte profile image

spryte 6 years ago from Arizona, USA

Just by merely including a clip with Danny Kaye in it earns you kudos for this piece. I absolutely adore his work.

You caught me completely offguard with this one. I was thinking hmm...sciatica...and it was your damn underpants. Sheesh! :) Okay...I fell over in my chair howling in laughter imagining you with your hand crammed down the backside of your pants feeling around too. Very funny stuff!

I can relate to your morbid thoughts though. For me it was my knee which I somehow tweaked while...bowling. Yeah...real dangerous sport there. I had to wear a flexible knee brace for a week or two and realized that knees are important for things like getting out of a car with dignity and getting off the toilet. I was truly grateful that the office bathroom has a handicap rail.

I tried to hide the brace when bowling again...I mean really...who injures themselves bowling?! And then I noticed a strange thing...about three men with not ONE flexible knee brace...but TWO bowling to either side of me. I wasn't as self-conscious after that...but the fact that all of these men were in their 60's and retired made me worry that perhaps I was more a peer than I once thought.

By the way...I scared myself the other day. I ate two fiber bars and then remembered your previous piece. I completely panicked...and then realized they were only the Quaker Oats ones and not the Fiber One bars...phew. Nothing exploded...


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Nell, you're lucky you didn't get hurt. I know more than one person who has hurt themselves getting out of bed, or as I tease with feign incredulity, "You hurt yourself sleeping?" LOL.

Spryte, I really like Danny Kaye too. The Court Jester is one of my favorite comdies. I always watch that and marvel at his talent. The guy could sing, dance, act AND do comedy which is not a given with the ability to "act" alone. A rare talent for sure. I love him as the old man on the wagon towards the beginning. I've seen it a million times and still LOL at it.

I'm glad I "gotcha" on that too. I was worried it would be too obvious that it wasn't "nerve disease" from the outside. It appears to be working. As for you and bowling, well, that's kind of like the getting out of bed thing. You get past 35 or so, and, well, injuries shift from skiing and football to, well, sleeping and bowling. (sigh).

Good to hear on the fiber thing too. I wouldn't wish that on too many people, and you aren't one of the ones I would.


D.Virtual.Doctor profile image

D.Virtual.Doctor 6 years ago from Europe

ha ha ha ha ha! I love the imcomparable jackamo! Its really funny. Well as for Old age, we will get there some day, but as for we the young ones, we've got to make good use of our time now, cos our fathers' time is past. Great hub and really informative and as well funny. I've got to watch the incomparable jackamo once more. ha ha ha ha ha!


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Hi D. Virtual.Doctor. I'm glad you got a kick out of that video. If you aren't familiar with the movie _The Court Jester_ I highly, highly recommend it. It's hilarious throughout and Danny Kaye, who plays Jackamo, is just so dang talented that despite the movie being really old, it totally still works. Funny is just funny, and he can really sing too.


sunflowerbucky profile image

sunflowerbucky 6 years ago from Small Town, USA

Ok, first let me say, Best opening line EVER. And I really dig the hairy monkey logic! I totally know what you mean, though, I recently discovered bumps on my knuckles and freaked out and I'm only 33! That is also very true about knowledge not always being a good thing. I have a friend who recently became a nurse, and simultaneously a nervous wreck who automatically goes to worse case scenario! This is the great thing about working from home, if my underwear fail me, I don't have to risk anyone seeing it! Love the sketches, by the way, are those yours? Thanks for the laugh!


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Heh, yeah, that first line. I spent some time deciding if that was over the top or not and decided, F-it. Sorry to hear about the knuckles, perhaps being a female and therefore less inclined to balding than I am, and therefore a rung or two down the evolutionary ladder, those knuckle bumps are calluses from, well, occasional quadrupedalism?

(Sorry, it could not be helped. The set up was just there. :D )

And yes, those are my sketches, I do all my own stunts as it were. Actually, I started doing that with the Vlad the Inhaler one, but I spent too much time on those, so I've dropped back since the 10 Most Questions one and the Fiber bar thing to these quickie ones. They seem to be working, so perhaps I've found a balance. Glad you like them, and thanks for saying so.


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country

Always funny, Shades. (Can I call you Shades? It seems I have known you for a long time.)

I hate to tell you, but those mysterious discomforts may become more frequent in the next several years.

I was going to suggest suspenders-- but I saw the eBay ad for " TROUSER BLOUSERS BOOT BANDS GREEN ELASTIC 2 PAIR NEW! " and I thought maybe if these serve the Marines well, they might be a good investment for you.


thayak profile image

thayak 6 years ago from San Jose, CA

Haha... hilarious post. Much of the hilarity is from the truth. I'm 27 (I know I have a long way to go), but I'm starting to notice these little things. I'm doing my part to try to stay healthy and stay in shape as long as I can so I don't have to be one of old people who talk about their surgeries all the time.


