Friday, November 22, 2013

Age Is Foisted on the Old

"Look at me. I'm fallin' apart here." Says Val Thevictorian, impersonating Cosmo Kramer in "The Mom and Pop Store" episode of Seinfeld, impersonating Dustin Hoffman in Midnight Cowboy.

 As if it wasn't bad enough that I stiffed my neck the other day, and have given myself second-degree chemical burns slathering ActiveOn like there's no tomorrow every morning before school...or that I gave myself a new knuckle, courtesy of ice machine purging...or that I nearly picked my ear off yesterday morning in a combing frenzy during my morning beautification ritual...last night I hurt my shoulder sitting in the recliner.

Is anybody out there a good illustrator? Yeah. I think we know one talented Chatterbox fellow. Perhaps he'd like to join me in a venture to distribute safety posters to the newly old. I would incur the injury, write the copy, and promote our line in my proposed handbasket factory. All Mr. Chatterbox would need to do is artistically render my latest calamity. I would not pay him in currency. That's tax deductible. No, I would pay him in handbaskets. Gift handbaskets. For the whole family, and any acquaintances he deemed worthy. A limitless supply of handbaskets. For life.

One minute I was lolling back in my blue basement recliner, getting ready to watch Dave Murray give his long-range winter forecast...and the next minute, I was waking up at 2:30 a.m. with a shoulder that felt like a Stretch Armstrong appendage after Stretch was on the wrong end of an arm bar in a match with The Incredible Hulk. My shoulder was about as mobile as a dislocated joint of the same name. My arm hung limply, like a toddler walking alongside you at the zoo, holding your hand, until he instantaneously decides he's had enough, and magically dissolves all bones in his body.

It's not like I tucked that arm up underneath me for safekeeping during my chair nap. Nor like I hung it over the side to attract game fish whilst I cruised the sea of tranquility. Apparently, rest is bad for your joint health.

Dang. Sometimes I long for the cartilaginous days of youth, when I could fall asleep draped across that hump in the floor of the rear-wheel-drive car, where backseat passengers put their feet, and unrestrained toddlers stood during cross-country trips.


  1. Your really getting old when you wake up in pain and you have no idea how you hurt yourself. Shit come back from 20 years ago to bite you in the butt.

  2. I appreciate your high opinion of my artistic abilities but if Mrs. Chatterbox finds out I'm picking up a brush again again she'll insist I tackle a couple of rooms she wants painted.

  3. Yes, it sucks getting old(er). And a woman falling asleep when she's in her 50's is a far uglier sight (the drooling, the snoring) than a woman in her 30's.

  4. joeh,
    Let's what WAS I doing 20 years ago...

    It seems that handbaskets are not the big draw I assumed they would be. Good thing I've diversified.

    I don't know whether to be more incensed at being assumed 50ish, Madam, or at being assumed ugly! No handbasket for YOU!

    If you ever need a urine sample for work to prove that you're not all hopped up on poppyseed bagels, don't come cryin' to me to pee in a jelly glass and show that you're menopausal.

    1. Good grief, Val. I was speaking of myself. YOU aren't into that decade of fun. Yet.

    2. Does this mean you expect a handbasket and a urine sample? Next you'll be wanting a mattress that smells like the East River, and a Label Baby Junior. For regifting purposes, of course.

    3. No, all I need these days--just a few days before Thanksgiving--is a mailman willing to baste me like a turkey.

      Can you hook me up?

    4. Sorry, Madam. The best I can do is a short little guy who lives with his parents, who would like to dip his bald head in oil and rub it over your body. And you must pretend to be an old man's housekeeper who can't speak English.

  5. OMG, I'm laughing like a nut, here Val! Your writing REALLY needs to be read by millions of people. You're up there with David Sedaris (and I mean that only in the writerly sense, ya know!)

  6. Becky,
    I enjoy a good Sedaris every now and then. I really liked his sister Amy when she was on that sitcom with Stephen Colbert...Strangers With Candy. It was SO inappropriate in SO many ways. I laughed like a hyena.