Monday, October 31, 2011

I know I am old, biut how do I act

I need a little help.
No, I am not talking about help with my mental capacity, although some could argue I need more than just a little help in that area, and they are probably right.
The help I need is when it comes to getting old.
The actual getting old part I pretty much got figured out: just keep waking up each morning and you will get older, I guarantee it.
The help I need is how am I supposed to behave for a gentleman of my age?
I am in the latter half of the F-years, a.k.a. the 40s. They say life begins at 40 and I say ‘they’ are all people who are at least 40.
There’s no way a 25 year old would say that. I know I wouldn’t have when I was a 20 something.
‘They’ also say 50 is the new 40.
A guy I know has them all beat. He is 48, but still acts 18. Mind you, he is an exception to the rule. He is also kind of a bozo, but that is for a different column.
I started thinking about this when I turned 30 and wondered just how was a 30 year old supposed to behave?
Then it was how does a 40 year old behave?
Soon I will wonder how I am supposed to act when I roll to the big half-a-century mark.
There is potential for me to be a grandpa by then. How is a grandpa supposed to act? Hell, I remember my grandpa as being old? Does that mean I am old? If so, how am I supposed to act?
I knew how a teenager was supposed to act – like an idiot with no concern for the consequences of his actions.
“Look, we’re teenagers, if we don’t do stupid things now, when will we?”
I actually said that on many occasions and most of my friends were sold on the idea and jumped right into whatever plan we were concocting at the moment.
That is the beauty of youth - you are too young to know better, but old enough to do whatever it is you probably shouldn’t be doing.
“C’mon, speed limits are for wimps. What are you a nun or something?”
“Yeah, my knee hurts a little bit, but it will be fine tomorrow. Let’s keep playing.”
“Sure I’ll have another beer. The last 15 barely affected me.”
Youth is wasted on the young. But like a fine wine, people mature with age.
In my 20s I knew it was time to knuckle down and get on with some sort of respectable life. Career, marriage, kids, a mortgage – all happened when I was in my 20s.
No more taking off on a road trip with 30 minutes notice. No more staying up until seven in the morning. Well, not having fun anyway. In my late 20s, an ‘all nighter’ meant sitting up with a sick kid.
Since the ‘settling down’ process began I drink socially and only a few times a year, I no longer smoke – starting in the first place is my only real regret from the stupidity of youth – and I do the speed limit because the speeding fine is no longer worth the extra few minutes I would save by blasting down the road at warp factor five.
Basically, I have turned into the old guy we all used to laugh at in our youth.
So is that it? Have I arrived at some sort of maturity stasis where this is as mature as I will ever be?
I guess we can arrive at a certain point of maturity and never really evolve beyond that – like my 48-year-old friend did.
He reached 18 and decided that was it for him. Gee, I wonder why he is now divorced, massively in debt and still thinks excessive drinking is still something to brag about.
I am glad to have evolved beyond the immature antics of a teen, but still do not feel old enough to act like an old guy.
Oh well, with age comes wisdom and I am sure I will figure it out – eventually.

