I Didn’t Know I’m Ignorant of the Law

By Larry Teren

Recently the radio newscaster played a soundbite from a long forgotten movie and then announced in a funereal voice that the actress Jane Russell had passed away at the age of eighty-nine. The usual response when one hears that is “well, she lived a long life and probably had a good one with all the creature comforts.” Except that when you are in your late eighties, you think the guy who is ninety-nine is old and that you would like to live at least until one hundred and three.
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It’s a Gas

I started driving in 1971 at the age of nineteen. I didn’t get my license when I turned sixteen due to circumstances beyond my control. In other words, I flunked the road test even though I aced the written classroom test. The state supervisor didn’t, I guess, like the way I parked in the high school lot. Maybe it had to do with sideswiping his own parked car.

Anyway, the first time I was obligated to stop at a gas station, pull out the wallet and pay for the fuel the gas cost thirty-two cents a gallon. This was before the Great Oil Embargo in 1973. Even at this pre-inflationary time, people were complaining that it was a nerve of the oil companies to jump the price up four cents from twenty-eight cents a gallon. Back then, when you drove up to the gas pump, the car’s tires drove over a hose that caused a ding to go off and send a message to an attendant in the store to come running out and give assistance.
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Sore As Heck

There used to be a time in my life when someone would ask me,”Are you sore?” and I would presume that they were wondering if I was upset. It was another way of saying, “are you angry with me?” Time out- why does the expression “angry with” have the same meaning as “angry at”? Being angry with someone should mean that you both are angry for a common cause or at each other, no?- Time in

Regardless, today when someone asks me, “Are you sore?”, I usually reply, “do you have five minutes and I’ll be glad to share?” And then I begin. “My joints are sore- knees, ankles, wrists, shoulders….” Am I forgetting any? And for those who are still interested, there’s my arthritis, tendonitis, itchy scalp, swollen legs, frequent.. uh, we won’t go there. You get the message. I wake up every morning wondering if I should just stay in bed another half hour or drag myself out into the paying world.
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With Respect

As a kid, if I opened my mouth to an adult, I’d get a smack in the spot the words came out of. If that were to happen in today’s world, I’d be visiting the person who did it- even a parent- as they sat behind prison bars. Nowadays, when a kid says something adult-like, the parent smiles and says how cute and smart they are. Recently, while visiting at a friend’s house, his three year old daughter said to me, “you’re fat.” (ed. note: I’m not and I’m not rail thin. Like everyone else, I’m somewhere in the middle) Her father looked at her and said, “is that nice?” She replied, “I’m just kidding!” This from a three year old!
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The Singing Fool

Like all other baby boomers, I grew up watching musicals at the movie theaters as well as on television. The high point was going twice to see The Music Man on a big screen and be mesmerized by Robert Preston’s performance. Like anyone else sold on the world of make-believe, I thought I could sing, too. When I was relatively young I was able to intone on-key and with a decent range.
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Dementia? Forget It!

Let’s face it, unless get you hit by a truck when crossing the street or contract an incurable disease, if you live long enough you will suffer some form of dementia. One way to be overcome by dementia is if you have Alzheimer Disease. But dementia can also occur without it. There are different brain abnormalities when one has Alzheimer but not everyone is capable of making such a discernment. The symptoms are similar in that the person does not remember people or things he or she used to do. There is a greater social stigma associated with Alzheimer than dementia. Society tends to treat those afflicted with Alzheimer as a lost cause.
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