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From Wild Oats to Prunes and All Bran
By Frank Kaiser

Burt Reynolds, that aging sex stud whose nude body once graced the pages of Cosmopolitan (see below from 1972), complains that he's washed up as a ladies' man.

Six years ago, while working on his film, “The Crew,“ he and costar Richard Dreyfuss discovered a horrible truth: That the one-time sex-magnets got nothing but the occasional blank gaze from the hundreds of hot beauties on Miami's South Beach.

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Quoted in TV Guide Online, the 70-year-old actor said, "We were gawking and none of these ladies knew or cared who these old guys staring at them were. And we were thinking, 'When did that happen? Just yesterday, somebody would have cared. But nobody cares now.'"

Poor Burt. I know exactly how he feels.

One minute you're a male sex object, with beautiful women in hot pursuit. The next, you're a lecherous old fart with bad breath, skimpy hair, and badly in need of Viagra.

Actually, I personally never lived the first half of that, but have made up for it by steeping myself in the second.

We all go through it, the fading of our former selves, until one day no one of the opposite sex under 60 even sees us, much less directs a crumb of lust our way.

It's like my friend Johnny Porzinski says, “Sometimes you wonder how you could be over the hill when you can't recall ever being on top of it.“

Johnny, voted "Sexiest Senior of the Class of 1953," used to have women groveling at his feet.

I owe Johnny. In high school, about the only way I could get a date was to hang in his aura. I never could figure what he had, but he was the equivalent of a flea at a dog show, and I wanted my share of dog.

So Johnny and I become friends. He knew All-American girls and passed dates my way. I knew all American history and passing on dates like 1812, 1914, and 1933 helped him to graduate.

We went our separate ways, each of us ending up in Florida about the time in life that we realized that both his dates and mine were useless memories.

"Have all the chicks gone blind to us?" Johnny asked, pathetically.

The Amazing, Invisible Geezers

We decided to put it to the test. With some optimism, we drove to South Beach, got an outdoor table immediately adjacent to where all The Beautiful People swished by, and watched carefully to see if any actually saw us.

Let me tell you, there is nothing so humbling as hundreds of gorgeous women walk within three feet of you and none, no one, nada sees you.

All that time holding in our stomachs for nothing.

Over banana smoothies — got to fight high cholesterol, you know — we mourned our former selves and how ancient we'd become.

How our generals' salutes weren't as crisp as once they were. How it now took longer to get to a full salute. And how that salute ended so soon after revelry.

Today, like they say, "getting a little action" means we don't need to take any fiber today. "Getting lucky" means we can find our cars in the parking lot. And an "all-nighter" means not having to get up to pee. (That last one hasn’t happened to me in years!)

Suddenly Trivia: What is the name of the TV sitcom Burt Reynolds starred in? a) Bert & Betty, b) Evening Shade, c) Just Shoot Me

“Do you think Burt Reynolds feels this way?" Johnny asked, not really wanting to know.

Burt Reynolds, 2005 >>>

That day we bummed each other out so completely we stopped meeting. We had shared too much Golden Age.

Then, just the other day he e-mailed this piece of advice:

  • "Frank, I've learned that if you pursue the ladies, they will elude you. But if you focus on the needs of others, your work, meeting new people, and doing the very best you can, the ladies not only see you but love you, no matter how old you are. Getting married next week with full salutes. Forget the Viagra."

Good advice. I just wonder if I should tell Burt.

Suddenly Trivia Answer: b) Evening Shade.

© Copyright 2006 — Frank Kaiser


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HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND, EVERYONE!

Frank Kaiser frank@suddenlysenior.com

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