chainsaw_header“Hell… if I’d known I was going to live this long… I’d have made better choices.”

All things considered, the status of being above ground and moving at this point surprises me more than anybody. Been on the receiving end of gunfire on several occasions, luck or bad aim? Hit by cars, fallen from buildings… trees… stairs… barstools. Multiple ill-fated suicide attempts in my misguided youth. “Ill-fated” perspective pending, since I’m still here. Not to mention serving/surviving 3 tours of duty. Matrimony not military. War is hell, so too can be marriage. Side note: Regular peace talks, and a permanent cease-fire ensure that the current will be the last.

A plethora of bad lifestyle choices, spanning decades now. Half a century gone by… sigh… still here. Crested the top and it’s downhill all the way… the rest of the way… to the end… oh s*** look — the other side is lined with roses. Will there be time to stop and smell them? Of course, lacking the sense of smell (legit handicap), could I pause and eat a few?

“It has oft been said, “the good die young”. Well, I’m old now (sorta) and still alive (also sorta), so where does that put me?” At what age is “dying good” no longer an option? Somewhere between puberty and getting a senior citizen’s discount? Am I now considered bad by default? Will I get badder with time? With age will my bad-assery know no bounds? It’s said evil never dies. So, in that respect how long does one have to live to achieve immortality? Trick question.

“Excuse me sir.” Thee Secretary (HCSAWWT’s prim and proper secretary in residence) has entered the room. Without ceremony, she slides a plain brown envelope onto the desk. “Happy Birthday sir, might I say- you don’t look a day over 49.” Gee, thanks Thee. Now what do we have here. A simple card, and oh it’s filled with… coupons… for prunes??? Geez-us please-us Thee how old do you think I am?

Her response is a mischievous smirk and she’s gone, as John Q. my yellow, stuffed bear sidekick bounds in. Eying the coupon-filled card he pulls the lollipop from his mouth. Contemplates it for a moment. Then puts it on the desk. “Happy brif-day to you, happy brif-day to you! We wish you a mewwy Cwistmas and a Happy brif-day New Year! Hoorway!” (Yeah, I know- WTF?). He hugs my leg and scurries off.

As he exits, the temperature suddenly drops as a chill races down my spine. The room darkens, filling with the aroma of deep earth. Quickly turning, the angel of death hovers before me. Has my time come? Is this the end? No, he’s just visiting. I know him as Frank, he’s been a close personal friend for years… a little closer each year (shudder). From the dank folds of his robe, he procures and offers a pack of Marlboros.

With an apologetic thanks I wave them off, with the ever-present resolution of quitting… again. Returning the pack to… do death robes have pockets? He shrugs, a gesture indicating simply delaying the inevitable and wafts slowly backwards out of the room. Ominous much?

Anywho… hopefully that concludes this year’s annual festivities. And now we return you to our regularly scheduled column, already in progress at this time… … and so, I told them- “you can’t put an owl in there!” and that’s why we had to buy a new water hose. But like I was saying, older doesn’t always equivalate wiser. I’ve known some pretty stupid people, who’ve just gotten stupider with time.

With age there is the accumulation of facts which grows with you, but now-a-days this is wisdom for which a quick click on YouTube will suffice. Then there’s the wisdom that can only be gained from experience… which cannot truly be explained until experienced. So, you may be wiser, but nobody cares or understands you.

Sigh… looks like the bush is beaten. Leaving just the cold hard fact that in a few days I’ll turn 50. Does it bother me? Not really… I don’t think… I don’t know. Don’t think I know? It’s hard to explain, just something you have to experience. And I look forward to experiencing the hell out of it! Happy Birthday to me! Chainsaw 09/03/1973.

I welcome almost all questions, comments via FOCUS, or E-mail me at [email protected]. Hope to hear from ya until then try and stay focused! See ya.