Something I didn't need to hear: some body parts never stop growing, even when most of us does. Noses and ears, for example, just keep getting bigger and bigger and bigger, which accounts for the fact that crowd of old men, especially when they're bald, may occasionally be mistaken for an ensemble of elephants.
I can say these things--I'm an old guy.
There's something unbecoming about people who zannik, as the ye olde Dutch folks used to say, people who bellyache out loud, so I won't go on and on here, but it's often struck me that this nation could rid itself of the horrors of Islamic terrorism if we were simply to loosen ourselves from the strangehold the Middle East has us in by rounding up a half million old men, putting them in a bubble for a week, and feeding them roughage. Poof! Methane for the ages. Really. We could run a country--I swear.
Indignities abound in aging, so many that if we wouldn't laugh, we'd cry. These days, I'm beginning to understand why my parents--quite saintly Dutch Calvinist folks--would return from their Florida trailor court toting a telephone book full of tasteless jokes about flattulance, constipation and a host of other plumbing problems.
So I come home from night class on Tuesday night, and my wife is watching the Westminster Dog Show, which has, sad to say, nothing to do with the Westminster Confession (if the Presbyterians were as smart as they think they are, they'd buy ad time). The only competition left is "Best of Show." I like dogs, but they refuse to use cat boxes so we don't have one. The annual Westminster thing is always a treat anyway, even though sometimes it seems to me that the idea is not to reward the best-looking dogs, but to reward those owners who do the zaniest upholstery.
Anyway, IMHO, as we say, the whole bunch of winners were sorry excuses for the kind of dog that really looks like a dog. But what the heck--"Best of Show" at Westminster is high drama, seriously.
One of them, a Sussex spaniel, had the tell-tale droopy ears of an old man--and is. He's ten, which translates into seventy in human terms, which makes me think I'm a kid. He cut so low to the ground he'd come off as a dachsund if he didn't have all that fur and bulk--think of a handsome Bassett maybe.
Okay, it's old news. Who cares? This old Sussex, a old man named Stump, won Westminster's Best of Show. I don't know a thing about his gastric system, but the old guy came out of retirement and fired a no-hitter.
Nuff said. This morning, who of the millions of aging boomers in this country isn't thankful for the old guy who looked mighty good running around the carpet on those fat little legs? There's reason to be proud, reason to give thanks.
"Hope is the thing with feathers," Ms. Dickinson once wrote, "that perches in the soul." Sure, but Tuesday night if you wanted a pinch of hope all you needed to do was look for the floppy ears.