I recently turned the ripe old age of 26, and already I can feel the profound change on my body. A few days after my birthday, I woke up to an excruciating pain in the middle of my back, like a groundhog was burrowing through my skin to hide pine cones in my spinal column. I have never had back problems before in my life, so at first I thought the dream I just had of being in a world class pony race and falling off "Sir Prancealot" during the last jump resulting in a broken spine really wasn't just a beautiful dream after all. But then I soon realized that it was indeed a dream, and I somehow horribly damaged my back just by sleeping in bed. I couldn't turn my head from side to side and it took me an hour to crawl out of the bed to the closet where I proceeded to gobble down every painkiller I had in my possession and call in sick to work. I was ashamed that I got such a major injury by just laying down, so I lied to my friends and co-workers and said it was from mountain climbing and wresting a bear who attacked me after I stole its honey pot to feed some starving baby billy goats. I'm not sure why I threw in the part about the honey and goats, but once I get a good lie going it's hard for me to stop.
This latest disability is just one of the terrible changes taking place in the past year. I used to be so spry, full of spirit. I would go out to the park and climb trees, play basketball with minorities, and leap out of the bushes to scare female joggers, but that has all changed. My body no longer bounces back from the vigorous physical activity I had been accustomed to. One game of full court basketball will put me out of commission for weeks on end. I've found it much easier to just play video games simulating physical activity instead of real exercise. I picked up a copy of NBA Live 2005, Speedwalker V1.3, and Sim Rapist for the PC, and started getting a pretty good electronic workout, just in time for John Madden football season, but then I suffered a major thumb injury that put me out of video game sports for the season. Now it's only a matter of time until I grow so fat that my skin grafts to the couch from a mixture of feces, bedsores, and blubber. Save me Maury!
I fought in WW2 and all I got was this stupid hat.
This negligence of real exercise has only contributed to the physical disintegration caused by my advanced age, replacing my once tight, sculpted muscles with pasty cookie dough, but without the delicious taste that customers know and love. The neighborhood children have seen me waddle slowly from my car to my house, and their once healthy fear of me is now all but diminished. The word "revenge" is whispered in their grubby ranks; revenge for me burning down their tree house last summer and taking their baseballs when they hit them near my yard, as well as not near my yard. As soon as the rumor of my fall from power went through the neighborhood, rebellion spread like wild fire, prompting a large rabble of them to set up an ambush when I got home from work, pelting me with eggs, rocks, and cherry bombs. Like all things in life, there are cycles of rises and falls. The mighty Roman Empire controlled most of the civilized world at the height of their glory, yet eventually was picked apart and destroyed by barbarians. The same could be said for me. I have already peaked, probably sometime when I was 11, and now it's a steady spiral downward into oblivion and destruction.
Some people may say I am too cynical about old age, and that I just need to accept the changes my body is going through. Some people say that with age comes wisdom and knowledge, and as such you can live a much richer life. If I ever meet the "some people", I'm going stab them in their eyes for being lying bastards. A few summers ago I worked in a nursing home to make some extra money so I could buy and raise zebra mussels for a backyard fighting championship. I learned a lot about old people that summer, and the terrible depths of suffering that goes along with old age. The hallways were filled with animated corpses, shuffling towards the cafeteria to gum dry toast and oatmeal until they pass away and are swept into the incinerator by a giant broom wielded by a large black sassy nurse. Working in the home unveiled the startling truth about the ungraceful reality of aging and death. Men who proudly fought in WW2 sit in soiled diapers next to the window, looking out for their children who will never visit. Women who were once ravishing beauties were now withered skeletons with matted gray hair, biting the heads off baby shrews. In America, it seems to be normal to lock away our seniors to rot away, away from public view or the busy life of the younger folk. Many of my Indian friends see this as very strange since their culture is very family oriented, and the parents take care of the children, never charging them rent and supporting them, but then when they grow old the children will take care of the parents, never thinking of placing them in a retirement home. But this is America where it's dog-eat-dog, and old people are slow and in the way. If there is one rule in this country, it is never get old, and don't look up and open your mouth when it's raining.
I am currently breaking both rules, as I am growing old and slowly drowning. My body is breaking down and changing in fascinating ways, as well as my usual paranoia growing into full-fledged dementia. Here are a few examples of the things you have to look forward to in a few years, you bratty little whippersnappers:
This is no place for a hobbit!
