My Life

Funny things happen to me and my family.

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Turning 65

You may have noticed that several restaurants, attractions, stores, etc. offer seniors a discount off their purchase of goods and services. This begs the question, “Just how OLD is a ‘senior’?” It depends on the merchant or store.

At 55, a few restaurant chains, retailers and at least one hotel chain kick provide discounts, e.g., IHOP restaurants, Best Western Hotel chain, Ross, Dress for Less, etc.

At 60, you earn more discounts on restaurants, entertainment and shopping, i.e., AMC, Regal, Burger King, Kohl’s, etc.

When you turn 62, you’ll save on travel and hospitality, e.g., Marriott, Holiday Inn, Amtrack, Greyhound, America the Beautiful pass, to name a few.

Today is my birthday. I turned 65 years old. I have to be honest, I have been struggling with the concept of getting older. When I turned 60, I knew I had moved into a special category of people, that were considered by most younger people, as a bit more seasoned. But was I “old?” Was I a “senior citizen?” I didn’t think so.

But….I am now 65 years old. The thought repulsed me. I mean, look at me. I’m youthful looking, hardly any wrinkles on my face, bright, charming, outgoing, and an adonis-like body.

At breakfast this morning, my son noticed my grimaced face as he congratulated me on turning 65. Responding to that reaction, my son shot back with a comforting comment that only a son could give in such a delicate moment:

“Oh, come on, dad! Enough of this self-pity! Look – YOU’RE OLD!!! Deal with it!”

“Uh….thanks Cameron,” I said. I should nailed him across the face with my cane for that comment. But, with age, comes patience and wisdom. Self-preservation kicks in the older you get. I don’t want to alienate him. I’ll need his help more as I get older. Probably not the best idea to damage my future assistant.

65 is the magic number. Once you hit 65, of course, you’re officially a senior citizen—and eligible for a spate of senior rates across the country, on everything from movie tickets to museum admission. And I plan to take advantage of every discount I can get.

Last night, my wife and I went to Applebees for dinner. My wife asked our perky young waitress if they offered a senior discount. She said, “Yes we do. We have a senior citizen card call the ‘Golden Apple’ discount card.”

“Well, isn’t that special!” I thought. “The ‘Golden Apple’ card. It must be for people in their ‘golden’ years (gag with a spoon).”

I smiled and said, “We would love to get one.”

She seemed taken back by our request, as her weight and head shifted back.

“Really?” she responded in disbelief. “You guys don’t look old enough to qualify.”

“Well-l-l-l” I began to say (to now my most favorite waitress, EVER), “I’m actually turning 65 tomorrow!”

“No way!” she countered. “I would have never guessed.”

She obviously was a coniving, yet brilliant, waitress jockeying for a good tip at the end of the meal. A less wise or younger man might have been taken in by this sort of flattery. But not me.

Now that I’m 65, a “senior citizen” (by definition only), I’m wiser. We took advantage of the discount. My wife and I got up to leave. We left a 20% tip on the table. My wife lead the way to the door. I hesitated at the table for a moment, and covertly dropped a couple more ones on the already generous tip, and hurried to catch up with my wife. After all, a wise man knows it’s proper to reward those who provide you extraordinary service.

Sparks Fly!

It was cold and dry this morning. I came home and greeted my wife with a kiss. Just before we kissed, without thinking she placed her finger on my face (a habit to discharge any static).

I felt a slight ‘zap’ from her finger on my cheek right before we kissed.

“Wow!” I lovingly said after the kiss. “Sparks flew between us!”

Without hesitation and thinking, she responded stoicly and in a matter-of-fact manner, “I didn’t feel a thing.”

I looked over to my daughter (standing next to us), whose eyes and mouth widened as mine sank into sadness. “WHOA!!!” she said. “Unbelievable!”

Just as my wife realized what she said, I began to sadly walk away muttering, “There went the magic…”

She laughed as she followed me. “Wait!” she said. “I didn’t mean………”

Phone Call from the I.R.S.

I receive about two phony IRS scam phone calls a week. Yesterday, I was notified that I was being investigated for tax fraud, and if I did not call a telephone number provided that I would “be taken under custody by the local cops.”

Wow! the “local cops??!!”

Not the “police?” Not by “law enforcement?” Not by “IRS agents?” but by ‘local cops!” Who knew their jurisdiction was so far-reaching?

