Roy Exum: Two Tales For Monday

Monday, November 23, 2020 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

Over the weekend I received two wonderful stories that will hopefully start this holiday week off with a smile. Last week I shared a story that I thought for years had been written by Andy Rooney, whose “Last Word” at the end of the TV news has delighted me for years. But I found out that, no, it was actually a compilation of comments in a 1995 book, “Live, And Learn, and Pass It On.” some joker on the Internet put Rooney’s name on it to ‘up the readership,’ I guess, which is silly because it was still a great read.

Several readers sent me another story, “In Praise of Older Women” that was also attributed to Rooney, who died in 2011.

This story was written by a marvelous writer, Frank Kaiser, whose www.SuddenlySenior.com is a delight and who is widely read in Florida’s thriving retirement communities. Because Frank and I are about the same age, yet I try to write for a more diverse readership and a much more local crowd, I too have an accelerated interest in older women these days. Who would have ever ‘thunk’ it? Here’s my newest find, Frank Kaiser:

* * *

“IN PRAISE OF OLDER WOMEN”

(NOTE: This article appeared some years ago on the “Suddenly Senior” website and was written by Frank Kaiser. It has appeared in numerous publications, for reasons that will become obvious, and as a “senior writer I whole-heartedly concur.)

“One of the perks of dufferdom is an increased capacity to appreciate people. Friends. Spouses. And, for me, women. All women. When I was 20, I had eyes only for girls my age. Any woman over 30 was ancient, over 40 invisible. Today, at 65, I still appreciate the 20-year-old for her youthful looks, vigor, and (occasional) sweet innocence. But I equally enjoy women of my own age and beyond, and every age in between. I’ve learned that each has its own special wonders, attractions, magic, and beauty.

As I grow in age, I value older women most of all. Here are just a few of the reasons senior men sing the praises of older women:

An older woman will never wake you in the middle of the night to ask, “What are you thinking?” An older woman doesn’t care what you think.

An older woman knows herself well enough to be assured in who she is, what she is, what she wants, and from whom. By the age of 50, few women are wishy-washy. About anything. Thank God!

An older woman looks great wearing bright red lipstick even in glaring sunlight. This is not true of younger women or drag queens.

And yes, once you get past a wrinkle or two, an older woman is far sexier than her younger counterpart!

Her libido’s stronger.

Her fear of pregnancy gone.

Her appreciation of experienced lovemaking is honed and reciprocal.

And she’s lived long enough to know how to please a man in ways her daughter could never dream of. (Young men, you have something to look forward to!)

Older women are forthright and honest. They’ll tell you right off that you are a jerk if you’re acting like one. A young woman will say nothing, caring what you might think of her. An older woman doesn’t give a rip.

An older, single woman usually has had her fill of “meaningful relationships” and “commitment.” Can’t relate? Can’t commit? She could care less. The last thing she needs in her life is another dopey, clingy, whiny, dependent lover!

Older women are dignified. They seldom contemplate having a screaming match with you at the opera or in the middle of an expensive restaurant. Of course, if you deserve it, they won’t hesitate to shoot you if they think they can get away with it.

Most older women cook well. They care about cleanliness. They’re generous with praise, often undeserved.

An older woman has the self-assurance to introduce you to her women friends. A young woman with a man often will ignore even her best friend because she doesn’t trust the guy with other women. The older woman couldn’t care less.

Women get psychic as they age. You never have to confess your sins to an older woman. They always just know.

Yes, we geezers praise older women for a multitude of reasons. These are but a few. Unfortunately, it’s not reciprocal. For every stunning, smart, well-coifed babe of 70 there’s a bald, paunchy relic in yellow pants making a fool of himself with some 22-year-old waitress.

Ladies, I apologize for us. That men are genetically inferior is no secret. Count your blessings that we die off at a far younger age, leaving you the best part of your lives to enjoy and appreciate the exquisite woman you’ve become. Without the distraction of some demanding old ‘dandy’ clinging and whining his way into your serenity.

* * *

The second story I wish to share was found in this weekend’s email and while the author is not identified, this bit of satire re-enforces my feelings for tree huggers, those who feel the aerosol from my Right Guard deodorant will hasten our return to the land of dinosaurs. Well-meaning people who fret over the fact the temps will be in the mid-60s on Thanksgiving Day are certain the seas will rise, the polar ice cap will melt, and that Al Gore really did invent the Internet.

