Yesterday, we learned that some denominations are considering making 45 the age cut-off for ordination. Since I haven’t seen 45 for a few years and am much closer to many higher numbers (that will remain unmentioned), today’s Midweek Monkery features some smiles and laughs I’ve had lately with regard to the subject of getting older.
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I get to serve some of the most delightful people in the world. The other day I was visiting a man who was enjoying his 95th birthday. Reminding him of Jack Benny’s famous “stuck on 39” schtick, I asked him, “So how old are you, Frank? 39?” He paused and thought for a moment, smiled, and said, “36!”
Great Grandma Grace
My great grandmother lived to a wonderful old age — 103. Her name was Grace and her life embodied that virtue. When our children were little, we used to take the drive over to St. Joseph, Michigan every year to celebrate her birthday with her — on Halloween. They loved to go see “Grandma Great Great,” as they called her. One time, I think it was when she was 98 years old, we took her out to a restaurant that would give you the number of your age as a percentage off your meal bill. The young waitress stuttered and stumbled a bit when we told her Grandma was 98. All she could think of to do was to follow normal procedure, which was to ask the birthday person to produce a driver’s license! I’m actually not sure my great grandma had ever driven a car, but we had a good laugh and asked the waitress if she thought she could trust the little lady (well under 5 feet tall) with the pure white hair that she was telling the truth. Of course, she did.
This one’s for Matthew B. Redmond:
One of my favorite stories in recent days is the piece out of Texas about the 105 year old woman who was asked the secret to her long life. The answer should have been obvious: “Bacon,” she said. “I eat bacon every day.”
Her delightful interview caught the attention of one of America’s premier bacon producers, and they decided to give her a gift. Here’s the news report:
When the famous fitness guru Jack LaLanne turned 93, an interviewer asked him how he felt. “I feel great,” he said. “I have sex almost every day. Almost on Monday, almost on Tuesday, almost on Wednesday . . . ”
Larry Miller’s unique take on the aging process
Do you realize that the only time in our lives when we like to get old is when we’re kids? If you’re less than 10 years old, you’re so excited about aging that you think in fractions.”How old are you?” “I’m four and a half!” You’re never thirty-six and a half. You’re four and a half, going on five! That’s the key.
You get into your teens, now they can’t hold you back. You jump to the next number, or even a few ahead. “How old are you?” “I’m gonna be 16!” You could be 13, but hey, you’re gonna be 16! And then the greatest day of your life . . you become 21. Even the words sound like a ceremony . . You become 21. Yessss!!!
But then you turn 30. Oooohh, what happened there? Makes you sound like bad milk! He turned; we had to throw him out. There’s no fun now, you’re just a sour-dumpling. What’s wrong? What’s changed?
You become 21, you turn 30, then you’re pushing 40. Whoa! Put on the brakes, it’s all slipping away. Before you know it, you reach 50 and your dreams are gone.
But wait!!! You make it to 60. You didn’t think you would!
So you become 21, turn 30, push 40, reach 50 and make it to 60.
You’ve built up so much speed that you hit 70!
After that it’s a day-by-day thing; in the middle of the week you finally hit Wednesday!
You get in to your 80s and every day is a complete cycle; you hit lunch; it turns 4:30; you reach bedtime. And it doesn’t end there. Into the 90s, you start going backwards; “I was just 92.”
Then a strange thing happens. If you make it over 100, you become a little kid again. “I’m 104 and a half!”
Journalists were interviewing Molly Holderness, a 103-year-old woman, ‘Tell us, Mrs Holderness, what do you think is the best thing about being 103?” the reporter asked.
Molly smiled and simply replied, “No peer pressure.”
Finally, a song from one of my favorite singer-songwriters, John Gorka. And while you’re watching, listen carefully, all you folks from Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and make sure you watch your diet. You don’t want to get on the road to lookin’ gross.