Getting old sucks. For all of my fellow baby boomers out there or even the more seasoned of you who are feeling the pains of maturity, those three simple words can conjure up a plethora of other more personally felt phrases – most of which wouldn’t be appropriate to write without a parental advisory notice like you see at an R rated movie. Although, technically, I did warn you up front with a legal disclaimer, I don’t actually plan on using a lot of expletives in this particular blog. I just thought I’d put it out there just in case I have to reposition my doughnut pillow while I’m writing this.
When I was a kid, I thought we’d be flying around on our own jet-packs by now. Every time I watch the news it looks like someone’s invented a way to make a gun from plastic with a 3D printer or grow a lung in a petri dish or even clone Little Bo Peep. Emily and I are taking a Beef Master class at the Ag Extension office right now and low and behold I learned that you can kill the testicles of a living bull and use stem cells from a prize bull to grow new “bull stuff” and it will totally replace the bull’s reproductive system to be exactly like the donor bull – DNA and all. Isn’t that something? But…still no jet-pack.
With all of those exciting discoveries, what they failed to tell us is that Dolly the first cloned sheep from the late 90’s was put down in 2003 (6 years old) from being plagued by health problems like lung disease and premature arthritis. It seems that even if you’re cloned from good stock, nothing will protect us from the withering ravages of time. It seems like ever since I turned 50, I’m hurting all the time and not necessarily in the same places.I need access to a good lab and a genome scientist if you know of one who’s looking for work.
I mean, seriously, I can be walking down an isle in Kroger with not a care in the world other than the oddly ever-increasing price of peanut butter and all of the sudden if feels like my hip just went out of socket. Then miraculously…20 steps and 3 bent cans of soup later – I feel fine again. With every passing day, I will either have inflamed tendons in my hand prohibiting me from properly closing or making a fist, or, plantar fasciitis in one or both feet, or, a messed up hip, or, bulging disks in my lower back, or, a myriad of other things going on that serve only to ruin my day/week/month/year. Did I mention the diabetes – tennis elbow? Wait a minute…I gotta pee.
Is this really it? Is this what people are talking about when they rave about how much they’re enjoying their retirement years? I’m more than a decade away and I already hate it. Not only was I never good at math, now I’m expected to learn how to operate a retirement calculator too. The one thing I was counting on the most never even came to fruition. All those space drama’s had me jonesing for something much better than an xbox. Lost In Space, Deep Space Nine, Star Trek, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Barbarella, Planet of the Apes, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Star Wars, Flash Gordon, Alien…you name it…even the artist formerly known as Prince thought we’d be doing something really awesome by 1999. All he got out of it was a lawsuit, a bad tattoo, and the inability to use his own fake name in a sentence.
Here we are in 2015 and I’ve already outlived my father by 3 years. We as a society have made a lot of progress my father never got to see…one of which he’d have been most impressed with is a Tennessee NFL franchise. On one side of the coin Saturday Night Live is still going strong and one of our biggest rock stars is still Bob Dylan. Not a lot has changed in that regard. On the other side, we’ve learned that Oz is real and has his own television show, scientists are growing human organs in test tubes, Mike Tyson has a froufrou face tattoo, we’re shooting video’s on Mars and the President’s black. As the late Tim Wilson would have so eloquently said, “Were the F*ck is my jetpack?”