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At last, my old geezer column

Although I admire writers like Dave Barry and Will Durst, I always swore that I would never follow their lead and become a columnist who drones on about what an old geezer he's become. And with that bit of ado, I now present my "old-geezer" column.

They say that life begins at 40. If that's the case, then apparently I was born with gray hair and an elevated cholesterol level. Six years after my "birth" I still have my baby fat, which is somehow composed of 42 years' worth of cheeseburgers.

Age may be a state of mind — I still giggle at the word "matriculate" — but the state of my body is old and decrepit. My joints are so squeaky, I'm worried that they might try to assassinate Gerald Ford. (Also worrying is that I'm old enough to think that joke will resonate.)

To paraphrase the song, I wanted to live fast, love hard, and die young. But it's already too late for that, so I may as well drive slow, take Viagra and survive long enough to dance on my enemies' graves.

I keep hearing, "You're not getting old; you're getting better." But better at what? Certainly not at remembering names or holding in my gas. There's a reason why "40" and "farty" are so phonetically similar.

Life is supposed to be a series of trade-offs. In exchange for losing my youthful sex appeal, I was supposed to gain wisdom. Unfortunately, those things have to be equivalent, so I've now lost 18 IQ points.

At minimum, I thought my body and I had an agreement: I would start growing large amounts of ear hair, as long as my body stopped giving me acne. My body has broken this covenant, which is why I'm taking it to court in hopes of winning back my college-era pecs.

I try to remain positive as my body decays. Whenever a body part collapses, I find myself saying, "Well, at least it outlived its warranty."

When I clean out the cat boxes, I try not to gasp from exertion, lest I inhale a cloud of cat-litter dust. Unfortunately, at my age, gasping is my natural state of breathing.

Doing simple tasks take the wind out of me, like climbing stairs or putting on socks. There are times when I won't even click on an internet link, because it's too exhausting to open another browser window.

And, of course, I have to deal with memory loss. Mind you, I don't consider myself going senile. I prefer "endearingly scatter-brained." You know how you sometimes find yourself standing in your living room and forget why you came? That happens a lot more now, except instead of my living room, it's Chicago.

And, of course, I have to deal with memory loss. (Yes, I know you saw that joke coming up Mesaba Avenue. But I had to make it, because there are inviolable laws in humor columns, even if I regularly violate them by not being humorous.)

I'm increasingly forgetting where I parked my car. Last time I went to the mall, I searched for my car for almost an hour. Then I remembered that I never went to the mall and was still in my driveway.

I'm still not sure I found the right car. But the key fit the ignition, and I liked the person's taste in music, so off I went. It's the only way I can explain driving a Kia Rio.

So that's my old-geezer column. I'd like to say it's going to be my last, but every column from now on will be written by an even older geezer. Plus, I'm bound to forget I ever wrote this, so you'll probably see this same column around March.

I'm done.

Jason Johnson

Jason Johnson is a member of Peanut Gallery Comics. He lives around here someplace.

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