George Covington — The Thing About Getting Old

Circa 2012

I hate being reminded of the fact that I’m getting on in years. Back when I entered first grade at Grim Elementary, I remember being told, “It takes a long time to grow up, but a short time to grow old.”

Alas it was grim at Grim and, as predicted, the years flew by. So imagine my surprise recently when I received my 50th high school reunion announcement. Nostalgia aside, I decided not to attend the event because I didn’t like any of those cretins then, and I suspect they’ve only grown worse. And yet the invite did cause me to reflect on the aging process, along with the fact that there are certain tools that may assist you in navigating your “golden years,” whatever the heck “golden years” means.

As a young man, I used to live for the phone to ring on a Saturday night. It meant that the party wasn’t starting without me. But these days Saturday night usually finds me engrossed in a good novel, so if the phone rings I hope it’s a wrong number.

An older friend once said of life’s senior moments: “If you wake up in the morning and don’t feel a pain, you know you’re dead.” Along those same lines, before I retire in the evening I change the channel from Comedy Central to CNN, so if I croak during the night, they can say at my homegoing service: George was a newshound until the very end!

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Important writers borrow, lesser writers plagiarize, and I wholesale steal. Thus, along life’s meandering path, I have ripped off and klepto’d a great many ideas that help me keep perspective during this perilous journey to the great 6-feet under:

• I don’t suffer from insanity; I enjoy every minute of it.

• Some people are alive only because it’s illegal to kill them.

• I used to have a handle on life but it broke.

• You’re just jealous because the voices only talk to me.

• Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.

• God must love stupid people because he made so many.

• The gene pool could use a little chlorine.

• Consciousness is that annoying time between naps.

• Being ‘over the hill’ is much better then being under it!

• Wrinkled was not one of the things I wanted to be when I grew up.

• Don’t take life too seriously; no one gets out alive.

I believe old age can be summed up in a joke or two:

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(1): Just before the funeral services, the undertaker came up to the elderly widow and asked, “How old was your husband?”

“Ninety eight,” she replied, “two years older than me.”

“So you’re 96,” the undertaker said.

“Yes,” she responded. “Hardly worth going home.”

(2): A reporter interviewing a 104-year-old woman asked, “And what do you think is the best thing about being 104?”

She responded, “No peer pressure.”

A great philosopher once said: “You don’t stop laughing because you grow old, you grow old because you stop laughing.” So my advice is to keep laughing until they throw dirt in your face!

by George Covington

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