Celebrating seniority with a senior’s moment
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.