MPG Narratives profile image

MPG Narratives 6 years ago from Sydney, Australia

Hilarious story Shadesbreath, getting old is tough (and Im slightly older than you). My problem these days is remembering to put undies on! LOL. Thanks for the jester video, I loved that movie, must watch the full version again.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Rochelle, as I tell my wife, and anyone else who will listen, call me what you like, just don't call me late for dinner! :) And we have known each other for a long time. 2 years and change. It's meeting wits like you that have made my HP experience totally and completely awesome. (And, I have to say, on the trouser blouser thing... the ads that my hubs pull are great. Google doesn't know what to do with articles that aren't selling anything, and sometimes that makes for ads being as much fun as the joke at hand.)

Thayak, 27 is pretty young in body, but it is just old enough in mind to hit a level of intellectual maturity that includes the awareness of mortality. From there, it's all down hill. LOL. Welcome to the club.

MPG Narratives: hey there, good to see you again. And I LOVE that movie. I decided yesterday to put an Amazon capsule up there since enough people have commented on that. Maybe there are some younger people who never heard of it will check it out, make me a few bucks and find a new movie to add to their top ten or twenty lists. Oh, and just ROFL @ remembering to put your undies on. I snorted. lol.


MPG Narratives profile image

MPG Narratives 6 years ago from Sydney, Australia

Ha, I'm chuffed I could make you laugh. cheers M xx.


AloBeDa profile image

AloBeDa 6 years ago from The Global Village

Really enjoyed this and it actually does make aging seem humourous.

I do know about those pains at the back of the knees. And the worst is trying to get up off a sofa. Time was when we'd spring up, quick and neat. Now, the two arms need some wierd support just to get out of the chair.

So distressing LOL!!!

Great hub Shadesbreath.


Cagsil profile image

Cagsil 6 years ago from USA or America

Hey Shadesbreath, at least it wasn't something to really stress out about. LOL! You may be having these sort of stressing out things happening, but I'm not that old to worry about it, nor do I think I will begin to worry about it, when I reach your age. LOL! I'm not even sure how old you are in the first place, but being 41 myself, going on 42 in less than a month, I can see how you've been troubled with these things. LOL! Not that I am, but I can see how YOU would be. :P Great hub! Cracked up me up. However, not as funny as some of your other stuff. :P But, still a great read. :)


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

AloBeDa, thanks for reading and commenting. That's very kind. And yes, sometimes floundering out of a couch is a real chore, almost as bad as getting out of a low-set sports car. Ugh. :)

Hi Cags. I agree, this isn't as funny as some of my others. It was more of a memoir sort of thing than straight slapstick or satire. I think the technical term for it these days is "creative non-fiction." And I'm 43, so you will begin suffering from these paranoid delusions immediately upon arriving at your next birthday. Enjoy. :D


mysterylady 89 profile image

mysterylady 89 6 years ago from Florida

Until I read all the comments, I thought I had a unique family tale. When my grandmother was a young lady, as she attempted to board a street car, her bloomers fell to the ground. She simply stepped out of them, picked them up, and continued boarding. She was such a "prim and proper" lady that the story amazed me.

I wish some of the wierd things that have happened to me were as simple as faulty elastic. Would you believe I managed to break a toe while sleeping ALONE in bed!!!

BTW Last weekend I watched "The Thirteenth Warrior," which you had recommended in a comment on one of my hubs. I enjoyed it, and I see what you mean about the ending.

As always I enjoyed your hub, including the extras.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Hi Mysterylady, good to see you. I'm happy to hear you got to The 13th Warrior. I was afraid you might figure it to be too much of a guy movie, so I'm delighted that you liked it. As for the falling bloomers, well, it does seem to be a recurring theme that suggests that, from an engineering standpoint, perhaps the dress and the skirt are not the high point of clothing design, despite how lovely they can be. That or women should just go commando and give in to the private desires of all the single-tracked minds on the other side of the gender divide. :)


mysterylady 89 profile image

mysterylady 89 6 years ago from Florida

Maybe slacks became fashionable because so many women lost their bloomers!

I would like you to read "Gaunt Castle" by Kevin Schofield. It is not in your humorous style. Instead, it is a horror fantasy. You might enjoy it, though. I find Kevin to be quite intelligent, knowledgable, and creative. Let me know what you think.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

I checked it out. You're quite right about him coming off intelligent, knowledgeable and creative. His descriptions are strong, and based on the comments, it seems he's done some reading on the subject which you can see lends to the material. Thanks for the tip. I told him you sent me, so he owes you commission for the page view cash. :D


mysterylady 89 profile image

mysterylady 89 6 years ago from Florida

Thanks, Shades, for checking it out. I am pleased that you agreed with my assessment.

