Thursday, April 26, 2007
When we get older~
Sometimes in the midst of the serious problems in life, I dwell on problems of less significance-- like a saggy chin. (Maybe I should call it a double chin, but right now it is only double if I look down, so saggy will do for --hopefully-- many more years.)
I know it all has to do with the aging process, and gravity. Most of my doctor visits in the past few years have included such comments from doctors and dentists as: "When we get older our (fill in body part) start to (choose from: sag, hurt, fall out, become more abundant). None of which is encouraging. Or attractive.
I had a chin wake-up call the other day. I was in my role as "reporter" for the local paper. I'd been asked to come see the town's Emergency Operations Center by its director, a man who is a retired Drug Enforcement Agent.
He was in his glory in his "bunker" in the basement of the town office building. He wanted to give me the "25-cent tour." I could put a cat to shame with my curiosity; I was ready for the tour.
"Stand beside the TV," he told me, positioning me like I was a manikin.
"Here?" I asked.
He moved me closer to the TV, which was on the local cable station. I stood awkwardly, arms at my side watching while he fiddled with buttons and dials across the room. Beam me up, Scotty?
"Look, look!" he said pointing at the TV screen.
I turned my head and looked. There I was in profile view, saggy chin and all. Saggy chin was all, in my eyes. Instinctively I used my right index finger to gave my chin a lift, like I do in the bathroom mirror every morning.
"In an emergency I can preempt the cable station," he said. "You just went out all across Bridgewater."
"Wow!" I said. Holy shit, I thought. My chin went out across the town. Followed by my finger lift.
But those who watch local cable at noon on a sunny Saturday probably have worse things than a saggy chin. So I recovered quickly and took the rest of the tour: the closed door labeled "Geiger counters," the "command center" that was once used to help the state do something, and the long, narrow concrete shooting range that he told me was where he would hunker down in an extreme emergency to help repopulate the human race. The concubine room, he called it. Ha, ha.
"Lots of room for sleeping bags in there," I laughed. Are you serious? I thought? Then, How do I volunteer? My fertility level drooped with my chin, but I can change diapers. It's all about survival.
I went home and typed up my story while doing those grimace-y facial exercises while I wrote. Ugly, but worth a try.
"When we get older," gravity displays its handiwork.