This is when I began to think this might actually be a legitimate phone call. I know I’m a couple years behind in filing my federal income taxes. But, could it be that my disgruntled vendor who recently sent me a “zero balance due” late statement was so outraged at my deliquent balance, that he sic’d the “feds” on me?!!

Fortunately, to my relief, they were kind enough to provide me with a local area code and phone number to call to “work out payment terms.” I mean, after all, the last thing I want to do is to exacerbate my financial problem with the IRS by adding more debt making a costly long distance phone call.

I’m Gonna Die!

Fearing that his ailing father had little time left on earth, my friend and his wife visited him at the hospital. As they entered the room, they noticed that dad was wearing an oxygen mask to help him breathe. As they gathered closer to the bed, they heard him mutter, “I’M GONNA DIE!”

Trying to provide comfort, they leaned in and said, “It’s okay dad. It happens to all of us.”

Increasingly irritable, the father began to speak louder with a sense of exasperation, “No, it’s too short! It’s not long enough! There’s nothing more on the other side! This is all there is! There isn’t any more!”

My friend responded, “Dad, that’s not true. This isn’t the end. It’s just the beginning. There’s more on the other side….more than you can possibly imagine!”

It was about then they noticed the old man tugging on his oxygen tube.

Once more the father spoke out, “It’s not long enough. It doesn’t even reach the bathroom!”

They then began laughing hysterically as they realized he was talking about the short length of the oxygen tube, not his life.

Marvel of Science

We went to Ye Old Spaghetti Factory to celebrate 4 birthdays of the family (December is a tough month). For my birthday, my twin sister gave me a little handheld device about the size of a transistor radio. It’s called the ‘Sound Machine.” sound effects

It has about 12-15 little buttons that, when pushed, make sounds like clapping, laughing, cash register ‘ka-ching’, belching, passing gas, etc.

What a wonderful gift! Can’t wait to be more obnoxious than I already am. Last night I stood up at our dinner table (there was about 11 of us) and I told a joke, then pushed the ‘laugh’ button. I told everyone “what a joy it was for me to here.” Then I pressed the ‘clapping’ button. “Thank-you, Thank-you…I’ll be here all night.”

My sister bent over to pick up her fallen napkin. I pressed the ‘passing gas’ button. It brought down the house!” Did I forget to tell you, ‘What a wonderful gift.’

Everyone at the table must have enjoyed my use of the device since it wasn’t long before all of them were looking at me intensely (glaring actually), saying my name, “W-A-Y-Y-N-N-E !!!!” The attention I received was intoxicating.

Apparently, everyone desired it for themselves. Several people tried to grab it from me. “Sorry” I said, “you’ll have to buy your own.”

As we left the restaurant, I put my arm around my daughter’s back holding this little marvel of science. I wanted to make sure that when I pushed a button the sound would appear to emanate from her and not me. I pushed the “belch” button.

A big long “b-u-u-u-u-r-r-r-r-p-p-p” rang out. I recoiled in disgust as I pulled away from her. “BRIANA!!!” I had a great laugh.

Can’t wait to see who else will enjoy this wonderful little gift with me!

Someday Dad, I wanna ….

boy thinkingWe’re eating breakfast together. It’s somewhat quiet. Pretty much all you can hear is the crunch of the cereal. All of a sudden my son blurts out (as though he’s given a good deal of thought to what he’s about to say), “You know, Dad, someday I’m going to climb to the very top of a small mountain to watch the sunrise!”

“Huh?” I’m thinking to myself somewhat taken back.

Then, realizing what he just said, and no doubt considering the amount of effort that would be exerted to accomplish such a task, he revised his statement, “…perhaps a small hill!”

“That’s great, son!” I responded. “Your goals should never exceed your grasp.”

I continued, “Strive for mediocrity, son. You’ll go ‘high places’ with that attitude.”

I shook my head sighing as he smiled, stroked his chin, and nodded his head in self-affirmation and satisfaction of his future goals.

Ignorance can be Funny!


A friend of mine recently posted on Facebook about a medical condition from which he was suffering. After reading his post, I became very concerned:

"Been dealing all morning with a nice case of Anterior existaxis. No need to explain further. Went to urgent care, to get some expensive advice! Now, sitting still to keep it from starting back up for the fourth time. Fun. (if you know, you know, if you don't, look it up, but don't tell)."

I responded to his post:

Your post said: "Been dealing all morning with a nice case of Anterior existaxis. No need to explain further."

