I’d like a “do-over” for the month of August, and we’re only 10 days into it.
The month took a turn for the worse 85 years ago when I was born on the 12th. OK, so it was 60 years ago, but I prefer to go with the older date. I look good for an 85-year-old man. As a 60-year-old, not so much.
With thoughts of my eventual extinction bearing down on me like a runaway freight train, I inadvertently added to the fun by doing something a little bit stupid. I was taking Foz for his morning squat when a Chihuahua-mix about his size (only plumper) bound up to him for a sniff. The strange pooch then turned away and had a tiny seizure. After just a few seconds the mutt was fine but I had the brainstorm to try to get it back to my house just around the corner. Yep, I touched it and it nailed my thumb.
After assisting the humane officer in rounding up the vicious beast, I went to work with a terrible urge to scratch my left ear with my hind leg.
I’d forgotten that the county tracks animal bites. They informed me that I’m now on the mad dog watch list for five more days. If the pup is OK, we both get to avoid being put to sleep.
Of more worry is whether anyone, including me, would notice if I did become rabid. Any unfortunate soul who has shared the road with me and not used their turn signal, stopped at an imaginary stop sign, or cut me off in traffic is probably quite certain they’ve encountered a madman and lived to tell the tale.
For those of you who are concerned, the bite has healed and I only suffer from a new habit of circling the bed a couple times before climbing in. Yesterday I treed a squirrel but that doesn’t count.
The straw that breaks the camel’s back is that August brings with it the impending arrival of winter.
It’s too early to start worrying about something that’s months away, you say? Well, not if you’re the guy whose hands are finally warm and has at last regained the feeling in his toes. I’d prefer to call it preemptory dread of something that can’t be affected in any manner but it feels good to be in the vanguard of the whiners who hate winter as much as I do.
So, whomever said life begins at 40 forgot to add that it sucks at 60. It’s not the forgetfulness, the 13 nightly trips to the bathroom, the paunch that’s competing with the chest for dominance, the scary guy in the mirror who looks like something out of central casting for a zombie, nor the nose hair that can be braided.
It’s the dog days of August when you’re antiquated.
At 60 not only does the month bite you; sometimes an actual dog arf, I mean, will.
Carl Sullenberger looks at the world from a skewed perspective and expresses a humorous view of life through the prism of his past and present. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.