Friday, February 1, 2013


I’m scheduled to turn 75 years of age tomorrow (Feb. 2) and must say I’m kind of surprised because there hasn’t been much longevity in my family. That I’ve already outlived my dear father by 15 years has been a source of conjecture for me of late. I mean, if we meet in heaven (or someplace), will I be older than he is?  It could be awkward.
            People talk about “milestone” ages—usually ones ending in “0” or “5”-- and 75 certainly seems like one of those. Thanks mostly to near-miraculous good health, the passage of time so far hasn’t affected me unduly. Only one other birthday made much of an impression, when I turned 45 and realized that I was seriously middle-aged. But I was too busy then to give the matter much more thought and my concern passed.

            While it’s true that you’re only young once but can always be immature, when one reaches 75 one no longer can pretend to be anything but old. The Bible measures a full life’s span at three score and 10 years, and 75 is well past that. Talk about borrowed time, huh?   

             But while growing old is unavoidable except by drastic measures, some choices remain to us elderly; to wit, we can opt to be just old, or to be an old fart. What do I mean by old fart? Some examples are listed below. You know you’re an old fart when:
--You drive a Cadillac, Lincoln or Buick.
--You can’t turn right without coming to a complete stop.
--You won’t turn left until the green arrow goes on, whether or not there’s one at the intersection.

--You drive for miles with a turn-signal blinking.

--You wear cream-colored shoes with Velcro straps, or a Greek fisherman’s cap.
--You wear shorts with your socks pulled up all the way.

--You have more hair below your silly pony tail than you do above it.

--You think an earring or two looks cool on a guy your age.

--You ask your wife if she feels like making love and are relieved when she says no.
--You’re turning up the volume on the TV set when everyone else in the room is reaching for ear plugs.
--You have no idea who Lady Gaga is.
--You can’t survive without having dinner before 6 p.m. or being in bed by 9.
--You go to COSTCO just to eat lunch.
--The right word escapes you and doesn’t return until the opportunity to use it has passed.
--The sort of people you used to pass on the trail now pass you and ask if you’re OK.
--You think more about the hereafter. For instance, you often find yourself in a room asking “What am I here after?”
--Your idea is being daring is adding an extra forkful of mayonnaise to your tuna salad.
--Your idea of a big night out is dinner at Sweet Tomatoes.

--You contemplate a trip and the anticipated ordeal of travel scores higher than the pleasure of your destination.

--Seventy five per cent of your conversation concerns your doctors and medications. The other 25% is about other people’s health problems.
--You remember who Ransom Jackson was but block on Starlin Castro.
            --Plotting the accessibility of rest rooms becomes a major part of your daily plan.

            --You’re mad as hell about the government takeover of Medicare.

            --You enjoy complaining that you remember when “gay” meant happy.

            You’re an old fart if you recognized yourself in five or more of those statements.

OK, ten.
            What was my score? I’m not sayin’, but it wasn’t zero.


Mike Levy said...

Fred! First off, a very happy birthday...only 45 to go. Secondly, I am younger, by several years, but resemble your remarks. Thirdly, isn't 75 the age when instead of receiving gifts, you buy all your friends very expensive gifts (Lincolns, Cadillacs....? I do sincererly hope so.

All the very best and so very many more.

Mike Levy.

andrew said...

I was 11 when you turned 45. I knew you then and I know you now, and really, you still seem the same age to me.

Ed Hammerman said...

Happy Birthday. Since I was at your 70th birthday party 5 or 6 years ago, you've turned into an even older fart. Keep up the good work.

ImJustSaying... said...

Happy Birthday Fred!

All the best!

Enjoyed your writing.

Dave Waite

Dan gruber said...

Fred, I can relate! But I only can hope to be as mentally and physically capable as you if and when I'm 75.

All the best, and many more.

Dan Gruber

Anonymous said...

What, no Goldman's mention?