Thursday Jun 16 2011
Older and wiser?
By: Jack Fabian Special to The News Messenger
If you call yourself a “senior,” it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in the 12th grade. There’s a very large population in the surrounding communities that are “seniors” of a different type, due to aggressive and persistent longevity. One of the benefits of becoming a senior, we’re told, is that “wisdom comes with age.” The only problem with this is that it increases in direct proportion to the pain in all your joints; there are a lot o’ guys out there who are in no pain at all. Fortunately, as we get older, we learn to take life less seriously and our sense of humor comes to life and it’s a good thing it does. By the way, I’m qualified to talk about this subject because I’m part of this senior gang and I’m experiencing all this stuff first hand. And what I’ve learned is that old people are funny ... really funny. As an example, as I’ve gotten older, I drive a lot faster. This isn’t because I can’t see the speedometer (wherever it is), it’s because I need to get there before I forget where I was going. Each month, I have to drive a little faster. I know a lot of people who’ve acquired some degree of wisdom. My family doctor is a good example and he’s not even 70 yet. I went in to see him a few weeks ago and told him every time I drink coffee in the morning, I get a sharp pain in my left eye. His immediate response was, “Take the spoon out of the cup.” Now you don’t get that in eight years of med school; that’s pure wisdom. I thought for a minute there that he was Sarah Palin’s brother. Of course, wisdom is not always evident. Last summer, I told that same doctor I’d broken my arm in two places and asked what should I do? He told me not to go into those two places any more. That was when I noticed the Henny Youngman Award hanging on his office wall. No question, wisdom is a fascinating thing and it comes in many shapes and sizes. Then again, sometimes wisdom appears present and then quickly disintegrates. I recall a story about a young blond who was very upset about the frequent use of the ‘dumb blond’ phrase. She dyed her hair dark brown and was taking a spring walk in the beautiful countryside around Placerville. She came upon a pasture full of sheep, spotted the farmer up the road and decided to make a request. She said, “If I can tell you exactly how many sheep are out there in that field, will you give me one?” He said, “Yes,” and she said, “874.” He was amazed and said, “Go pick one.” She scanned the pasture looking for the best one and finally returned with her selection. She was about to leave when he said, “Wait. Before you go, I want to see what color your roots are. Then , I want my dog back.” Once in awhile, a statement considered ‘wisdom’ really makes good sense, such as, “Live every day like it’s your last; one day, you’ll get it right.” Jack Fabian is a Lincoln resident.