Cel­e­brat­ing se­nior­ity with a se­nior’s mo­ment

Winnipeg Free Press - Section H - - FRONT PAGE -

NA­TIONAL Dogs­body Day, that spe­cial day that the hired help ev­ery­where set aside to cel­e­brate their noth­ing­ness, fell on Feb. 25 this year, a week ago Fri­day. It also co­in­cided, as it so of­ten does, with my birth­day, which is usu­ally no big deal — no need to go rush­ing out to buy presents — but this year Dogs­body Day and my birth­day marked my en­try into the penul­ti­mate stage of my use­less­ness. I turned 65.

To mark the oc­ca­sion, my wife and two de­voted daugh­ters went out and bought me a se­nior’s bus pass for the month of March. It was quite ex­cit­ing. I have not had not had a monthly bus pass since those long-ago days when the Free Press sub­si­dized en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly trans­porta­tion by giv­ing its em­ploy­ees $6 to­wards the $12 cost of a monthly bus pass, which was in the late 1960s, be­fore most peo­ple had even heard of the en­vi­ron­ment, such an en­light­ened and farsee­ing com­pany it is.

For years I have re­lied on a five-day weekly pass, which has meant that I am ef­fec­tively grounded for the week­ends un­less the war­den lets me out, but now I can go any­where I want if I can find some­where to go. It’s kind of a poor man’s ver­sion of free­dom.

So there I was on Mon­day, March 1, strid­ing to­ward the bus stop, hap­pily hum­ming a ver­sion The Wild Colo­nial Boy, and not re­al­iz­ing that in fact I was in the midst of a delu­sion. It was, in fact, Feb. 28, not March 1, as the bus driver cheer­fully pointed out to me, and my se­nior’s bus pass, my magic car­pet, didn’t take off un­til Tues­day.

He let me ride any­way — bus driv­ers are usu­ally ac­com­mo­dat­ing — but it sort of took the magic out of the mo­ment of us­ing the se­nior’s pass for the first time. As far as I can tell, that bus pass is about the only good thing associated with turn­ing 65, and I had wasted it in what is eu­phemisti­cally called an unan­tic­i­pated “se­nior’s mo­ment.” Who knew they came so quickly, al­though, if truth be told, I’ve been hav­ing them all my life? Dogs­bod­ies day­dream, too.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.