Jack Benny, the beloved comedian, insisted he was 39 years old and kept insisting that for 40 years. After awhile we fans thought, “Who are we to doubt him? He should know.”
According to Jack, years aren’t important, attitude is. “Age is strictly a case of mind over matter,” he said. “If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”
I agree. We oldsters should just keep plugging along until they pull the plug, enjoying every precious minute. After all, it’s better to be over the hill than under it. We should even laugh at some of the old-age jokes the young whippersnappers tell. But don’t they realize eventually, God willing, they’ll become old whippersnappers?
I have to admit some of their gags are real knee-slappers like, “When we were young we thought about buying new hip clothes. Now we think about buying new hips.” I choked on my Metamucil laughing at that one.
Then there’s the ones that start: “You know you’re getting old when,” followed by a list of symptoms. “Your knees begin to buckle but your belt won’t” and “Your back goes out more often than you do.”
I did get a little irritated when a young slim standup comic pointed me out in the audience and said, “Sir, you look like you once had a physique the girls thought was swell. Too bad now it’s just swollen.” May fifty thousand calories find their way into his tofu entree.
We even pull these oldster jokes on our contemporaries. A buddy recently bragged about still being attractive. “A woman tried to pick me up at the senior dance last night,” he said.
“Oh, that’s too bad,” I replied. “Did you fall down again?”
Then there was the new fellow, reluctantly joining our superannuated ranks. “I’m turning 80 next week,” he groaned, “and I’m dreading it.”
“You’re perfectly right, ” I said. “Eighty is a terrible age. Not much good can be said about it. I’m so glad I’m not 80 anymore.”