In the next day or two, I'll be publishing a hub on Voltaire. I've had the devil of a time writing it! I am trying to do too much in one hub. I do plan to have a link to your hub on C.R.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Sweet. Voltaire is fun. Candide is a major source of inspiration for me, as I imagine you can imagine. :D

I wrote one last night I need to go through on a book I just read that is probably the best book I've read in 10 or 15 years. So, I guess after two years on HubPages, the chronic English major and writer is going to post up his first book review. lol. Maybe someone will buy it and I will finally get to check off "make Amazon sale" from my list of things to do. :D


mysterylady 89 profile image

mysterylady 89 6 years ago from Florida

I published my hub on Voltaire. It is not a book review, and there is so much more I would have liked to say. It does contain a link to your hub.

I'll be interested in reading your first hub book review!


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

Hey SB, I loved Bill Cosby's quote from his turning 40 book--"You know you've turned forty when you stoop down to pick something up and you look around for anything else you need to do while you're down there." Hilarious fare here my friend. I think you should sing about your experience in a group worthy of Yoko Ono--The Underpants Elastic Band. =:)


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

I'd laugh at that Cosby quote if it wasn't so damn true. (sigh). You know, I try to appreciate life. I try to smell the roses with utmost diligence. Just the other night, I'm sitting out in the back with my wife, we're looking up at the starts, and I thought to myself, these are the moments we have to hang on to. These are the moments the old and dying will tell you to cherish, that cancer patients have said are so dear. I think a little of that as we sat out there, not dwelling on it morosely, but just long enough to try to add to my appreciation of the moment. And you know, it's hard to appreciate something any more intensely. It's hard to ratchet up enjoyment. You turn it up too high and it will become melancholic. Funny that.

Anyway, thanks for the nice compliment. I'll let you play tuba in my band if I start it, you'll need to play very loud as my singing voice sounds like a gorilla strangling a yodeler.


burning bush profile image

burning bush 6 years ago

I live within the great circle of crap. It was a nice place until I read your hub and discovered that I don't live alone. :) Its getting very crowded in here.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Yeah, it sucks to enter into the circle of crap. But then, it beats the alternative, eh?


Sa`ge profile image

Sa`ge 6 years ago from Barefoot Island

I had to come back because I forgot to dance on your buttons, after all you made my smile, laugh and I did really enjoy this hub. Tell me. do you really look on both sides? :D aloha :D


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Nice of you to come back and dance on the buttons, Sa'ge. And, yes, depending on the sudden discovery, sadly I do. You get a knot on the tendony area of you inner thigh, or something under and arm pit or behind an ear, or in the soft part inside a jaw bone, you can easily check the other side for a similar structure and, upon discovering it, decide if what you felt first is an abnormality or just a body thing you never noticed before. Unless, of course, it's TWO ABNORMALITIES AND THEN YOU ARE GOING TO DIE TWICE AS FAST!!!! (hmm, maybe that isn't a great strategy.) :D


KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

I'm still laughting. Anyone who can make people laugh at getting older is ok with me. Your etchings are top notch. Rated up and awesome.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Hi KoffeKlatch Gals, glad to know you were amused. And, frankly, if we don't laugh in the face of aging, well, then we just age in a bad mood. Not sure what the upside of doing that would be, so, a laughing I shall go. :D


agaglia profile image

agaglia 6 years ago

Shadesbreath, You did it again. You amused me! this is so true, too. I once walked along and felt something inside my pant leg. It kept creeping down until it was finally slipping outside my jeans leg. I reached down and pulled . . and out came my underwear from the day before! How embarrassing. Luckily, I was quick enough to stuff them into my pocket before too many people saw. We laughed and laughed and I was embarrassed alright.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Yeah, agaglia, that's not the kind of thing that does much for our dignity as humans, is it? lol. Oh well, at least you laughed. It's only bad if you can't laugh at yourself. I think one of the biggest dangers in life is taking ourselves too seriously.


quicklysilver profile image

quicklysilver 6 years ago from wexford, ireland

Its not your physical being you should be worried about, its your mental whereabouts. If you're mistaking a busted underpants for a maliginous lump I fear that you could be off to the funny farm soon. I don't think you have anything to fear from the grim reeper but watch your back for the men in white coats.

Ha ha, great story.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

You know, Quicklysilver, I am pretty sure you have put your finger on the truth of it. I am now going to be forever darting about, peering around corners, expecting to be whisked away by the men in white. (Sigh). Is there no peace?

