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An Old Friend’s Favor And The Physics Of Aging

“You know, Psyk, we’ve known each other a long time now, and…”

Well, slap me in the face with a week-old halibut and call me ‘Richard’: here comes one of THOSE phrases; the first half of a sentence that NEVER ends good when the second part of the sentence comes bounding out of the ‘Old Friend’s” cock holster… “We’ve known each other a long time now” is a phrase second only to “Honey- we need to talk…” in the Great Wheel of Life Changing, Unexpectedly Devastating News… or, it could be that the ‘Old Friend’  is revving up an earnest, poignant, and highly manipulative story designed to bring you to such an emotional crescendo that you would positively JUMP at the HONOR of helping them move house, in which case you break out a baseball bat and use it to erase the name of the “Old Friend” from your Christmas Cards list.

Let’s go down the Rabbit hole on this particular encounter:

The Old Friend who claims that “we’ve known each other a long time now” is wrong; we knew each other a long time ago. It’s been about four decades since we last spoke to each other. After that, life intervened. Marriage, Birth, Death, Sickness, Health, Great Successes and Plagues of Locust…

At the time we knew each other, we were young, beautiful, stupid and invincible. Now, we are a lot closer to the Brick Wall at The End of The Great Road of Life, and some of us have lead feet and poorly maintained brakes.

The fact is that, of late, I have been feeling that life has become a huge FORCE propelling me forward against my will, like a wave that will travel hundreds of thousands of miles, so it can eventually break against the unyielding terra with enough volatile fury to annihilate millions of people.

I’m in no position to help anyone. I can’t even help myself. The list of things I cannot control grows like a tropical skin disease: the political future of the nation, whether the cats will be eating any of the food we bought for them or will they be irritating little balls of fur who have gotten together and decided that it was “Screw With The Humans’ Minds Day”, my son-in-law’s car problems, my daughter trying to change schools to finish her degree, the ever-evolving state of my body hair…

In fact, just what IS happening with this bag of skin I’ve been trapped in???

As to the things in my life I actually CAN control 

I have a list. It’s a GREAT list, if I do say so myself. I took the time to write the list down, in longhand, with a pen that was given to my Grandfather after he put in 25 years at his place of employment. Yep, the List of Things I CAN Control is a great list…I wrote it on a torn piece of a very small envelope…

And so the question is asked and, fortunately, it is not a life-changing request, but it will STILL require me to put on pants: I am apparently last on his list of people to call if he needs to be picked up at the airport. That’s right. Picked up at the airport.

Keep in mind: this list included HIS WIFE, as well as both of his daughters and his son, I imagine he was down to asking the garbage man, the old spinster down the street, and the guy who occasionally decides to ‘direct traffic’ in front of his house.

Still, I said yes, I would help. I almost always do. Like being caught up by a force you cannot control, I am almost physically incapable of turning down someone who legitimately needs my help, and if I am able to help, I react immediately to do so.

Besides, even though we haven’t seen each other since Reagan was elected President of the United States, we are both caught up in the tide, caught up in a force we cannot control, propelling us forward without even asking our opinion or permission.

We are, however, heading in the same direction.

Might as well help each other paddle.

Schiff Hits The Golden Throne

Adam ‘Bubula’ Schiff, chairman of the House Political Reconnaissance Committee To Weed Out All Political Opposition To Democratic One Party World Supremacy And Give ‘Whistleblowers” Fifteen Minutes Of Fame, concluded his rousing peroration to a standing ovation at the annual California “yeeehah that fire’s sure hot” Democratic Smarmy Sha-nah-nah Convention with – “no man should have a Golden Throne until all men have  Golden Thrones.

Presidential hopeful Liz “I was born and raised in a teepee” Warren promised that, under her administration, every man, woman, child, and Fido, would have a Golden Throne to call  their own even if it cost a quajillion dollars. When Little Squawk announced she was contributing 1000 wampum to the cause, the convention hall broke into wild chants of “Golden Thrones”.

In the two concluding orders of business, conventioneers voted to adopt “Tomorrow Belongs To Me” as their Party’s anthem in lieu of “Happy Days Are Here Again”.

And the passage by voice vote of a motion made, seconded, that next year’s California Democratic Political Smarmy Sha-nah-nah Convention theme would be “Kiss Our Ass Because We Care”

Moments after the West Hollywood convention hall in Congressman Schiff’s district had emptied, the hall’s roof caved in. Inspectors determined it had collapsed under an excess weight load. It has been learned since, that San Francisco had been dumping all the shit it had been collecting off its streets onto the Convention Hall’s roof.

No casualties had been reported, though California congressional district phone lines were were swamped for hours with inquiries where people should go for their free ‘green’ Golden Thrones.

Thanksgiving aka Cooking Hell

I love Thanksgiving, with all the traditions. But one tradition that’s starting to wear a little thin after many years is making The Dinner. Don’t get me wrong – I love making a turkey, two types of stuffing, sweet potato casserole, sour cream mashed potatoes, green beans with almonds, corn, and for those calorie conscious, a large tossed salad. And dessert, which is always pumpkin pie and at least one other offering.

So why did I list all that? Because it takes a lot of time to make. Even with making some in advance, there’s still a significant amount of time spent in the kitchen, not to mention setting a lovely and seasonal table (pro tip: wrap sterling silver in plastic wrap, and it won’t tarnish).

Then you have your guests to consider: Aunt Eleanor is lactose intolerant; Cousin Tony has gluten issues, plus his girlfriend Francine is a vegetarian; Lisa and Kenny won’t eat anything but crudite, mashed potatoes and dessert…these are just a few of the many, many reasons they are no longer invited.

One year, my neighbor brought his dog. I was surprised, but since Zoey had always been well behaved, I didn’t protest. I should have. Loudly. She whined, she pawed, she cried…the damn dog wanted to sit at the table! Fortunately, she settled down once I growled at her.

But my great-aunt Rose was the worst. She would always decline, in spite of repeated asking, and then the day before, she would call and say she’d come, but only for the company, not to eat. After eating a ton of appetizers, Rose would say she’d watch TV while the family ate…ten minutes in, she’d approach the table and say how good it smelled, and she just wanted “a little taste of the stuffing.” Within  seconds, she had squeezed a chair in and was chowing down like a longshoreman. This was a scene repeated for a number of years, until she grew too old to attend.

I marveled at my mother when I was growing up. She could work a full-time job, cook for 28 people, have the house spotless, and not break a sweat. Of course she had help from my sister and I, but the lion’s share of the work fell on her. The largest group I cooked for was 13, and I was a wreck. And it was a buffet, which should have been easier…I think I’ve blocked most of that day from my memory. The wine helped…

Whether you cook, go to someone’s house, or go out to dinner, have a wonderful time and a Happy Thanksgiving!