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Friday, September 6, 2013

The Pretender by John von Daler

                If you are interviewed in the audience of some tv show and you say that you are going on seventy, everybody claps. Not as much as they would have clapped if you had said ninety, but enough to let you know that you are an achiever, a winner in life's lottery. But in front of the mirror in the bathroom at home there ain't nobody clapping.
                 Don't worry. This is not going to be a whiney blog. I'm doing fine and I feel great. As a matter of fact, I hardly feel old at all. I may look that way on the outside, but on the inside I'm about ten years old. It's the difference between my interior and my exterior that sometimes bothers me. I feel like a little kid disguised as an elderly man. Someday that may get me in trouble.
                You see, the kid wants out. Every day he wants to give somebody the raspberry or do a cossack dance or tickle somebody on the bus. Until now I've managed to keep a straight face. But both the kid and I care less and less about decorum.
                This is where grandchildren come in. They see the little kid. And he sees them and wants to play. He wants to know how long a felt coaster can remain on the top of his head without anybody noticing, or how loudly he can burp without being seen, or how many times he can say beeble deeble dee without laughing. He also thinks it's fun to see how many times he can run in a circle from the dining room, through one kitchen door, out the other and back into the dining room again. If somebody is after him, it's even more fun.
                The only catch in all this is that the grandchildren finally go home and then the old guy starts getting pains and fatigue and all that blurry-eyed stuff. That's when I realize that old age may be the death of me.
                Oh, well, tomorrow I think I'll make a pass at the coffee lady at my favorite sidewalk cafe. Let's hope she can see that the hidden kid is responsible. If they kick me out, I'll click my heels in the air and then go home and call my physical therapist to repair the damage.


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