AGE WISE

For the benefit of my fellow geezers out there who may not be aware of it, May is OLDER AMERICANS MONTH (not to be confused with NATIONAL SENIOR CENTER MONTH (September) or NATIONAL ACCORDION MONTH (June). Accordionly, May you and I bask in the recognition which is due us for living long enough to pass along our well-earned wisdom to those who don’t want to hear it.

To be sure, there is also a slight  drawback about old age: there’s not much future in it….but otherwise, it’s not a bad time to be alive. At any rate, it beats the alternative — or so they say (as if “they” have experienced said alternative).  On the flip side, there are many timely quotes on the age-old subject of age, so let’s put on our reading glasses and see if we can make heads or tails of some of them:

If  I’d known I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself. –Anonymous

An archaeologist is the best husband any woman can have: the older she gets, the more interested he is in her. –Agatha Christie

Age does not diminish the extreme disappointment of having a scoop of ice cream fall from the cone. –Jim Fiebig

Millions long for immortality who don’t know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon. –Susan Ertz

Old age is like a plane flying through a storm. Once you’re aboard, there’s nothing you can do. –Golda Meir

Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional. –Chili Davis

You’re only as old as the girl that you feel. –Groucho Marx

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

If you worry, you die. If you don’t worry, you also die. So why worry? –Mike Horn

I was going to use that last quote to close with the song DON’T WORRY, BE HAPPY, but on the occasion of the birthday (May 10, 1899) of the never-grows-old Fred Astaire, this song and dance make me happy to change my tune:

 

 

 

THE OLD MAN AND THE SEASON

 

In the unscheduled post which appeared here on my birthday (October 18th), my youngest daughter let the cat out of the bag — her old dog of a dad had just turned certifiably ancient, though I didn’t feel more than a day older than I did on October 17 as a young pup of 79. More’s the pity. Some say age is only a number….but it goes without saying that October is autumn. Yes, if you look at the calendar, September and November lay claim to autumn as well, but let’s be clear — nobody does autumn as well as October. So this will be a post of poems and quotes about aging and autumn, in that order (age before beauty).

AGE DEPLORE(s) BEAUTY

What passed for time
Before time was invented?
Before there was time,
How was time prevented?

If time had a beginning,
When did time start?
When it’s time that time end,
How will time depart?

Why are there times
When time frustrates and vexes….
And last, why must time
Do its thing to the sexes?

THE BIG FIX

While passing through,
I noticed that
this world is too much.
What big teeth it has.
What big eyes you need.
What big talk is heard.
Speak to me.
But not big.

I OF THE BE OLDER

If you think
I take life
too seriously you

are either

a night and
day younger than
I am or

I do.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I am so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. –L.M. Montgomery

Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves;
we have had our summer evenings, now for October eves.
–Humbert Wolfe

Anyone who thinks fallen leaves are dead has never watched them dancing on a windy day. –Shira Tamir

The tints of autumn … a mighty flower garden blossoming under the spell of the enchanter frost. –John Greenleaf Whittier

For anyone who lives in the oak-and-maple area of New England, there is a perennial temptation to plunge into a purple sea of adjectives about October. –Hal Borland  

Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower. –Albert Camus

Spring is too rainy and summer’s too hot;
fall is soon over and winter is not.
–Evan Esar

Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns. –George Eliot

Autumn sunsets exquisitely dying. –Langston Hughes

Now Autumn’s fire burns slowly along the woods and day by day the dead leaves fall and melt. –William Allingham

NOTE: There have been many recordings of AUTUMN LEAVES over the years; I chose the French chanteuse Edith Piaf’s version because it was originally a 1945 French song titled “Les Feuilles Mortes”  (“The Dead Leaves”), and because October (1963) is the month Edith Piaf died and drifted by the window.

 

 

 

 

SENIOR MUSE

May is Older Americans Month (fka Senior Citizens Month). Back in 1963, when the month was established, I was “a young man full of idealism and vigor” (as Barack Obama joked recently at the White House in a different context), a year out of the army with the rest of my life ahead of me. Now here it is 2016, some 53 years later, and I still have the rest of my life ahead of me. Amazing.

So much for the glass-half-full outlook. In the other hand, the glass is half-empty:

COME TO THINK OF IT

Old age is a sad estate.
With it comes wisdom,
But it comes so late.

Now recall innocent youth.
Ignorance was bliss,
But less than truth.

Why can’t life be in reverse:
Born knowing the score,
Blameless in the hearse?

