Even if sixty is the new forty, it is still an age that gives anyone fortunate enough to reach it an opportunity/obligation to pause and reflect. SIXTY, three score, the Big Six-O, LX, Babe Ruth’s record, early elderly, AARP+5, Medicare minus 5, middle age only if you plan to make 120, and twice the age our generation said we should not trust.
What follows are a few thoughts (in type you don’t need a magnifying glass to read) from the mostly alert mind of a sixty-year-old sitting down with a cup of hot tea and the morning paper.
Being 60 is…
- Beginning the daily ritual with a modest self congratulatory comment on continuing to read the daily newspaper on paper the way Benjamin Franklin intended it.
- Adding kudos (whatever they are) for remaining an active vigilant member of what used to be a representative democracy with an informed citizenry until “The Idiot” and “The Vice Idiot” started a war, sub-contracted the work out to their cronies, and charged it all to future generations.
- Pontificating that the press downplays Blackwater/civilian casualties in Iraq.
- Realizing many of the brave soldiers killed in the war are younger than our own children, and that the obituaries are too sad to keep reading.
- Ranting that all computer news is rumor until you see it in the Minneapolis Star Tribune
- Insisting that most of what is in the “Strib” these days cannot be trusted because with all of the cutbacks it is not half the paper it used to be.
- Ruminating why the Internet always gets capitalized when the television, the radio, and the newspaper do not.
- Recalling out loud that you once separated the Sunday paper and found that the classified ads and glossies weighed nine ounces more than the stuff worth reading. Telling the dog that they we should be paid to subscribe.
- Turning to the movie section and remarking sarcastically that the matinee price for seniors is only $10.50! Claim you would be happy to pay the fortune they are asking if the theater were not so cold, sticky, and loud. Then add that they always show endless previews of movies where people are blowing each other up, and if a film is any good it will be out on video soon enough.
- Vowing to only read the comics in the future, and beginning to exert a revisionist’s eye on some of the old classics.
- Remarking that Mr. Wilson is not a grump. He deserves a nap and his wife Martha should not encourage Dennis because even if he is not a menace, he is a pest!
- Seeing that the parents in that new comic strip Cathy are not intrusive. She is lucky that Mom and Dad are there to help her and her flake husband attempt to control their reckless spending. This may be followed by a tangential diatribe about the evils of credit card debt.
- Observing that Dagwood is a gluttonous loafer. He doesn’t deserve Blondie who is, as the kids say, a “hottie”. Mr. Dithers is justified in booting him around the office to keep him in line.
- Sharing these observations with the same people on a weekly basis, treating it as a fresh insight each time.
- Deciding that you got up a little too early and that the sports page is best understood from a horizontal position and under a comforter.
Tom H. Cook’s column is pure speculation. He won’t be sixty for three more days.