It seems we do everything to live longer. We try to eat right (I’m lying), we exercise (still lying), and go to the doctor regularly (when forced to) all in the quest to live just one more minute longer.
Oddly enough, I hear from the prognosticators (I hope that’s clean) that all that healthy living extends life by about 6 months. Of course, I am not sure how any of those statistics are created, because if you die how could anyone know that you might have lived longer had you taken another course? I can possibly understand that if you walked out into traffic and were hit by a bus, but otherwise, it makes no sense to me. What I have come to believe is that 95 percent of statistics and ratios are completely made up.
First, let me point out that I am all for living longer. I am not sure about living as long as Methuselah lived, but the longer the better. However, let’s explore some of the downsides to the aging process.
For me, I bumped along well through my teens, 20s and 30s, but then the day I turned 40, the fun of aging visited my birthday party. At first it was subtle. My vision wasn’t quite what it used to be. I mean, I talked to a statue in the park for a half an hour before I realized the guy wasn’t just being rude.
One of the biggest shockers was when hair began growing where hair isn’t supposed to grow — like a stray hair growing from the tip of my nose. This wild hair must have grown extremely rapidly, because I am certain that those who claim to love me would have said something if it had happened over time. Wouldn’t they? This was not any ordinary hair either. I noticed it while at work. I didn’t have a razor, scissors or even a machete, so I had to pluck it out by hand. Well, it was long enough I could wrap it around my finger and yank it right out. Right? Wrong! I yanked, and I promise you it pulled my socks up three inches and hurt like nothing ever had. Security came rushing into the restroom thinking that a girl had strayed into the men’s room, because the pain made me scream like a little girl.
In my teens, 20s and 30s I never dreamed that hair would someday grow from my ears, but it did. It looked like tumbleweed in a wild west movie. Of course, I never noticed it until driving away from a sunset. I glanced into the rearview mirror and thought Bozo the Clown had taken over my head. If it had only been red in color.
An unexpected heart-attack at 42 aroused my suspicion that perhaps something was amiss with my lifestyle. Surely not, I concluded. Not only was I in doubt, the nurses in the emergency room doubted it, too. I suppose it had something to do with the fact that the guy who raced me to the ER carted me into the hospital on a movie projector cart.
Another indicator aging was taking its toll was when it looked like people’s voices had a short circuit like a sound system with a bad wire. I could hear about every third word and I could see their lips move, but muffled sounds were coming out. I began taking the kids to the doctor to have their voices tested before my wife convinced me (I’m lying, she still hasn’t convinced me) that I was experiencing diminished hearing.
There are many other joys of aging that I could share, but for those of you who are not old enough yet to relate, I don’t want to spoil it for you. Let’s just say that one day when you think that it’s a possibility that you may need to use a restroom sometime that week, go then!
Please write me and let me know when you begin experiencing the joys of aging, and please have someone snap a photo of the first indication of realization that crosses your face.
Herb Day is a longtime local radio personality and singer-musician. You can email him at [email protected] and follow his work at http://www.HerbDayVoices.com and http://www.HerbDayRadio.com.