Senior Stories

Incredible, Shrinking Me

Behind my back, while I was busy doing other things, my body shrank. Big time!

Last I checked, I was a hair over six feet tall. Now my doctor tells me that I’ve shriveled down to a shrimp-size five foot ten inches. And I’m becoming more abbreviated by the day!

20 Extra Years CartoonIf I were a mouse, I’d have disappeared already.

My thinning topside (my ears often hairier than my head) can’t account for the entire two inches.

I suppose if I could somehow stretch the wrinkles, bags and sags out of my face, I’d gain a half-inch or so.

Time may be a great healer, but it’s a lousy beautician.

On the plus side, I now have an excuse for my expanding potbelly; those inches had to go somewhere.

My doc says, “Don’t worry. Get used to it. It’s just part of the aging process.”

The aging process, my butt! Death is just part of the aging process.

Suddenly Trivia: Who or what is our Earth’s oldest living inhabitant? a) A Russian living in Siberia on a diet of nothing but yogurt; b) a Bristlecone Pine tree in Calif.; c) Methuselah, son of Enoch, last seen when he was 969 years old.

The thing is, no one ever tells us what we’re in for once we reach age 60 or so. Aging Process 101 ought to be mandatory somewhere along the way.

Instead, we breeze through life unconcerned, oblivious to the calamities dead ahead upon reaching the so-called Golden Age. (Have you noticed? You don’t hear that ridiculous golden phrase much anymore. It was such a whopper, even politicians now are embarrassed to use it.)


Looking back, I see that I should have paid far more attention to the commercials accompanying the evening news. You know, those little horror flicks about arthritis pain relievers, false teeth paste, adult diapers and wickedly acidic stomachs.

But I was never going to get old. Neither were you, I’ll bet. We never remotely considered it.

Then, suddenly, we’re the Incredible Shrinking Geezers with all manner of maladies, wondering what the hell we did to deserve this regrettable turn of events.

Certainly, if we’d known we were going to live this long, we’d have taken better care of ourselves.

It’s pathetic, really.

Inside, we’re this healthy, strong and – I don’t mind saying – good-looking 23-year-old with hair, suddenly astonished that we can no longer remember where we parked our car.

Humorist George Carlin has an interesting thought about all this. He says that the current life cycle is backward. We should begin life by getting old and dying thus getting all that unpleasantness out of the way early on. Then we get a gold watch, go to work until we’re young enough to enjoy our retirement. We party. Do drugs. Go back to school. Have no responsibilities. Become a baby. Return to the womb where we spend our last nine months floating.

Finally, we finish off as an orgasm.

Are you listening, God?

Suddenly Trivia Answer: c) Earth’s oldest living inhabitant, “Methuselah,” is an ancient Bristlecone tree living in California’s White Mountains. At 4,767 years old, it has lived more than a millennium longer than any other tree.



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