One year ago today, I was an entirely different person. The change between the ages of 26 and 27 is the most dramatic yet. But beyond the elaborate transformation into a broad-chested and magnificent man crammed with a complete grasp of all concerns life and love is the overpowering tendency to make exaggerated and sarcastic comparisons between identical things. It’s easy to get self-relective on birthdays, maybe even a little sad. The explosion of hair and fat that marks my decent into old age is not without its benefits. I find myself mellower, happier, and more fearful of death.
Though I have a accomplished much already, by my age others had done more:
- Mozart Sebastian Bach had invented the cello and composed his 54th cello concerto.
- Nicola Tesla had discovered wireless transmission and electrified laxatives, only to have both ideas stolen by Thomas Edison.
- Christopher Columbus had discovered India and “New India.”
- Jackson Maxwell Payne had perfected a way of infusing yellow corn with glucose.
- Albert Einstein had a theory.
- Proctor and Gamble had the first homosexual intercourse.
- Caesar Chavez had begun his salad and casino empire.
- Winston Skylark had perfected the world’s first external combustion engine.
- Ernest Hemmingway had written a few books.
- Jada Smith had married Will Pinket.
- Susan Sommers had bought a house in Cambodia.
- Pablo Picasso had painted Guernica, twice.
- Tina “Hips” Mindy had mesmerized the nation with her “Girl From Panama Canal” dance.
- Winston Churchill enjoyed a smooth, mellow smoke.
- The two stooges met their third.
- Steven Speilberg had directed the movie with the truck that followed the man in the car.
- Jesus had walked on water.
- Allen Thicke had composed and sung over 40 sitcom themes, including that for his famous show “Leave it to Seavers.”
- Natalie Dupree got her own southern homestyle cooking show on PBS.
- Allen “McCormick” Schmick opened a small stand near Cape Cod specializing in twice-steamed clam sandwiches.
All of these driven people make me think I’m motoring to the cemetery with my parking brake on.