The old joke about old age is that there’s not much future in it. Maybe so, but I like to think ‘outside the box.’ One thing for sure: Old age is no place for sissies. –Bette Davis

Well, never let it be said that this blog is no place for good quotes. Most of the following goodies aren’t funny, but then, old age isn’t exactly a barrel of laughs either. So, until further adieu:

Old age isn’t so bad when you consider the alternative. –Maurice Chevalier

Old age is the most unexpected of all the things that can happen to a man. –James Thurber

A stockbroker urged me to buy a stock that would triple its value every year. I told him, “At my age, I don’t even buy green bananas.” –Claude Pepper

Life’s tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late. –Benjamin Franklin

Forty is the old age of youth; fifty the youth of old age. –Victor Hugo

There’s no such thing as old age; there is only sorrow. –Fay Weldon

Whatever poet, orator or sage may say of it, old age is still old age. –Sinclair Lewis

A truly great book should be read in youth, again in maturity, and once more in old age, as a fine building should be seen by morning light, at noon and by moonlight. –Robertson Davies

Not even old age knows how to love death. –Sophocles

By the time you’re 80 years old you’ve learned everything. You only have to remember it. –George Burns (who, in case you forgot, lived to age 100)

And now for the BIG (double) FINISH:

 

 

BY GEORGE

In my October 8th post CAN’T GO WRONG WITH WRIGHT, I mentioned several affinities I share with stand-up comedian Steven Wright….such as we both dig Woody Allen and the late George Carlin (1937-2008). I’ve done several posts featuring Woody and/or his films, but nothing by George. Time to stand up for George.

CARLIN (a Mark Twain Prize winner for American Humor) was probably best known for his comedy routines about taboo subjects such as his famous “seven dirty words you can’t say on television,” but I prefer his political and counterculture satire. He was born in Manhattan of Irish-Catholic parents (an ancestry to which I can relate). When he was two months old, they separated due to his father’s alcoholism (did I mention he was Irish?). George was Catholic, as he said, “until I reached the age of reason.”

I won’t delve further into his background, as his life and career can be easily checked out on Google if interested. There is also an official website: http://www.georgecarlin.com/
So, without further ado, let’s get to the good stuff — his humor:

A lot of times when they catch a guy who killed 27 people, they say, “He was a loner.”  Well, of course, he was a loner; he killed everyone he came in contact with.

Ever notice that anyone going slower than you is an idiot, but anyone going faster is a maniac?

Religion has convinced people there’s an invisible man living in the sky, who watches everything you do every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a list of ten specific things he doesn’t want you to do. And if you do any of these things, he will send you to a special place, of burning and fire and smoke and torture and anguish for you to live forever, and suffer and burn and scream until the end of time. But he loves you. He loves you and he needs money.

Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.

Environmentalists changed the word jungle to rain forest, because no one would give them money to save a jungle.

I was surprised when I started getting old. I always thought it was one of those things that would happen to someone else.

Have you ever wondered why Republicans are so interested in encouraging people to volunteer? It’s because volunteers work for no pay. Republicans have been trying to get people to work for no pay for a long time.

Weather forecast for tonight: Dark. Continued dark overnight, with widely scattered light by morning.

Once you leave the womb, conservatives don’t care about you until you reach military age. Then you’re just what they’re looking for.

George Washington’s brother, Lawrence, was the Uncle of Our Country.

Have you ever noticed that their stuff is shit and your shit is stuff?

I put a dollar in a change machine. Nothing changed.

SOS.

DEC. 21 IS HUMBUG DAY – BAH! HUMBUG!

Let misanthrope Ebenezer Scrooge fend off Christmas giving for all he’s worth — for my money, the humbug that refuses to be set aside and saved for another time is old age. This is not to shortchange fate’s other humbugs (such as incurable diseases and pompous politicians) — old age is like a bad penny: once one aproaches one’s November-December years, it won’t stay away, no matter how august one feels.

Having resigned myself to that venerable state of longevity,
I now find myself amenable to stating my stages with levity:

First, you forget names.
Then, you forget faces (& toil to let out feces).
Next, you forget to pull up your zipper.
Last, you forget to pull it down.

At age 4, success is….not peeing in your pants.
At age 12, success is…having friends.
At age 16, success is…having a driver’s license.
At age 19, success is…having sex.
At age 40, success is…making a lot of money.
At age 50, success is…making a lot of money.
At age 65. success is…having sex.
At age 78, success is…having a driver’s license.
At age 80, success is…having friends.
At age 84, success is…not peeing in your pants.

The trouble with old age is there’s not much future in it.

An old person is someone who is ten years older than you are.

You know you’re getting old if…
…5 a.m. is when you get up, not when you go to bed.
…you finally get your head together and your body starts falling apart.
…you give up all your bad habits and you still don’t feel good.
…you sink your teeth into a steak, and they stay there.
… you wake up looking like your driver’s license picture (unless you’ve always woken up looking like your driver’s license picture).
…you can’t remember how you were going to end this post, so you end it like this.