Please hand me the Ben Gay


As You may or may not know, I am an avid football fan. College football is OK, and I will watch it with some interest, but I am an NFL freak.

I started out being just a fan of the Cincinnati Bengals back when they met the 49ers in the Super Bowl XVI back in 1981. After the 49ers handed Cincinnati their butts again in 1989 in Super Bowl XXIII, I had to broaden my interests if I was going to continue to follow football. It’s been a long, dry spell.

Over this past weekend I witnessed painful groans, condemnation of frigid weather conditions, knees being slathered in liniment to ease the pain, whimpering cries for “mommy,” limping, hopping on one foot and waiting for wheeled conveyances designed to carry grown, mature folks around, and not one of them was from a football game. They were all me.

If you’ve read my columns long, you’ve heard me talk about the aging process, and how I am the only one in the world who feels that the golden years should be more, well, golden. However, I am continually amazed at how something that I didn’t even realize I had could hurt.

While driving last week with my darling “child-bride” (see, I may be getting old, but I can still schmooze!) I discovered this terrible stabbing pain on the back of my hand. Being the “John Wayne” type, I cried out as if I had been shot through the thigh with an arrow! (I can only imagine how that must feel. I don’t want to experience it you understand) I am glad the windows were rolled up because I am certain my whimpering would have awakened sleeping children for blocks around.

Startled beyond imagination my bride, thinking I was having a heart-attack or some major life event, inquired what my problem was with great emotional exuberance. Because the pain vanished as quickly as it came, I answered, “Nothing, why do you ask?” That was when I pulled the car to the side of the road while I listened ever so closely to her displeasure regarding my outburst. You might say we were having some intense communication, and all of it one-way. But I digress.

When it looked as though I might survive this chapter in “sharing,” for some strange reason I felt compelled to turn to Google and find out what the life expectancy of the “male” in ancient Rome was. That was a bit strange for a few reasons. First, I am not from Rome. Second, I have never been to Rome. Third, I know no one who is from Rome. Fourth, I am quite confident that the pain in the back of my hand was not life threatening (but you never know. I’ve heard stories).

My Google search uncovered that a male might live to be as much as 35 years of age in ancient Rome. Perhaps less if he were a politician or a local radio personality in Nero’s court. I felt pretty good about all that.

I recall back when I was quite young, listening to the “old guys” around talking about their aches and pains and thinking, “what wimps they are!” “Nothing can be that bad!” OK, I was wrong.

I used to have an assortment of great smelling colognes and very cool after shave decanters on my dresser. Now it’s loaded down with prescriptions as well as over-the-counter medications that either make you go, make you stop, clean your arteries, slow your heart, make your heart keep ticking, lower your blood sugar, raise your blood sugar, replace what you lost, replace what you replaced, mask aches and pains, make hair grow, make hair stop growing where it’s not supposed to or give your coat that Alpo Glow!

I no longer permit full-length mirrors in my home, and the smaller 8 X 10 mirrors are being threatened.

When I was young and living wild and free, I never dreamed what it would be like to grow older. But now that I’m here — yay me. Could you please hand me the Ben Gay?

Herb Day is a longtime local radio personality and singer-musician. You can email him at [email protected] and follow his work at and

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