by Perry Block
In slightly more than one month ago, I became 66 years old. I doubt very highly that I’m going to be getting my kicks on Route 66.
Several years ago I wrote that “I am poised on the cusp of an age that I thought was exclusively reserved for people’s parents.” Frankly I am no longer poised on the cusp. I am so far over the cusp that I am now at the age exclusively reserved for people’s parents, even if people are 50!
My name is Perry Block. I am 66 years old, born September 12, 1950. I am a Truman baby. I hate all of these facts.
When I began my blog in 2010, I called it “Perry Block — Nouveau Old, Formerly Cute.”
But frankly I’m not Nouveau Old anymore. I’m Nouveau like the dinner specials at the House of Pancakes are Nouveau. I’m Nouveau like striped bell bottom pants are Nouveau. I’m Nouveau like someone eagerly looking forward to the next Chevy Chase movie is Nouveau.
And I realize that although I am no longer cute, I still have long eyelashes. What’s the point? It’s like somebody pasted them on the wrong person. Maybe I should donate them so that some eyelash-less young guy can be fluttering his baby blues. Yeah I’ll give him those too — while I’m feeding pigeons on a park bench and muttering about how I used to have eyelashes and how the government is conspiring to poison our toothpaste.
I used to love the classic movies from the ‘30s, ‘40s and ‘50s, watching Bogart, Jimmy Stewart and Hepburn (Katherine and Audrey). But now I can’t help avoid the fact that all of the beloved stars I grew up with are 10 feet under, maybe more if the soil’s been shifting! I never thought Frank Sinatra, Cary Grant and two out of four Beatles would ever be described in the past tense.
So I struggle anymore to block out thoughts of the inevitable whenever I watch “Casablanca” and search the TV listings for movies starring folk who are still breathing like Keanu Reeves, Nicholas Cage and Adam Sandler.
That may be the most depressing fact of all.
And what kind of legacy am I going to leave behind? What will they write about me in generations to come?
Well, Perry Block never burned anything down. Some days he didn’t spill the coffee. And remember how Perry took that courageous stand against the smell of cheese, once almost directly within earshot of an Italian?
So what is a guy heading straight on down Route 66 to do? Well, for starters …
1. I will set aside all my prior regrets, leaving ample room to create new ones.
2. I will never again be self-deprecating, although this will be difficult to achieve for a loser like me.
3. I will take a strong stand on the issues of the day but cave in on any issues that come up at night.
4. I will rededicate myself to the great traditions of Judaism, especially the ones involving matzoh ball soup and drinking Passover wine until I not only pass over but also pass out.
5. I will live my life boldly, unafraid and with total strength and confidence. I’d like to talk to you further about it, but you scare me.
6. I will never again take the easy road unless it saves on tolls.
7. Recognizing reality, I will only approach women who are in my age range. Then I will ask them if they have a much younger sister.
8. I will strive to broaden myself intellectually and spiritually every day right until it’s time to leave for the dog track.
So, it will soon be time to see if I can truly get my kicks on Route 66. And guess what, Boomers? Although Martin Milner (of the TV show, “Route 66”) has met his maker, his sidekick George Maharis is very much alive.
If only George Maharis had starred in “Casablanca.”
Check out local freelance writer Perry’s humor blog at Perryblock.com.