Dad in the Mirror - My New Image
Aging is a Process
PLEASE DON'T MAKE ME GO ON THE CASINO BINGO HALL BUS TRIP
What in the world happened to me? The time machine of life is moving much too quickly. For me, aging has become a badge of longevity, the seriousness of realizing my own mortality and a comedic look at what is in store when I join my upper classmates on the Tuesday morning bus trip to the casino bingo hall…metaphorically, of course.
HONEST...I REALLY WAS YOUNG ONCE IN A FAR OFF LAND
I showered today to soften my beard because I’m a dinosaur who, in spite of modern conveniences, still prefers shaving cream and a good razor for the “Clean shaving man” look. I don’t use Old Spice like my dad did, but I am hopelessly addicted to Ralph Loren Polo cologne. The shaving cream formed clouds on my hand, as I wiped the fog off of the bathroom mirror and then it happened. I saw my reflection and it startled me. My reflection revealed a fact that is hard to face. For you see, I had become older looking than my father. The shock of my image shattered my half-belief that I was cool and a “hip dude” to be around. How could I be a young man one day, blink my eyes and then…poof…appear older than my dad looked before he passed away? Not only have I become depressed by this realization, but I also know how quickly life starts the downward spiral. Again I inquire, what the hell happened?
LASSIE...DID TIMMY FALL IN THE WELL
My boyhood Saturday mornings still offer vivid images of watching the following television shows The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin, Sky King, The Roy Rogers Show, with Dale Evans, My Friend Flicka, Fury, The Flintstones and Tom Terrific. Television of my youth was filled with Westerns such as Wagon Train, The Rifleman, Wanted Dead or Alive, Annie Oakley, Bat Masterson, Cheyenne, Cimarron Strip, Davy Crockett, Have Gun Will Travel, The Lone Ranger, The Virginian, Death Valley Days, Gene Autry and Hopalong Cassidy. Variety and game shows were plentiful as well and included: To Tell the Truth, Ted Mack’s Amateur Hour, Queen for a Day, The Ed Sullivan Show, Jackie Gleason and I’ve Got a Secret. Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t also include these classics: Peter Gunn, The Fugitive, Leave it to Beaver, Father Knows Best, Make Room for Daddy, McHale’s Navy, Combat, The Twilight Zone, Lost in Space, The Dinah Shore Show, Dobie Gillis, Mission Impossible, Ozzie and Harriet, Sea Hunt, Dragnet, Highway Patrol and The Dick Van Dyke Show. Even though these programs aired decades ago, they are forever etched into my memory bank as if I had just watched them yesterday.
NOW TELL ME AGAIN, WHAT WAS I GOING TO SAY OR DO
How is it possible to have total recall of events and people from 50+ years ago and then forget to remove a cell phone from my pocket when I did the laundry last week? It is so frustrating walking down the hallway, definitely on a mission of importance, only to stop midway, scratch my head in befuddled disbelief that once again, my mission must be scrubbed because I have no idea what I was going to do. Then there are the conversations that have a certain theme and suddenly, as my lips start to flap, the drapes of my mind are drawn shut and I sit, staring off into space, wondering what the heck was I going to say? My adult children become mildly irritated when I ask them a question and they state, “Dad we already told you!” “Well, if you did tell me, then I guess I just forgot,” is my normal response, as I feel so much closer to spending my remaining days grazing in the lower 40 acres of life.
COME ON DOWN...IT'S YOUR TURN TO PLAY "THE PRICE IS RIGHT"
It’s a known fact that as we age we start to lose some of our height. How many times have you wondered if a car was on autopilot because the driver’s noggin wasn’t visible above the headrest? Gone are the fury dice that once hung from the rearview mirror, replaced with the rather large handicap hanger. Also, when did it become chic to display an array of baseball caps in the car’s rear window, accompanied by the ever-present box of tissues? How useful are Kleenex tissues in the back window of an automobile? Then after taking up one and a half parking spots with automobiles the size of small houses, our seniors enter the supermarket and climb aboard their motorized scooters, humming around like bumper cars at the fair. Also, I must make this plea that when going out among the masses, please use odorless analgesics for those sore and aching joints. The offensive smell up and down the aisles, permeating the air with the reeking aroma of wintergreen literally attacks my sinuses and lingers with me for hours. Finally, whatever you do, do not get in the way of our seniors at the checkout line, especially when it is approaching time for “The Price is Right.”
HOW PENGUINS BURY THEIR DEAD
A dear friend of mine shared an anonymous story about where the dead penguins go in Antarctica. It seems as though penguins are complex, ritualistic, mate for life and are committed to family. When a member of their family or social network dies on the ice, the Penguins will use their wings and beaks to chip away until they have dug a hole big enough to roll the corpse into. The male penguins form a circle and sing:
FREEZE A JOLLY GOOD FELLOW
FREEZE A JOLLY GOOD FELLOW
THEN THEY KICK THE DEAD COMRADE INTO THE ICE HOLE
You really didn’t think I was that knowledgeable about penguins, did you? It’s so easy fooling you “OLD” people!
MAKE OTHERS LAUGH AS YOU LAUGH AT YOURSELF AND HOLD ON FOR THE RIDE OF YOUR LIFE
Yes, my image exposes a more mature person and maybe even one who has gained some sage knowledge with the sands of time. However, I have not lost my sense for a good joke, a belly laugh and my continuing quest to plant a smile on the faces of those I touch and to me that is timeless.
Written by Dennis L. Page