Opinion Column

Signs of being a geezer

By Jim Foster

Photo submitted by Metro Creative Graphics

Photo submitted by Metro Creative Graphics

Sadly I am convinced that somehow over the past seven decades I have become a geezer. I'm not positive but I do show some signs that suggest I might qualify for geezerdom.

"What's that silly ass running on about now, Martha? I think Foster has slipped a few cogs. God, he's getting old-looking. Now get into bed, you sexy little minx, and don't forget your Jessica Fletcher mask."

What is a geezer anyway, you may ask but secretly know. Well for one thing, it is anyone who has late-night fantasies about Jessica Fletcher.

Being a geezer isn't a condition really, it's more the realisation that life passed you by while you were bent over buttoning your shoes. It's the sinking feeling that the rest of the world is packing for an upcoming trip to Mars and you are sitting on side of the bed wondering why your pajama bottoms are wet.

Becoming a geezer doesn't just appear out of nowhere, it grows on you like tree moss. In autumn, friends take you on nature hikes to see which way is north. It doesn't simply appear as the 80th candle flickers and dies on your birthday cake. (You can't blow them out by the way; the grandkids have to do it.) A mass of wrinkles doesn't suddenly take off from your ankles and 30 seconds later you're the spitting image of Granny on the Beverly Hillbillies. (If you remember The Beverly Hillbillies, you've been a geezer for some time)

You aren't a bright, vibrant senior citizen one moment, wondering how long it would take you to get in shape for the Boston Marathon; you are sitting in a rocking chair wondering if you should buy some of those new-fangled running shoes with the Velcro straps -- less bending over.

We geezers are out of touch with modern music. We don't know hip-hop from reggae, gangster rap from hard core punk or Indie something-or-other. We aren't up to speed with their terminology and don't know anyone on the charts except Perry and Bing and from what I hear they are both dead. On New Year's Eve we keep running through the channels looking for Guy Lombardo and wonder if Carmine is still alive. We've heard of Celine Dion but think he's likely a defenceman for the Montreal Canadiens.

We know about me, but what about you, old codger? Could you possibly be a geezer too? There are a number of signs to look for, assuming your wife hasn't already discussed them with you.

You find yourself studying penile dysfunction ads and think about calling the 1-800 number, you are a geezer. If your wife writes the number down on your to-do list, you are for sure. If the ladies from her bridge club email you the number, not only are you a geezer, but the whole world knows it.

If you find yourself in the Depends section of Shoppers asking where the fitting room is, you're a geezer. If everyone in the store is staring at your pants and giggling, you are a geezer and it's a bit late to be asking.

If you find Beano is part of your regular suppertime routine, you're probably a geezer, although you may just need to cut back on your legumes.

If your socks keep falling down and you are starting to seriously consider those little leg suspenders that were all the rage in 1912; you are not only a geezer, but a silly old fart to go along with it.

If you wink at a woman at a party and say "23 skidoo," you're a geezer. If she winks back, so is she. If she takes you up on it, you better both have your health card beside the bed. The ambulance driver will need them.

But the proof comes while you are watching a particularly romantic love scene on television and your wife says, "Remember when you used to nibble on my neck." and you say, "You damned right I do. The next time you're up, bring me my teeth."

Jim Foster is a columnist for the Packet & Times. He can be contacted at fosterjames@rogers.com.



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