Some years ago, the Coca-Cola Company went on a binge to save the polar bears and … today … they are doing just fine. More recently we were told wolves were becoming extinct and, as the tree-huggers twisted their hands, it was soon documented wolves ain’t got a problem. Suddenly a cute autistic girl, Greta Thunberg from Sweden, was championed around the world as the “face” of the youth climate movement. Soon it was discovered Greta, who deals with Asperger's syndrome, was a bit more than was publicly presented. She did not say one word to anyone outside her family for three years, but is suddenly addressing the General Assembly of the UN? Say what!

For instance, she made an open-sea sail from Sweden to New York’s UN, in a sailboat with a carbon fiber hull (can you say ‘cha-ching’?) and was found to be better coached than Vince Lombardi’s Green Bay Packers. Her star has fallen from the public’s galaxy, which sometimes happens when greed dictates the media to “follow the money,” but I still like the plucky kid, which spawned this newest take:

* * *

‘AVOID THE WATER WITH CHOLERA IN IT … “

One crisp winter morning in Sweden, a cute little girl named Greta woke up to a perfect world, one where there were no petroleum products ruining the earth. She tossed aside her cotton sheet and wool blanket and stepped out onto a dirt floor covered with willow bark that had been pulverized with rocks. “What’s this?” she asked.

“Pulverized willow bark,” replied her fairy godmother.

“What happened to the carpet?” she asked.

“The carpet was nylon, which is made from butadiene and hydrogen cyanide, both made from petroleum,” came the response.

Greta smiled, acknowledging that adjustments are necessary to save the planet, and moved to the sink to brush her teeth where instead of a toothbrush, she found a willow, mangled on one end to expose wood fiber bristles.

“Your old toothbrush?” noted her godmother, “Also nylon.”

“Where’s the water?” asked Greta.

“Down the road in the canal,” replied her godmother, "Just make sure you avoid water with cholera in it.”

“Why’s there no running water?” Greta asked, becoming a little peevish.

“Well,” said her godmother, who happened to teach engineering at MIT, “Where do we begin?” There followed a long monologue about how sink valves need elastomer seats and how copper pipes contain copper, which has to be mined and how it’s impossible to make all-electric earth-moving equipment with no gear lubrication or tires and how ore has to be smelted to a make metal, and that’s tough to do with only electricity as a source of heat, and even if you use only electricity, the wires need insulation, which is petroleum-based, and though most of Sweden’s energy is produced in an environmentally friendly way because of hydro and nuclear, if you do a mass and energy balance around the whole system, you still need lots of petroleum products like lubricants and nylon and rubber for tires and asphalt for filling potholes and wax and iPhone plastic and elastic to hold your underwear up while operating a copper smelting furnace and . . .

“What’s for breakfast?” interjected Greta, whose head was hurting.

"Fresh, range-fed chicken eggs,” replied her godmother. “Raw.”

“How so, raw?” inquired Greta.

“Well, . . .” And once again, Greta was told about the need for petroleum products like transformer oil and scores of petroleum products essential for producing metals for frying pans and in the end was educated about how you can’t have a petroleum-free world and then cook eggs. Unless you rip your front fence up and start a fire and carefully cook your egg in an orange peel like you do in Boy Scouts. Not that you can find oranges in Sweden anymore.

“But I want poached eggs like my Aunt Tilda makes,” lamented Greta.

“Tilda died this morning,” the godmother explained. “Bacterial pneumonia.”

“What?!” interjected Greta. “No one dies of bacterial pneumonia! We have penicillin.”

“Not anymore,” explained godmother “The production of penicillin requires chemical extraction using isobutyl acetate, which, if you know your organic chemistry, is petroleum-based. Lots of people are dying, which is problematic because there’s not any easy way of disposing of the bodies since backhoes need hydraulic oil and crematoriums can’t really burn many bodies using as fuel Swedish fences and furniture, which are rapidly disappearing - being used on the black market for roasting eggs and staying warm.”

This represents only a fraction of Greta’s day, a day without microphones to exclaim into and a day without much food, and a day without carbon-fiber boats to sail in, but a day that will save the planet.

Tune in tomorrow when Greta needs a root canal … and learns how Novocain is synthesized.

* * *

Is that a second helping of delight or what?

I am reminded that I asked a friend of mine more recently if she knew some ‘senior’ women who might like a new friend and she cut me down like a dead tree when she chirped, “Are you looking for a nurse or a purse?” I didn’t have the voice to tell her, “Both!”

Regardless, I believe any writer with talent is a blessing. Today I am doubly blessed.

royexum@aol.com


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