Octogenarian orgy adds new wrinkle

By Mike Murphy

Whereas in the 1960s and ’70s the hippie movement was branded The Age of Aquarius (The Water-Bearer), the first half of the 21st century, with its tsunami of baby boomers growing grey, liver-spotted, and just sort of all mildewy, perhaps a label such as The Age of Incontinence (The Frequent Water- Bearer) might be more appropriate.

Funny how a guy my age can remember experiences fifty years ago much more vividly than recent events, such as right now I’m wondering if I turned off the sprinkler that I turned on last Wednesday.

I really feel sorry for anyone who missed out on the 1960s.  What an exciting time, with cultural movements such as anti-war and free love?  You remember “free love” which was any lovin’ that a guy got before he was married and charge cards were invented.

Back in the 60s everyone was taking LSD so they thought green and pink paisley shirts were actually cool.  We wore bell bottoms so wide that we could store an entire tepee up one pants leg while hitch-hiking to the next music festival.

Well, those days are long gone.  For many of us, the New-Age has given way to old age.  And just as my generation back when we were young tried to trick itself into believing “All you need is love,” we appear now to be pushing for a campaign to create the illusion that growing old can be rewarding and even “fun.”

When I recently turned 65, my son said that “65 is the new 45.”   Personally, I have days when 65 feels more like the new 85.  But in today’s culture, we can be old; we’re simply not allowed to look or feel old.

An example of this is the media posting articles that attempt to convince us that even people in their 80s are living it up.  The term for folks that old is octogenarian.  Recent articles gush about how energetic and young looking octogenarian stars are.  People like Michael Caine, Joan Collins, Joan Rivers—wait, delete the last one.  Even Yoko Ono looks pretty good despite already having one foot in the strawberry fields forever at 81 years old.

But such articles overlook the fact that these people have millions of dollars to spend on personal trainers, cosmetic surgeons, doppelgangers, etc.  Heck, I’ve had the dermatologist fry so many age spots on my face at $35 a pop that I asked for a frequent-fryer discount.

I’ve read a number of pieces which attempt to list the advantages of turning 80 or even 90 years old.  One such article, written by a 90-year-old rabbi, listed what he feels are reasons for bliss at his age.

He declared that in old age you achieve a sense of tranquility.  “You no longer have to do the pushing, the striving, the struggle,” he states. Which makes me wonder if he’s had a bowel movement recently.

Older and wiser, the rabbi is happier now because he accepts the fact that he occasionally could be wrong about things.  Which, of course, means that he could be wrong about the possibility of ever being wrong—right?

He feels that the older generation should accept new innovations such as Smartphones and iPads.  Oh, I accept them all right; I just can’t read the darn things without using a giant magnifying glass straight out of Sherlock Holmes.

Finally, the rabbi does think about death but is not afraid of it; in contrast to Woody Allen who said, “I’m not afraid of death; I just don’t want to be there when it happens.”

The Internet is full of suggestions to help octogenarians enjoy life more.  The late Joe Weider, acclaimed as “the father of modern bodybuilding,” has a website with senior exercise tips. In regard to octogenarians exercising, Weider warned, “A break in form can result in injury.”  Yeah, like a break in a few select bones in your body.

Other suggestions found on the Web include choosing your friends wisely.  No doubt, it’s a given that if you hang around guys who fart, you’ll be a farter too.  Also, seniors should get out and meet other people.  After all, you never know who you’ll run into on a daily walk to the end of your driveway and back.  Finally, naps increase life expectancy, so, hold on, I’ll be back in about an hour.

There are even sites with tips for what some call Senior Sex.  One expert suggests that older men may require more foreplay.  Possibly, but remember what I said earlier about “A break in form can result in injury!”

And remember guys, there are about three women over 65 for every two men, so if you play your cards right, you could end up having a different gal sitting on each of your walker’s handle bars.

Mike Murphy of Pocatello retired after a 35-year teaching and coaching career.  He has a master’s degree in English from the University of Nebraska and is an Associated Press award-winning columnist.