Growing Old Gracelessly

by pjmcbride

I saw a gray-haired, obviously old man on the bus today, wearing a Doors “Light My Fire” t-shirt. “He really should have reconsidered that shirt,” I thought loftily, “fearing not I’d become my enemy in the instant that I’d preach,” as Bob Dylan observed. I mean, have I not, IN THESE VERY PAGES, mentioned similar items I own and wear? Why is it pathetic on the gentleman in question, but on me, just a sign of my quirky charm? After all, I get offered senior discounts all the time (that I didn’t ask for and am not yet entitled to). And while we’re on the subject…

YOU OWN TOO MANY BLACK T-SHIRTS WHEN…

…in search of my “U.S.A.” one the other day, I pulled out the 2-skulls-in-yin-yang-formation one, the Blue Oyster Cult one, and the R.E.M. one, the latter two of which are, I’m sure, mortal enemies plotting each other’s downfall. Also, I own enough work-related t-shirts, received/purchased from various departments/divisions, that I could easily wear nothing but those. (“We would prefer that you also wear pants,” they say, but I don’t believe the dress code specifies that, and you know how I am about dress codes.) So I’m guessing fashion maturity won’t be striking anytime soon.

SORROWING, SIGHING, BLEEDING, DYING, SEALED IN THE STONE-COLD TOMB, OR, NICK IS FEELING NEGLECTED

The Beast is back on the job (more or less), his navy-blue scales buffed and polished. Or they were until the last run I sent him on. Upon his return home, his owner said, “WHAT have you been rolling in now?!” and banished him to the outdoor enclosure, without even a mirror to keep him company. But, after a thorough sand-blasting and detailing (I don’t mean they removed his tail–that would be inhumane), he is now acting as guard beast while his owner enjoys a four-day birthday extravaganza, in an exotic locale where they drink alcoholic beverages for breakfast. I myself have been tipsy in the presence of this abstemious beast, and I can only say, Everyone loves a smart-ass. Oh, they don’t? I’VE BASED MY LIFE ON A LIE!! (I had to take a moment to decide on the number of exclamation points that sentence called for. Is one enough? Are three too many?)

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