LC Van Savage
Somebody Smash That #@$^&!* Ball
Where did it go? It was around here somewhere. I saw it. I remember it well. How could I have ever lost something so precious? It was here just a second ago. Damn. I hate this.
It’s my life I’m talking about. It was here just sixty-five years ago, and now poof!, those years have vanished. Where to? It’s now about twenty minutes until that big, glittery ball falls in Madison Square Garden in NYC. I hate that big, glittery ball because it always means another year of my life has ended. When it hits, and the big 2003 numbers light up, I’ll be sixty-five years old. I can’t believe it! Sixty-five! Geezerdom Come/Thy will be done. Honestly, I never saw it coming. It just snook up on me like a thief in the night and bango, six and one half decades of my life tossed onto the compost heap of memory, and that, as they say, is that.
Because we’d all be together on Christmas, my beloved family threw me a surprise birthday party on that day. It was a week early but who cares? I’ll take gifts and parties any time. Everyone sang loudly to congratulate me for making it to the end of 65 years and for starting in on the next lot. They gave me gifts, the biggest and most important one a professionally done collage of good family pictures. I’ll treasure that. Oh, we are a fabulous looking group if I do say so meself, in particular the 5 grandchildren. Just plain and simple prima!
I realize, now that I’m definitely 65, (the ball just landed---2003 is now five minutes old,) I’ve arrived at the age where the following comments will quite soon be made by those adorable and adoring little innocent grandchildren, and here’s what they’ll be: 1. – I hate going there. 2. – Their house is too hot. 3. – They smell. 4. – They have food stuck in their teeth all the time. 5. – Grampa’s beard scratches. 6. – Gramma’s beard scratches. 7. – Grampa has gross nose hairs. 8. – Gramma has gross nose hairs. 9. – Their video games suck. I mean, Blues Clues??? 10. - There aren’t any cool kids in their neighborhood. 11. – The drive is too long and you never let me drive. 12. – They complain all the time that my music is too loud. 13. – I hate all their furniture. 14. - They keep shoving food at me. 15. – I hate their food. 16. – They never have Twinkies. 17. – They shout all the time. 18. - They hug and kiss too much. 19. – They ask too many questions. 20. – Their lights are too bright. 21. – Their TVs are too small and too loud and they only have three.
After my surprise party on Christmas day, one of our daughters-in-law asked me if being sixty-five feels weird. I assured her it was just like any other birthday, but I lied. It is weird. It’s very weird. Just a few seconds ago I was with my girl pals scarfing pizza and fries and chortling about those "old goats around sixty or something," vowing of course we’d never, ever be that gross-out age. Oh no, not us. And then guess what? Blink! I’m a gross-out sixty-five.
I’m reading the obits every day now, remembering George Burns’ old joke about how "it’s a good day if I don’t see myself in them." Yuk yuk. Funny as a crutch. And yesterday I began to trot upstairs with a heavy load, and guess what? Trot be gone. I began praying I’d make it to the top by day’s end.
I’m unfond of being sixty-five. "Better than the alternative," chirp those annoying look-on-the-bright-side types at whom I glare viciously and think about striking. Besides, considering that no one yet knows what "the alternative" is, who says sixty-five is any better??
LC Van Savage
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