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Published on April 3rd, 2014 | by Richard Black

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Another Workout with the Elderly, Embracing My Geriatric Peers and a Blatant Plea for Corporate Endorsement

As I drove home today at a stately from the geriatric workout facility that is our city’s local recreation center I concluded that I should stop berating the elderly. It’s a minor epiphany I realize but an important one and punctuated by the fact that I was tooling down the road at a stately 25 miles per hour in the middle of the day.

I’ve got a lot more in common with the octogenarians at the gym than most of my sprightlier middle aged peers. The only difference between myself and the over 80 set is that by the time I’m in my golden years I’ll probably be sucking pot roast through a straw and passing my brief periods of coherence groping the nurse who turns me over for keep the bedsores at bay.

The truth is that I have a number of similarities with my elderly brethren. I despise most  teens for their youthful idiocies and firm supple bodies, I haven’t had a bowel movement in three years and am beginning to develop an unbridled hatred of technology.

I am truly a man ahead of my time and I mean that in the worst possible way.

For starters I hate my new car. It’s possible that I could have gotten past the fact that a Korean engineer welded a fucking boom box to my dashboard, I may have even been able to cope with the email my car sent to notify me that it didn’t need an oil change just yet, but when it denied me friend request  on Facebook I took the matter personally.

Old people are always talking about their sleep habits, a topic often on my mind whenever I can get anyone within yelling distance. My sleep habits are deplorable, largely because I have difficulty sleeping, it’s a confusing and vicious cycle in that way. Given the chance I’d go to bed around eight o’clock in the evening and wake up at four after a restless and generally unsatisfactory sleep.

Instead I drift off most nights around midnight or one in the morning, hoist myself out of bed three or four times to take a leak and then fall into an agitated slumber for an hour or two before waking around five a.m. haunted by the grim specter of death and ready to make the most of the day.

Once I’ve taken Darcy to school after a heaping sized bowl of Bran Blow I generally forgo a nap and then spend the next hour in an attempt to remember if I’ve taken my medication before heading out to the recreation center for my mid-morning constitutional.

Upon arriving home I turn on the schlock that serves as daytime programming to provide myself with the illusion that I am not alone at which point it’s time for a nap and I conk out on the couch to the soothing stories from the talking heads at Fox News.

Fifteen minutes later I wake up in a cold sweat convinced that Nancy Pelosi has hatched a plot to place the herpes virus in infant formula and do what most people over eighty do and wander somewhat aimlessly around the house.

I say somewhat because there is usually a goal in mind and a reason not do do it or, at least, not do it well. There’s always laundry to be done (which would be easier to do if the washer and dryer weren’t in the basement and I didn’t have a pathological fear of breaking a femur on those rickety stairs) or dishes to do (the detergent is doing a number on my hands,. Thank God for Palmolive dish detergent. Colgate, the makers of this fine product can contact me through unfitfather@theunfitfather.com  for an endorsement) or clean up in the yard (my allergies are always rough this time of year. Producers of Allegra please see the above note for Palmolive dish detergent for an unique marketing opportunity.)

Occasionally I’m able to get a few things done when Darcy’s at school. Maybe a bit of light dusting around the stacks of newspapers and National Geographic magazines piled four feet high in the living room or flush a few gallons of Drano down the toilet to keep the C.H.U.D.S away but those are the good days.

The truth is that after going over the bathroom with a few hundred Clorox wipes or Febrezing the shit out of my I need another breather.  I’m not twenty for shit’s sake and these old bones don’t work they way they used to.

After a few minutes on the couch I give some consideration to the health of my prostate (courtesy of Fox News) take in the latest infomercial on Hip Hop abs and then race to the shower upon realizing that I have thirty minutes to pick up Darcy up from school.

Inevitably I slip in the tub, make a mental note to put down the bathmat for the 18th time, draw up plans to have a safety bar installed in the bathtub and head outside to pick up my daughter in a bathrobe.

During a brief moment of awareness weigh the trauma Darcy may incur when I show up at school in a bathrobe versus being ten minutes late, run back into the house and change into pants and a shirt of mixed plaid patterns, make a note to have a safety bar installed in the bathroom, toss it onto a pile of other notes to have a safety bar installed in the bathroom and then race off to pick up my daughter at school.

Forty minutes later through three miles of light traffic I have Darcy in tow and pretend not to see the amused looks at my choice in dress from the catty, and frankly whoreish, 50 year olds.

Darcy usually gets a bit peckish around 4:00 but I like to have dinner a bit later and hold her off for a bit.  Once 4:30 rolls around we hop in the car to take the hour long drive a few miles down the road to the local cafeteria.

The two of us go through the line, I pick up a plate of steamed and wilted looking steamed vegetables because of my cholesterol and encourage Darcy to have some fried chicken (which she eschews) and a bowl of mashed potatoes (which she also eschews) the size of Mount Vesuvius in the spirit of plausible deniability.

We both pick up a pair of Jello cups with enough whip cream to cover the naughty bits of every stripper between Texas and Chicago and settle down to a nice home cooked meal.

After the hour trip home Darcy is exhausted and I must say that I am as well. I nag her into changing into her pajamas for forty minutes, read her a story, remember that I should have given her a bath and then fall asleep in the bed as she uses my unconscious frame as the backdrop for the mountain scenes in the movie “Frozen”.

Upon waking fifteen minutes later and covered in stuffed animals I usually find Darcy asleep next to me and, on the few occasions she’s not, I bellow at her to turn off the latest episode of American Horror Story and until she comes upstairs. She’s only four after all and there are some things a child shouldn’t see  until she’s at least nine or ten.  I guess I’m just old fashioned that way.

Once Darcy is in bed I manage to make my way back downstairs, put a piece of meatloaf from the cafeteria in the fridge for Laura (forgetting that my wife hasn’t eaten red meat in five years) and proceed to yell at the television until she comes home.


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