That's right, my feet are looking more and more like hobbit feet with each passing, agonizing day. I now have tufts of curly hair growing on my toes, just like Mr. Frodo and his gaggle of pint sized adventurers. I am not a very hairy person at all, so why my toes are sprouting such growth at this time is puzzling. Is my body preparing for such a long journey to defeat an evil menace with an iron will and elf bread? What's next, where will it stop? Am I really the missing link to the Yeti? Where is Leonard Nemoy when you need him?
I love beer. No really, I love beer so much that I am willing to sacrifice all of my money, friends, family, job, house, for just one night of its frosty embrace. It has a magical property to make everything in life better, and is totally necessary during the viewing of any sporting event. Over the years, my emotions have withered away, leaving just a dry husk filled with pudding and sea monkeys. Beer replaces that spot where happiness should be with a nice warm buzzing sensation, like bees are making love in my sinus cavity. Unfortunately, the signs of alcoholic gluttony are starting to show. A tiny Buddha gut is now flowing freely over my zebra striped boxer shorts, ripe for a good punch by a local ruffian or neighborhood child who has heard the news of my fall. This is happening to all of my friends as well, and in a panic they are switching to light beer in a futile attempt to halt the process. They are fools, I think to myself as I chug down multiple pints of extra-thick Guinness, and eat the remainder of the beer at the bottom with a spoon. I will not give in to these scare tactics, and I shall overcome this obstacle the only way I know how: liposuction.
Sexual side effects"Don't worry dad, just stay in the boat while we push it out to sea."
Let me just state for the record that I am a horrible sensualist who enjoys clubbing baby seals to death with my large, misshapen penis just for the "kicks". Let me also state that I am fully secure with my sexual ability and suffer no problems in the bedroom performance wise. The hardest thing about continuing to keep a rigorous schedule of "tending the crop" in your advanced years is that it can be very tiring. Nothing frightens me more than sweating because of physical labor, and exercise from the act of intercourse is no different. I am waiting with baited breath for one of those remote controlled robots to come out to do the work for me, but all they have right now is those little dogs that really fail to do the job properly, and sometimes even go haywire and cause great injury to my partner. The only bonus to the robot dog is that you can't press charges against a robot yet, but that might change now that the movie "I, Robot" is out.
I've become more grumpy, bitter, disillusioned, and crabby with each advancing birthday. I look upon the younger generation of illiterate bratty teens with extreme disdain, and we have grown to distrust each other. When I read the news, I skim the article and shout "bah!" while slamming my fist down on the table, spilling hot coffee on my aching knees, making me cry out in pain and curse minorities. Anything that I don't understand or can't comprehend, like the fancy new urban shoes, or CD players, I hate with a passion and call them "newfangled commie gadgetry". I spy on my neighbors and dig through their trash to make sure they aren't harboring terrorists or throwing away any usable coupons. Concerned with this spike in erratic behavior, I went to a doctor to tell him what was happening, and a CAT scan revealed that the core of my brain was dissolved and was now replaced with a creamy nougat center. He told me not to worry about it because I would never make it past the age of 40. At least some good news came out of all of this.
Yes I am going to die, and so are you, sooner than we can comprehend. Some of you will get crushed under a vending machine while trying to steal some Cheez-Its, others will die in a fiery car wreck, but most of you will grow old and wrinkly, and then your parts will start to malfunction until your body dies and your soul is placed inside one of those robot dogs. It is healthy to think about the morbid reality that this life is very temporary and short, for then you begin to appreciate things like puppy dogs and Apple Jacks, and start living for today. Just remember, the next time I update you will be one week permanently older, one week away from a rent check, and one day closer to death. Have a great weekend!
Zack "Hwang Tso" Parsons here to set the Internet abuzz with talk of the latest chapter of my smash hit science fiction comedy novel "Untitled Document".
Millennia ago, when the Imperatrixians had just forged their great galactic trade empire, the sliver of space that just happened to contain the human home world had been assigned a numerical designation. Centuries later under the beneficent rule of Emperor Jake Rh9 Vlots all of the sectors still referred to by numerical designations were given more media savvy titles. 3342.48 became "Awesome! Sector", 3354.21 became "Oh Yeah! Sector", and 3380.10 was declared "Wow! Sector". Though Emperor Vlots and Marketing Consul Hestus faded into obscurity, their sector names had sufficient "zazz" to remain in use.
You had better read it right away or you will look like an asshole when everyone else is gossiping about it around the water cooler.
Do you wish to know what computers will be doing in the year to come? With a sigh I shall exert the minimal effort it takes to reveal all. Feel free to print out these predictions and share them with your friends via fax.
Old mixed signals feeling a little stale? Try some new ones!
day 2: still working on the car
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