Sorry folks, but cats eat meat

I recently read where a vegan is promoting the no-meat lifestyle for cats. In fact, this guy has not fed his cat any meat-type product in months.
Do you know what they call a cat that is not allowed to eat any sort of meat product? A hungry cat, that’s what.
Cats have been roaming the earth for centuries and I doubt even once did a feline prefer a salad over an entrée of fresh mouse.
This has touched off a heated discussion not seen since the great dogs-should-be-allowed-to-hump-your-leg-as-a-form-of-personal-expression debate of 1972.
Both sides of the meatless cat diet are making their case, but I have to side with the ones who seem to have an IQ greater than a bowl of yogurt.
Such as the veterinarian who is quoted as saying cats need to eat meat.
To this I say - “No duh.”
Cats are carnivores and just because a flower eater wants his cat to eat soy products, leafs and berries does not mean cats were meant to eat soy products, leafs and berries.
Those sharp, pointy teeth are there for a reason. So are the claws. They were not designed to take down a carrot or head of lettuce, but to sink into mice, birds, small rodents and the household dog should it try that humping thing.
Of course PETA has gotten involved and sided with the plant eater and said cats can live a full and healthy life by eating “an all-vegetable diet with artificial supplements mimicking the essential amino acids and minerals.”
If cats could talk, odds are this one would say, “Are you freaking kidding me?! I’m a cat, and cats eat meaty things. In fact, I am capable of catching and eating meaty things all by myself. Just let me outside and I will take care of my own dinner.”
The cat owner said he has been feeding his cat non-meat products for a year and the cat is just fine (aside from a growing resentment of the kind of owner it has anyway).
“To force cats to eat a vegetarian diet is both unethical and irresponsible," Dr. Michael W. Fox, veterinarian and author, was quoted as saying. "To impose some vegetarian or vegan ideology on one's cat is to go against the nature of cats and their right to be fed a biologically-appropriate diet."
Yeah, you tell them doc. If God wanted cats to eat nothing but veggies, he would have made them tiny little cows (that ignore you when you call their name.)
The Humane Society of the United States is also against feeding your feline nothing but veggies, and I am pretty sure those folk know what they are talking about.
I must pause for a moment and praise the passionate – if not occasionally misguided - people at PETA for their tireless work in making conditions more humane for animals.
I have seen those ‘secret’ videos of how some animals destined for the barbecue are treated and it truly is sickening.
The way those animals are kept and raised must be changed, but let’s leave the cats alone, OK.
Like it or not, say what you want, cats are carnivores. It is that simple.
Hey, I don’t make the rules of nature. I just make fun of people who try to change the rules of nature.
If you make a conscious decision not to eat meat, go ahead, scrum down on sprouts and bark mulch to your heart’s content. I must admit I respect the determination shown by flower eaters to abstain from meat. A vegan lifestyle is not something I could do. I tried once, but then supper was ready so I went back on the meat wagon.
In the end, to eat meat or not to eat meat is a personal choice, but for a cat eating meat is in their nature.
Now if you will excuse me, I am going to share some chicken-fried steak with the family feline.

Monday, October 3, 2011

What the ick is that stuff???

With all the wonders of modern technology, you would think they could make the stuff that the dentist uses taste a whole lot better.
I do not know what any of the stuff dentists use are called, but it is some nasty gear so from here on out I shall refer to it as goop. That should cover whatever liquid form of oral torment they see fit to squeeze into my mouth.
Scientists can put people into space, create computers that can help perform the most delicate of operations, but they can’t invent dentist goop that does not taste like C3PO just threw up in your mouth.
The entire dentist experience can leave a bad taste in your mouth – literally. The rubber dam has a lovely inner tube taste to it and even the rubber gloves are less than appealing, but on my last visit I was introduced to a goop that could be used as a method of extracting information from terrorists.
Just squirt some of that on their tongue and in exchange for some rinse they will be talking faster than an auctioneer.
I recently had a crown installed and I do not know what was worse: having someone use power tools in my mouth or the taste of that horrid goop that is part of the process.
What is that stuff anyway? Not only is it horrid, but long lasting. It is like a taste tattoo that lasts, and lasts, and lasts…
My latest adventure in the Chair of Doom was actually not too bad as far as a visit to the dentist goes.
But that is also kind of like saying the broken bone didn’t hurt too bad considering it was a broken body part.
They were putting crowns on, which as far as having dental work goes was simple stuff. The hard part was done two weeks earlier and involved lots of freezing, drilling and of course the mandatory foul-tasting equipment.
So this visit was going pretty well until they put what I believe is some sort of glue on the posts that hold the crowns that my dental plan paid good money for.
That has got to be some of the most God awful tasting stuff man has ever devised. I assume they do not make it taste that way on purpose, but have these scientist guys ever actually tasted this stuff?
I doubt it, or it would all taste like bubblegum and beer (bubblegum for the kids, beer for dad.)
I think one of the first things they should have looked at was where the goop is going to be used - in someone’s mouth which is crammed full of these little things called taste buds, the job of which is to taste things.
Taste buds are not exclusionary. God put them there to taste things – the good and the bad - and believe me, this stuff was bad.
So it would make sense any goop a dentists uses does not taste so horrid, right? Apparently not, because some of the stuff they use is downright nasty.
Anyway, I am kicking back in the Chair of Doom as the doc does his dentist stuff and things weren’t too bad.
That is until the goop was introduced the morning adventure of fun and excitement. Never in my life have I wanted the mouth rinse and little suction machine thingy to do their job more than at that moment.
In fact, you could have crammed a garden hose in my face and I would not have minded because at that point I was willing to swim up river with my mouth open to wash out that taste.