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Health Care

June 1, 2009

On Turning Sixty
   by RobertLevin <rlevin@earthlink.net>

Although itís brought me that much closer to transforming into worm food, Iíve found that turning sixty is not without its compensations.

While itís true, for example, that my member isnít getting a proper supply of blood anymoreóand that I can no longer write my name in the sand and must settle for my initialsóI can still have lots of fun with it. Thanks to an ever-enlarging prostate gland thatís threatening to devour my bladder, my urine stream now bifurcates at the exit point. This means that I can whiz into the toilet and the adjacent bathtub at the same timeówhich is a kick. My urologist says that while he can make no promises, thereís a good chance that in the not too distant future Iíll be capable of trifurcating. This will enable me to whiz into the toilet, the bathtub and the laundry basket simultaneously.

I canít wait.

And by making it possible to legitimately deflect questions that have always rankled the hell out of me (ďIsnít it time you threw out those Smurf jars with the petrified flecks of premixed peanut butter Ďní jelly down toward the bottom?Ē is a persistent one that never fails to put me in a homicidal rage), my newly developed hearing loss has a terrific upside as well. Not, to be sure, that its downside isnít just as major. I mean, how many invitations to lunch have I blown? How many people have said, ďLet me buy you lunch,Ē and Iíve said in reply, ďBut we still donít have bin Laden.Ē? (As thorny as this problem is, Iíve managed to ease it somewhat by saying, maybe a dozen times a morning to people who appear to be talking to me, ďThanks, Iíd love to.Ē Though probably several hundred of them have walked away from me very quicklyóand two, I guess they had their reasons, punched me in the stomachóIíve gotten six lunches doing this that I would otherwise have missed out on. Not to mention a free ticket to a Wayne Newton concert!)

But if the benefits and drawbacks of my hearing impairment more or less cancel out each other, the short-term memory loss thatís accompanied my sexagenarianism has a plus side that actually outweighs its minus side. Iím speaking, of course, of the guarantee it can afford me that a movie Iím going to will be a good one. Iíll notice, for instance, an ad for a movie and tell a friend about it. The friend will advise me that I saw the movie just a week ago. Iíll ask him if I liked it and if he says, ďYeah, you couldnít stop talking about it,Ē Iíll think, hey, how often does a movie come with that kind of recommendation and Iíll go immediately to see it. Iím told that Iíve seen ďPearl HarborĒ eight times now.

(I might add here that being strictly of the short-term variety, my memory loss in no way affects my ability to remember the last time I had sex.)

But of the many compensatory rewards that turning sixty provides (and youíll agree they are not inconsiderable) thereís one that I value above all others. Although I can still croak at a relatively early age Iíve been spared the embarrassment of a tragically early demise.

Published: June 2, 2009
Editor: stacy

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