Old age thinking outside of the box


“Middle age is when your age starts showing around your middle.”

— Bob Hope

When I was 12, I wanted to be a handsome, leading man. You know, the kind of guy who makes ladies swoon and grown men cry. Clark Gable, John Wayne, Clint Eastwood. Why not me? 

Unfortunately puberty wasn’t kind. So I tried to change my appearance. Mick Jagger had long hair so I grew mine out. Regrettably, I looked like a blonde Tiny Tim. Then I tried growing a beard like Jeremiah Johnson. But I looked like Gabby Hayes. 

As a teenager I was so skinny that the guys in my rock band used to centre me out.

“Hey, Ray. Did you get an endorsement deal?”

“No, why?” I replied suspiciously.

“Because we just saw your face on a bottle of iodine.”

When I got to middle age my metabolism changed. Suddenly everything I ate went straight to my waist. Though I’ve always prided myself on self-control, I didn’t have the self-discipline of a supermodel. 

Pretty soon I had love handles that would make the Michelin man blush. Mind you it’s not my fault. I just like to eat. 

One day when I put on my tennis whites, I couldn’t help but notice my uncanny resemblance to the Pillsbury Dough Boy. Parenthetically,  I make the same giggly sound when you tickle me. Not exactly what you expect from a leading man: 

For instance, can you imagine Rhett Butler giggling in Gone With The Wind?

“Frankly Scarlett, I don’t give a … tee, hee, hee. Scarlett, stop tickling me! Tee, hee hee. Okay, okay. I’ll stay here at Tara. After all, tomorrow is another day. We’ll have muffins for breakfast. But not bran muffins because they give me gas … Scarlett, are you still listening?”

As for me, the less I talk about wind, the better.

Even as my waistline expands, my expectations shrink. So instead of cherchez l’amour, I’ve been considering a second career as a male cat lady. I’m not sure what to call myself, though. A cat laddie? A cat man? A catastrophe? I think I’ll start by buying a nice fat Siamese. Maybe I’ll call him Chairman Meow. Then it’s just a matter of finding another eleven kitties to complete the set. If you have less than a dozen you’re not a cat laddie, you’re just a cat enthusiast!

Speaking of cats, middle age has left me hopelessly absent-minded. I was shopping a while back and bought a 50 pound sack of dry cat food. I was in a hurry because friends were coming over. 

The lady at the till smiled and said, “that’s a big bag.”

Distracted, I replied, “Yes, we’re having company for dinner.”

She stared at me all the way out the door. 

Getting older is supposed to provide a host of benefits. Not all of them are welcome. 

Recently I was at a store and the girl in front of me was asked for her I.D. When it was my turn, I joked, “Would you like to see my I.D. too?”

I was expecting a nice complement about my youthful appearance. Instead the cashier responded, “Yes, so I can sign you up for our senior’s discount.”

“Senior’s discount? But I’m only forty-something!” 

“Forty-something?” she queried incredulously.

“Well, it’s true if you take 40 and add a number higher than 10.”

Bob Hope was right. Middle age is when your age starts showing around your middle. We older guys are getting plump and wrinkly but we still have style. Take Will Smith. He may be middle-aged but they still call him the Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

So maybe you could call me the Poppin Fresh Prince of Parksville. 

It sure beats, “Hey, you! Old, fat guy.”


Just Posted

Map of the site of a proposed 60-unit building project in French Creek. (RDN map)
Legal counsel wants board to award development permit for French Creek project

Issue is on agenda for RDN board meeting on June 22

The Arrowsmith Search and Rescue Society has outgrown its home at the Coombs-Hilliers Fire Department and will soon move to its new operations hall at the Qualicum Beach Airport. (PQB News file photo)
The Qualicum Beach Farmers Market is one of the organizations approved for a grant-in-aid by the Town of Qualicum Beach. (PQB News file photo)
COVID-19: Town of Qualicum Beach awards $80K in relief funds to community groups

Pandemic has put a financial strain on many organizations

The remains of the Mid-Island Co-op in Whiskey Creek along the Alberni Highway on Friday, June 18, after a blaze the day before devastated the gas station. (Michael Briones photo)
VIDEO: Whiskey Creek gas station destroyed by fire after camper van explosion

Nine fire departments responded to the incident, no injuries reported

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read