“Honey,” the wife said, “how did your Medicare physical go today? Did you do well?”
“I do NOT understand why we have to do that test annually. It’s ridiculous and personally, I think it’s age discrimination. All they are trying to do is remind you that you are falling apart piece by piece, and that your mind is turning into a dull gray pudding.”
“What’s the matter, dear? Couldn’t you remember the three words they gave you?”
“How was I supposed to remember three stupid words after a 15-minute story problem about two trains leaving New York and Los Angeles at 8 a.m., one traveling east at 60 mph and the other traveling west at 80 mph. The New York conductor has a heart attack and dies and the LA conductor has life-threatening explosive diarrhea. Now what are the three words you are supposed to remember?”
Totally enthralled with the story the wife said, “And did you remember the three words?”
“How could I? I was worried about the train conductors. I mean, who can drive a train with explosive diarrhea? I got the first and second words right, but the third word I had to guess. I guessed Immodium. I was wrong, but it sure would have helped out that conductor.”
“What else did they ask you to do for your physical?”
Clicking my tongue in disgust, I replied, “I was supposed to draw the face of an analogue clock and arrange the numbers of the hours on it from 1-12. Then I was supposed to draw the hands of the clock to show the time 11:50.”
“And did you get that right?” the wife asked.
“Of course not. If the doctor has said 10 minutes to 12, I would have gotten it. Millennials couldn’t pass that test what with all of their digital smart watches and fancy phones. They think analogue is something that comes out of their butt. It’s a stupid test.”
“Well, I hope that was the end of it.”
“Oh no it wasn’t. The doc then asks me how many times I’ve fallen in the past year. When I said dozens, she nearly flipped out. By the way, social services is coming on Tuesday to confiscate all of our throw rugs and put handrails on every wall.”
Getting old is a delicate process. Few of us like to accept the fact that we aren’t who we used to be. Each day presents a new challenge of finding out just what we are capable of that won’t pull a muscle, break a bone, or otherwise land us in the hospital.
But by accepting that we are aging and becoming more resourceful, we can accomplish many things … probably a lot slower than we used to, but nevertheless, still accomplishing our goals.
Sitting at the dining room table I asked the wife, “Honey, could you pass me the picker-upper thingie? I dropped my napkin.”
“Of course, dear, as soon as I reach the salt,” she said skillfully picking up the shaker with the picker-upper.
“Apple, helicopter and mushroom!” I blurted out.
“What are you talking about?” the wife asked.
“I just remembered the three words. By the way, do you recall any news story about a train wreck somewhere around Denver?”
Raul Ascunce is a freelance columnist for the Sentinel-Tribune. He may be contacted at [email protected]