I'm thinking to myself, "Yes, you do need to explain further. I have no idea what that is."

Then you state: "(if you know, you know, if you don't, look it up, but don't tell)"

By then, I'm thinking, "Oh my goodness. He had to go to the hospital. This must REALLY be serious since I'm not supposed to tell anyone. I guess it must have to do with the more private parts of the body." lol

"I wonder what 'Anterior existaxis' means?"

"Let's see…'anterior'….that must mean something that 'exists' on the 'anterior' of the body (thinking in my mind 'exterior'). And it's a private area… I bet that means his butt!"

To reinforce that conclusion, I then I read, "Now, SITTING STILL to keep it from starting back up for the fourth time." 

By this time, I'm saying to myself, "YEOW!!!!  It's a recurring problem! This must be really serious and painful that requires him to sit perfectly STILL!"

You can imagine how I was rolling on the floor laughing when I actually did look up 'Anterior Existaxis' and discovered what it actually meant, i.e., a nose bleed!

Ignorance can often lead us down the wrong path…and that can be very funny.


Postscript:  My sister, "the nurse." chastised me. She said, "the word "existaxis" does not exist. The correct word is "epitaxis"!!!!!"




My wife is complaining about her keyboard on her mini-ipad.ipad-keyboard

"I can't stand this keyboard! If I want to write a contraction, I have to push another button to go to a different keyboard set just to get the apostrophe."

Perturbed and almost shouting, she continued, " I CAN NOT WRITE A SENTENCE WITHOUT USING A CONTRACTION!!!""

"Hmmm…" I countered. You seem to have no problem saying a sentence without a contraction."

She paused, then smiled slightly realizing what she had just said. Her expression changed quickly…

"Never mind!" as she lifted her keyboard in front of her face, blocking my view of her.

The Impatient Driver

impatient_driverSo, two nights ago I'm taking my family to Applebees Restaurant for dinner. We're driving on a residential street with a 35 MPH speed limit. I, of course as usual, was obeying the law. Behind me is a young male driver in his late model sporty BMW convertible only a few feet off my bumper.

I stay the course refusing to be intimidated by anyone, especially by Richie Rich. We pull up to the main intersection and wait for the red light to turn green. Junior, now only inches from my bumper, impatiently revs his engine.

The light turns green, I take a left into the inside lane of a 4-lane main drag, while "Mr. I'm So Inconvenienced" puts the pedal to the medal and shoots past me on the right like a bat out of hell. 

Oh! I'm not the only one who is taking up his precious road. Noooooooo! Not far up in front of him in his lane is another car. So he guns it even more and swerves into my lane in front of me without signalling and then right back into the lane in front of the car he just passed.

I turned to my wife. "Wow!" I said. "I wish I could be as cool and tough as that kid and break the law whenever I wanted."

Apparently the cop, who seemingly appeared out of nowhere, now racing past me with lights flashing and siren blaring disagreed with my sentiments. Within a few hundred yards he pulled over Mr. Speed Racer.

Another couple hundred feet, we turned into Applebees. As we entered the restaurant door, I could not help but offer a fist-pump into the air accompanied with a big "YESSSSSSSSSS!!!!"

As we sat and ate our meal, I gazed out the window. Down the street, I could see the policeman still writing out a well-deserved ticket. "Dinner never tasted so good!" I exclaimed to my family with the biggest grin on my face.



In the Presence of Royalty

kingAfter reading one of my posts [ "Who's On First"], my friend Deborah shared this delightful story:

"Years ago my husband And I were on a harbor dinner cruise for work employees. The director was also there. This director had a reputation for being rather aloof and expected people to treat him like royalty, as if to bow in his presence so to speak.

Well during the cruise, I introduced myself as Peter's wife, and his position as a point of reference. To be more formal I employed proper protocol and shook the director's hand and called him "Mister _______." Evidently the man respected or appreciated the honor (and perhaps also wanted to refute his "royalist" reputation).

He smiled warmly, insisting on me calling him by his first name by simply saying 2 words "Neil, please." (It was too perfect a segue for me to pass up) Considering it a verbal instruction, that's exactly what I did! Suddenly people on the boat began to surround that scene, to see me kneeling before the director!

But what followed was even better. Then the director did something very unexpected. Neil began to kneel too, before me, right there on the boat in front of all those employees! I am probably the only one to ever have brought this man to his knees literally… all because "kneel" and "Neil" are homonyms!


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