(Glad you liked it; thanks for the comment.)


Jewels profile image

Jewels 6 years ago from Australia

Some time over the last 2 years I found mortality. Denial was such a wonderful experience, totally free of any responsibility for human upkeep.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

I know, right? I watch my kids watching that Jackass TV show and the movies and they just think it's hilarious (and I admit some of it is), but the ones that make me cringe, the ones where the idiots in it risk not only death, but a life of paralysis with no thought. Not only no thought for their own regrets and misery, but for the misery of those who they doom to take care of them, the daily chores of biological drudgery they condemn a parent too do or to pay for. It's brutal. I keep telling myself when I have those thoughts, "OMG, YOU'RE TURNING INTO THAT GODDAMN OLD PERSON WHO SAYS 'YOU'LL SHOOT YOUR EYE OUT,'" but then realize there is a reason why that old person is pretty much all old people. I'm trying to keep a balanced perspective here, but, wow, what a PITA. When I die, if I find out there is a God (and he is still willing to talk to me), I'm really going to have to have a sit-down with him. :D


Jewels profile image

Jewels 6 years ago from Australia

I'm with you Shades, something went wrong with the human cooking process. Need to have words with the chef!


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 6 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

Oh what a brilliant hub Shades, (as usual). I personally remember being at secondary school aged about 13 and wearing stockings for the first time. Slight problem was I didn't have a suspender belt, so in my immature wisdom I had used two elastic bands. Sadly one broke on my way up to my maths class, and although I made it to class it left me with a real dilemma as to how I could get through the rest of the day without the offending stocking ending up around my ankles. In desperation I asked my male maths teacher for an elastic band at the end of the lesson. Probably assuming I wanted the elastic band for some evil purpose, he asked me what it was for, and to my massive embarrassment I had to explain about my stocking falling down. No doubt he had a great laugh in the staff room later on, but to his credit he kindly gave me the elastic band with no further questions.

Another example of such an instance was when my Step Father (the local Fire Chief at the time), first began dating my Mother, (both of whom would have been in their 50's at the time). One lunchtime he came home to visit my Mother who had been doing some sewing. One of the items she had been repairing was a pair of ladies briefs/knickers. It was only upon his return to the fire station after lunch that he got out of the car and realised he had the same briefs attached to his trousers by a stray pin. It was just fortunate for him that he spotted it before the other firemen did or he would never have heard the last of it in terms of the teasing and jokes he would have been on the receiving end of.!!!!!


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

LOL Jewels, yeah, it's like He's using the microwave now so we're coming out with cold spots in places that aren't quite done. :D

Ha, Misty, I can see the grizzled dignity of the FIRE CHIEF being decimated in most riotous fashion as the young guys fell out of their boots laughing at him dangling a pair of knickers off his ass. God that would have been funny. I suppose it's mean of me to say, but I really wish he hadn't noticed just so that I could know that actually happened rather than just being a scene in my head and yours.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 6 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

LOL Shades, I kind of felt the same way when my Mum told me about it, especially as he is such a dignified man who would have been highly embarrassed by the incident and the ribbing he got afterwards.

On another occasion he had a friend of his (also a fire chief) staying over here on the island and my Step Dad arranged a really nice hotel for him that was used as a brothel during the German Occupation of the Channel Islands. Having shared this bit of interesting history with the chap concerned, my Step Father thought no more of it for many months. Then, him and a lot of other Fire Chiefs from around the world met up in the UK for some convention, and as my Step Father entered a room full of fire chiefs he saw his old pal talking to a large group of them. Without batting an eyelid this chap introduced my Step Father by saying, "Ah, this is my good friend James Cassaday the Fire Chief in Guernsey. He very kindly recommended the best brothel on the island to me when I last stayed there".

You seriously couldn't make this stuff up LOL!


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Yes, that's the truth. One of the things I've heard said many times in writing classes and workshops and that sort of thing is that life is stranger than fiction, and that is true. You can't make that stuff up. Frankly, sometimes reality is so true nobody will believe it.


NiaG profile image

NiaG 5 years ago from Louisville, KY

Too f'in funny! I feel that way now and I'm just 34. Oh what's to become of all of us? Great read!


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California Author

Hi NiaG. Thanks for reading. And yes, what is to become of us, fragile, terrified mortals that we are? Buck up, I say. Find your inner Jackamo.

I actually have two relatives who are getting up there (87 and 91) respectively to whom I have spoken about these things. Both have such wondrous strength, and both with perfect candor have told me, "I'm fine with dying. If I die, I die. Just don't put me in a hospital." It turns out, that's the real fear. The only thing these two WWII veterans are afraid of is that: Hospitals. That says a lot to me.

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