Monday, July 11, 2011

Happy Birthday To Me

Me sitting on a toilet
A 50 year tradition

    On this day in 1958, Janet Penwasser stubbed out her Marlboro, tossed back her highball, and shouted at her husband, Mal, to stop screwing with those “damn stupid rabbit ears” atop the brand-new television set.
    It was time, she snapped.  The “little project” he started in a Maryland honeymoon lodge nine months ago (NOTE: I checked the timeline) was banging on the cervical door, wanting to say hello to the world.
    “And I don’t give a flying crap if Ed Sullivan is going to have Jumpin’ Jesus on his throne on the verry big shew after the Hungarian plate spinning guy, you’d better get my fat ass in the Oldsmobile and off to the hospital!” 
    Fifty-three years later, here I am.  Sadly, Jan and Mal are not.
    In light of the fact that I am now three years over the half-century mark, it’s occurred to me that, if my age was expressed in dog years, I’d be dead (unless there’s a breed of dog that lives over 350 years.  Maybe Dracula’s dog.  I don’t know).  Or that, if I was living in the Middle Ages, I wouldn’t be.  A mid-life crisis back then happened during adolescence.
    My initial thought was to pretend this day never happened.  The only party I would have would be a Pity Party as I wallowed in a “Woe Is Me” funk.  And you could forget about birthday cake.  Do you know how many calories are in just one slice?
    I made the mistake of complaining about my state of affairs to my father-in-law when he called to wish me a happy day.  My 83 year-old father-in-law.
    “You think you have it bad?  Oh, boo hoo! I use a lunchbox to carry my pills, I get winded from farting, water gives me gas, I need a nap after I get up in the morning, I have to take a Cialis chaser with my Viagra (NOTE: this kinda grossed me out), I forget to put pants on to check the mail, I forget to take my pants off when I take a crap, and I’m always grateful when I don’t wake up in a silk-lined box.  Now, who is this again?”
    After hanging up, I realized that my octogenarian (NOTE: how often do you get to use that word?) relative had a point.  Age is relative.  And not just with people who are related to you.
    I remembered my dismay when I turned 30, 40 (when I almost drowned in a hot tub.  Yes, alcohol was involved), and then 50 (okay, alcohol was involved there, too).
    And I guarantee that, when I turn 60, I look back on my 53rd birthday and wonder, “What the hell were you whining about, you big puss baby?”
    There will always be someone younger than you, so why worry?  Likewise, there will always be someone older than you.  Granted, the pool of available contestants shrinks the longer you stay in the game.  But, except for the “crapping in my pants” part at Golden Corral, I want to stick around for as long as I can before I'm spoken of in the past tense.
    After all, you’re only as old as you feel.
    And, right now, I feel like some birthday cake.
Probably not as cute, huh? 

ADDENDUM:  Both the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and I were launched in July, 1958.  Apparently, I’m going to outlive NASA.  So, I have that going for me.  Which is nice.  For me.  Not NASA.


  1. Happy birthday Al although this writing is so small I might need to find my reading glasses
    Hope enjoy your day

  2. Happy Birthday!! I hope you have a wonderful day!

  3. Happy Birthday!
    You have a wonderful turn of phrase, you makes me laugh aloud ... and that last picture might is hillarous :o) LOL

  4. Happy birthday, you nut! My 67th is on the horizon, so no sympathy here!

  5. OMG!!! I'm gonna fix that writing.

  6. happy birthday, old man. try not to pee on the wall today.

  7. Happy Birthday Al! I'm so thankful my mother only took pics of me in the kitchen sink full of bubbles. No potty pictures. Why did they like that. So they could torture us when we got older? Sick parents huh? haha.

  8. You looked like my big brother Gordon when he was a nipper.

  9. Well after a very good giggle at this post, I have to say... happy birthday Al, thankfully I am 10 years younger! LOL

  10. Happy Birthday Al!

    Glad you decided to stick around, you don't look a day older than yesterday.

    BTW, read your octogenarian part to a relative in their 80s. Hilarious.

  11. Happy Birthday, Al! Enjoy your cake!

  12. Happy Birthday! You freakin'Nutbar! haha. PS: Your FIL needs to write a blog. Hi-flippin-larious.


    Damn fine year that 1958 was, eh!

    Here...I went looking and found this little bit of trivia, as a little treat!

    In 1958:
    US Population: 174,881,904
    Life expectancy: 69.6 years
    Average yearly income: $5,087
    Cost of a new home: $12,750
    Cost of a new car $2,500
    Federal hourly minimum wage: $1.00
    Cost of a first-class stamp: $.04

    Here’s the link to the site where I found this depressing bit of trivia from:’s for healthy “older” adults - gotta love getting old!

    Anyhow - hope you had a wonderful day and a super big slice of cake!

    Cheers, Jenny

  14. Haha what a great post. Happy Birthday Al! :)

  15. happy damned birthday to you old man!!!!
    what a silly story- i can totally picture the ed sullivan experience vividly. [i adore reading your blobs]

    and i think having janet as a mom's name predetermines greatness- that's my mom's name too!

  16. The beautiful thing is...I woke up today.
    @Mynx: Sorry about the print. Don't know what happened.
    @Mrs. E: All-You-Can-Eat Chinese food AND birthday cake. Plus, no complaining from Mrs. Penwasser when I wanted to watch the Home Run Derby.
    @Core: And tonight...the All-Star Game. I may have to watch it in my son's room, though. I've cashed in my "No Complaining" gift card.
    @Deborah: Yeah, I was hacked off they made me stop for a picture. I was really getting into reading "Tootle" (you can see it on the floor by the potty).
    @Eva: And one day real soon I will be 67. Unfortunately, my brain is still in my adolescence. My doodle? AARP. Sorry. TMI.
    @Sherilin: Too late. Good thing I'm having my bathroom done. Followers: to understand the double-meaning behind Sherilin's comments, please visit her blog, "Laughing My Abs Off." It will all make sense. Plus, there's breastmilk!
    @OT: Thanks!
    @Ruth: I insisted on the piece with a flower. Hmmmmm....sugary frosting with colored, flavored lard....hmmm....
    @Barb: The good thing is that, back then, digital cameras weren't invented. I can only imagine how many pictures of me there would be!
    @Tony: Once upon a time, I was big brother to Karen, Gary, Phil, and a brother you haven't meant yet. Now, since they're all bigger than I, I have to settle for just "older" brother.
    @Tracy: You whippersnapper!! Still, there's someone ten years younger than you. And, someone ten years older than I. Pretty deep, huh? That's what I like about life (which is also a board game and snappy breakfast cereal).
    @AC: My father-in-law is a hoot. He really has a lot more energy than I let on. The guy just can't stop.
    @Kara: Thanks, I did. But, they made me share!
    @Dawn: I'm grateful for relatives like Papa. They provide me with so much material.
    @Jenny: I'm hoping to bust the curve on that whole life expectancy thing. As long as I take my fish oil pills (although my goldfish really hate it when I squeeze their heads), exercise regularly (actually switching the channel instead of using the remote for Sportscenter oughta do it), send thousands of dollars to that preacher man on TV so I'm square with God, and create a trust fund for that Nigerian prince, I should be good to go.
    @Jewels: Thanks!
    @Violet: Mal loved Ed Sullivan. Especially that plate spinning guy (I can't really remember if he was Hungarian, but the music he used to accompany his act has never left my head!).