Signs of be­ing a geezer

Packet & Times (Orillia) - - OPINION -

Sadly I am con­vinced that some­how over the past seven decades I have be­come a geezer. I’m not pos­i­tive but I do show some signs that sug­gest I might qual­ify for geezer­dom.

“What’s that silly ass run­ning on about now, Martha? I think Fos­ter has slipped a few cogs. God, he’s get­ting old-look­ing. Now get into bed, you sexy lit­tle minx, and don’t for­get your Jes­sica Fletcher mask.”

What is a geezer any­way, you may ask but se­cretly know. Well for one thing, it is any­one who has late-night fan­tasies about Jes­sica Fletcher.

Be­ing a geezer isn’t a con­di­tion re­ally, it’s more the re­al­i­sa­tion that life passed you by while you were bent over but­ton­ing your shoes. It’s the sink­ing feel­ing that the rest of the world is pack­ing for an up­com­ing trip to Mars and you are sit­ting on side of the bed won­der­ing why your pajama bot­toms are wet.

Be­com­ing a geezer doesn’t just ap­pear out of nowhere, it grows on you like tree moss. In au­tumn, friends take you on na­ture hikes to see which way is north. It doesn’t sim­ply ap­pear as the 80th can­dle flick­ers and dies on your birth­day cake. (You can’t blow them out by the way; the grand­kids have to do it.) A mass of wrin­kles doesn’t sud­denly take off from your an­kles and 30 sec­onds later you’re the spit­ting im­age of Granny on the Bev­erly Hill­bil­lies. (If you re­mem­ber The Bev­erly Hill­bil­lies, you’ve been a geezer for some time)

You aren’t a bright, vi­brant se­nior cit­i­zen one mo­ment, won­der­ing how long it would take you to get in shape for the Bos­ton Marathon; you are sit­ting in a rock­ing chair won­der­ing if you should buy some of those new­fan­gled run­ning shoes with the Vel­cro straps — less bend­ing over.

We geezers are out of touch with mod­ern mu­sic. We don’t know hiphop from reg­gae, gang­ster rap from hard core punk or Indie some­thin­gor-other. We aren’t up to speed with their ter­mi­nol­ogy and don’t know any­one on the charts ex­cept Perry and Bing and from what I hear they are both dead. On New Year’s Eve we keep run­ning through the chan­nels look­ing for Guy Lom­bardo and won­der if Carmine is still alive. We’ve heard of Ce­line Dion but think he’s likely a de­fence­man for the Mon­treal Cana­di­ens.

We know about me, but what about you, old codger? Could you pos­si­bly be a geezer too? There are a num­ber of signs to look for, as­sum­ing your wife hasn’t al­ready dis­cussed them with you.

You find your­self study­ing pe­nile dys­func­tion ads and think about call­ing the 1-800 num­ber, you are a geezer. If your wife writes the num­ber down on your to-do list, you are for sure. If the ladies from her bridge club email you the num­ber, not only are you a geezer, but the whole world knows it.

If you find your­self in the De­pends sec­tion of Shop­pers ask­ing where the fit­ting room is, you’re a geezer. If every­one in the store is star­ing at your pants and gig­gling, you are a geezer and it’s a bit late to be ask­ing.

If you find Beano is part of your reg­u­lar sup­per­time rou­tine, you’re prob­a­bly a geezer, al­though you may just need to cut back on your legumes.

If your socks keep fall­ing down and you are start­ing to se­ri­ously con­sider those lit­tle leg sus­penders that were all the rage in 1912; you are not only a geezer, but a silly old fart to go along with it.

If you wink at a woman at a party and say “23 ski­doo,” you’re a geezer. If she winks back, so is she. If she takes you up on it, you bet­ter both have your health card be­side the bed. The am­bu­lance driver will need them.

But the proof comes while you are watch­ing a par­tic­u­larly ro­man­tic love scene on tele­vi­sion and your wife says, “Re­mem­ber when you used to nib­ble on my neck.” and you say, “You’re damned right I do. The next time you’re up, bring me my teeth.”

Jim Fos­ter is a colum­nist for the Packet & Times. He can be con­tacted at fos­ter­

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