I can’t help myself. Lately, Paul McCartney has started singing to me. It’s rolling around in my head. No worries. It’s not a reason for concern. In fact, it’s a fun song to sing, hum or giggle at.
“When I get older, losing my hair, many years from now. Will you still need me, will you still feed me? When I’m 64.”
Always thought it was a cute song. A poignant conversation between a married couple dealing with the realization they have more years behind them instead of years ahead of them.
In other words, the 30 years from now is a month away.
There are plenty of reminders of why the song could be about me, or anyone else who has more hair in his ears instead of arms or legs.
There are now things occurring that smack me into this scary reality: I’m getting older.
A recent trip to Forsyth Central’s front desk went something like this over the classroom intercom:
Student: “Greg Tasos’ grandfather is here to pick up a prom ticket.”
I started grabbing my chest. No heart attack. I just wondered when Sitting Bill had intruded into my Mitty-like fantasy world. Please, someone yank this arrow out of my chest.
“Young lady (Q: When did I start using “young lady? A: It was about the time I began shuffling across the old-timer bridge, now having a clear view of the other side.”)
At least I’m eligible for those groovy senior discounts, although I think clerks are taking advantage of my slowly diminishing mental state, charging me an extra 10 percent just to see if I’m paying attention.
I’ve noticed there are lots of other drivers honking at me. I’m on the receiving end of every gesture known to man. None of them are waves.
I find myself driving slower. After years of impatience, I’ve borrowed from Mad Magazine’s Alfred E. Neumann: “What? Me Hurry?”
In order to deal with the Cumming-to-Hartsfield/Jackson crawl, I’m on 400 by 5:30 a.m. at the latest. And that’s to have ample time to catch an 8:30 a.m. flight. It results in being slap tired on the first night of my trip.
Veteran old-timer wisdom says: “Leave earlier. Minimize the stress.” It works!
I think chipmunks are cute. Ditto for the birds Vicki feeds. Not so much love for the squirrels. They’re merely rats with bushy tails. The squirrels surely must have a Cracker Jack public relations hack in their corner.
I look forward to relaxing as I watch Fox 5 News at 10 p.m. I so much want to call the newsroom and ask them if they ever tire of reading the same stories every night: Murder, robbery and indicted politicians.
I’ve thought about keeping a nightly log of the carnage, then setting an over/under line for murder stories.
I’d like to have one more run at the tables like the one in December 1979, turning $300 into nearly $9,000 in one night. Others playing blackjack didn’t join me in celebrating my growing good fortune.
Apparently those Iowa bathroom-fixture bigwigs quickly tired of the 24-year-old’s growing chips. That was back in the howling at the moon days. I responded by splitting Kings with $500 on the table.
I won both, tipped the dealer, asking him, just a little too loudly: “Reckon those toilet salesmen ever saw that kind of action in Des Moines?” I walked away with a down payment for a house.
I want to see Willie one more time. Ditto Robert Earl Keen and John Prine. Of course the Rolling Stones and The Who are lighting it up at various venues this summer.
I’d like to take one more family vacation. Vicki and Chris love to ski. Greg is athletic enough to love it. Me? A Kindle and coffee works just fine.
I want one more fishing trip with Mark The Shark (his legal name) in Miami.
I want to take Vicki on a business trip or two. I’d welcome her helping me fight the boredom that accompanies being a road warrior.
Both boys are graduating this year, Chris from UGA this past Friday and Greg from Central two weeks from yesterday. It all happened way too fast.
What I wouldn’t give for one more scuffle with gorilla slams, judo chops and whatever pro wrestling moves we invented.
It’s amazing that I can think straight after all those bedroom battles. The older they got, those head shots with heavy pillows made my eyes cross.
Yep, I’m getting older. Wouldn’t have missed it for the world.
Mike Tasos’ column is published every other Sunday. Hey Sir Paul, I’m not losing much hair but there’s more gray on top every day. Comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. He is also on Facebook.