Posted by: guinness222 | August 20, 2017

Getting old in the USA!

OK, at 72.5 annual cycles of the world, (If you had to stop and think about it pay TOTAL ATTENTION TO THE LAST SENTENCE OF THIS ARTICLE), I am advancing rather quickly, (I was only 22 last week,…or was it in the 20th Century, the War has just ended,..WWII silly,…what other one was there back then?

Anyway, as I USED to get older, and we occasionally heard of someone dying, like Janis Joplin, Bob Marley, Elvis Presley, “Mama Cass” Eliot, etc. And it was devastating, a piece of MY generation, so unexpectedly, such a waste,….and it kept happening,those of MY generation that is people of my age and the “THEN” culture. The older “folks” were dying as well,….but we really did not get to know (or appreciate them), what they had contributed to the “NOW” world that WE lived in then.

At first it was every few months one of “OUR” folks went, then the pace started to pick up, on “OUR” folks, and now it’s gone to “Warp Three” as Jim Kirk would say to Mr. Sulu, (and “Scotty” The Chief engineer of the “Enterprise”” would then confirm it back Captain Kirk, in his very Scottish accent, (he’s passed now as well).

Every once in a while there would be a tragedy like the Big Bopper, Richie Valens and Buddy Holly all at once, in a really stupid small plane flight they opted to take to save a few hours of driving through a blizzard in the Mid-West, (Listen to Don McLeans “American Pie”, they were the subject and meaning of the phrase in the lyrics, “THE DAY THE MUSIC DIED”), as well as that of the folks that recorded “Sweet Home Alabama” in 70’s then times went on, and it was usually the “DRUGS” that began to get them, but the individual rates of “passings” were still increasing almost exponentially, and it was almost DAILY that someone was moving on.

Today is Sunday August 20th, 2017, and Jerry Lewis (91), a really talented and funny slapstick comic, who raised BILLIONS of dollars over the years for “Muscular Dystrophy” in a grueling 96 hour endurance fundraising event every Labor Day Weekend for as long as I can remember, has just left today, and the black standup comedian, and civil rights protester, Dick Gregory (81) has also just “left the building” as well within the last 24 hours!

And those are just some of the “Pop Stars”! We ain’t even talking about kids that I KNEW personally, when I was in grammar school, and the old “High School chums”, as well as guys, and WAVES” I knew from my years in the US Navy, that have left as well. My “Friend pictures” on Facebook is now full of “OLD PEOPLE”!!

There used to be a “pop psychologist” named, Wayne Dyer, (I used to read and listened to some of his self-improvement books and audio tapes). He used to say “never let that little old person get into your head”. I believed him,…..and worked very hard at doing it,…..but now I’m beginning to realize that little old person not only “snuck in’ , but now he just stares back at me in the mirror every morning! How do I get rid of him?

Getting old is complicated, for everyone,,,,,,,,, that great natural left-handed, or right-handed curve ball you had as a kid growing up, ,,,,well now it will throw your back out for a week, and there’s no guarantee it will go anywhere near where you wanted it to go,….by possibly as much as 15-20 feet! Your ability to compete in junior golf tournaments, is a VERY distant memory, and when you talk about your ability to play then,… you get the,… “YOU? Are you kidding me”, and/or “that look”,…, or the choking sound with the weak, “It was a crumb that got stuck in my throat” excuse.

You look to move somewhere smaller, call it “downsizing”, instead of admitting you can’t take care of the 1/2 acre of plain grass you already own anymore, without two days recovery time, a trip to the chiropractor, and two bottles of Aleve, (discretely taped to the riding mower for quick access).

Success in life, is now living in a Condo where the monthly “fees” include landscaping, hedge trimming (at least once per decade!), and regardless of what you pay a month, as well as the every three year “Special assessment”, ( for something you thought they were already saving up in the ‘Reserve Fund”to cover the cost fully!) But that monthly “Fee” is covering the basketball court that the kids vandalize every three to six months, and the “Tennis court”, so hidden in the dense overgrowth of vines, bushes, trees, and other foliage about the only thing it’s used for is “making out” and hiding from the cops! (“No one will ever find us there!).

It’s either that or realize you’ll never see past 70 years old trying to do it all yourself, or you “downsize” to an apartment, and realize that it’s impossible to get a plumber to fix a leak, (Landlords are aging as well, and they know you’re stuck with it!)

Banks have a whole damn department now that works full time, trying to smile like bad used car salesmen, while dreaming up new fee’s (Excuse me, WHAT THE HELL IS AN “EXCESS WITHDRAWAL FEE” on MY SAVINGS ACCOUNT, WHICH IS ALL OF MY MONEY WHICH I ENTRUSTED TO YOU, FOR WHICH YOU ARE ONLY PAYING ME THREE TENTHS OF A PERCENT A YEAR ON FOR A YEAR! And you are the clowns that charge me an extra FEE for an “image copy” of my check(which you billed me more than it cost to Print the CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, and that’s why I’m questioning, AND “YOU” have already destroyed my original cancelled check from last week, which you refuse to send back to me anyway and tell me that “MY BANK” is saving me money. It’s $3.00 for an “image copy” even if I pull it up on MY COMPUTER, and hit “PRINT” (duh!!! MY paper, My ink, My electricity, and by the way I bought the damn printer AND COMPUTER as well!

Banks are a “pet peeve” of mine! But,……so is everything else in life as you age.

The “perceived” value of something which is “sold to us” with no real attention to the “ACTUAL” product or service, or the REASONABLE cost of things, ……..yet that is the REASON for the “price increases” by the “MANUFACTURER to us. For example, I love good beer, and have since I was in the U.S. Navy.

One of my early jobs, even before joining the Navy even. was driving and delivering for both Seven Up (don’t even know if they make it any more) and Coca-Cola, to BARS, (who charged $.15 CENTS f or a 12 oz glass of draft beer ), explain to me, why beer was less than ten percent the cost of a Coca-Cola or a 7-UP!! THEN!!!

As the largest “delivery market” for soft and malted brewed drinks, I was always in Supermarkets, and Bars. After lugging full cases of Coca-Cola down the rickety old rotten stairs to the dark, dingy and earth floor “cellars”, oops “Storage areas”, and then juggling empty cases of bottles, being returned for the 50 CENTS a case credit for the returns, to be washed and re-filled at the “plant”! (Once I had a real “SICKO” supermarket manager who had been saving TWO years worth of returns in the back of his basement so he could “juggle his books” and show reduced costs to guarantee he got his “profitability bonus” at the end of the year! There was o way two years worth would fit on my truck, but he refused to sign for what he ordered until I gave him a FULL credit for his “Empties” before I left! We would have owed him several thousand dollars in cash! (Which I’m sure would have disappeared, if I gave him the “CREDIT”!)

In summary, take your family seriously, take learning (I didn’t say “school”, did I ? I said LEARNING! )seriously, and love both ” to the moon and back”, as my daughter would say!!

-30-

August 20, 2017


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