Nouveau Old, Formerly Cute

FRIDAY, MAY 11, 2012

62 Reasons Why 60 Is Not The New 40

Harry Smith is 60

1)  Look at the two numbers in the title of this post above.  In one of them, there is a 4 before the 0. In the other, there is a  fucking 6 before the 0!

2) You remember Betty White when she was middle-aged.  To somebody who is 40, Betty White was always 90.

3)  Somebody who is 40 was born in 1972.  You don't even remember 1972.  Not only because you were smoking dope most of the time, but because you also don't remember 2011.

4) Somebody who is 40 did not grow up longing to be the fourth Cartwright son on Bonanza.

5)  Seriously now, did you think you were ever going to have sex again with somebody who is 40?

6)  Somebody who is 40 does not remember Senor Wences.   

7)  Seriously now, did you think you were ever going to have sex again with somebody who is 40,  even if it's a fairly bad looking person who is 40?  

8) Somebody who is 40 loves the Beatles just as much as you do.   Somebody who is 40 loves theBeatles just as much as you do because they are a great nostalgia act.

9) Somebody who is 40 does not have fond memories of Swanson TV Dinners featuring Salisbury Steak, mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables, and Apple Brown Betty.  And somebody who is 40 is far less likely than you to have even the slightest clue what Apple Brown Betty is.

10) Somebody who is 40 calls you "Mr. So-And-So."  Even if you are a woman.

11) You think of  John F. Kennedy as part of "the modern era."  To somebody who is 40, John F. Kennedy is as relevant as  you are. 

12) Somebody who is 40 would never use the phrase "he looks like Walter Brennan"  to describe someone perceived to be old-looking. 

13) Somebody who is 40 does not long for Bonomo's Turkish Taffy

14) Somebody who is 40 is not truly feeling the pain that Davy Jones is gone. 

15) You remember the 50's.  To somebody who is 40, the 50's refers only to the next decade of their lives, which they are dreading.

16) Somebody who is 40 does not watch the Hallmark Channel.  Ever.

17 ) Do you really think somebody who is 40 would find the concept of identical cousins credible?  

18) Somebody who is  40 does not meet people who look like Wilford Brimley and think "Jesus, I hope I don't look that bad."

19) Somebody who is 40 thinks  of Peggy Lipton as some obscure old-time TV actress who is the mother of actress Rashida Jones, not as the hot unobtainable chick sandwiched in between the two no-talented lummoxes on The Mod Squad. 

20) Humphrey Bogart died three years before somebody who is 60.  Humphrey Bogart had yet to star in  Casablanca, marry Lauren Bacall, and become the greatest legend in the history of motion pictures when he was the same age as somebody who is 40.

 21) Somebody who is 40 does not necessarily hate everything Elton John has done since 1973.

22) You take comfort in the fact that you are not old because you never liked Lawrence Welk.  Somebody who is 40 thinks you are old because you liked Led Zeppelin.

23) Somebody who is 60 does not think that Winky Dink is just another cutesy name for you know what!

24) The picture on the left is Stevie Nicks at 40.   The picture on the right is Stevie Nicks at 60. 

25) You have black and white memories. 

26) Somebody who is 40 does not look around at people who are 70 and think "Please God, make this decade go slow!" 

27)  Somebody who is 40 may well think Buffalo Bob is a talking buffalo.  

28) I don't see 40 year old people climbing all over each other to hang out with you, do you? 

29) Somebody who is 40 does not think it is hilarious when you shout out "I want my Maypo!" 

30) Somebody who is 40 does not wonder when the song Hey Nineteen is going to be updated to Hey Forty-Nine.

31)  Somebody who is 40 does not remember Crazy Guggenheim.

32) "Welcome to our Show for Hunt's Catsup."  Think somebody who is 40 has the slightest idea what that means,  let alone that there ever was a word "catsup?"

33) Somebody who is 40 does not live in terror that one day they will turn on television and see Bob Dylan pop up in a commercial for reverse mortgages.

34) You remember a time when Rob and Laura Petrie weren't allowed to sleep in the same bed.  Somebody who is 40 does not bat an eyelash at a naked Steve Buscemi having sex on Boardwalk Empire.

35) Somebody who is 40 does not have to be embarrassed that they once bought a Grand Funk Railroad album. 

36) You find yourself beginning to use the expression "a young fella."  At least one of the times you have used the expression "a young fella," you were referring to somebody who is 40. 

37) Somebody who is 40 does not remember your President Nixon. Whether or not they remember the bills you have to pay, or even yesterday, is irrelevent. 

38) Somebody who is 40 thinks Cher has always been a solo act.

39) When somebody who is 40 says "let's go to dinner someplace where there's a young and lively crowd," they do not feel out-of-place and uncomfortable when they get there.

40) Huckleberry Hound?  Huckleberry Hound?!  Even you barely remember Huckleberry Hound!

41) When somebody who is 40 says "let's go to dinner someplace where there's a young and lively crowd," they do not change their minds and go instead to the staid neighborhood family restaurant which they used to make fun of all the old people going to 15 long years ago.

42) Somebody who is 40 does not remember when Bob Hope was considered hip.

43) When somebody who is 40 is wholly unable to establish rapport with the hot twenty-ish waitress where he's having lunch, it is of course depressing, but it isn't the end of the world.

44) Somebody who is 40 is not even today ready to start an argument over whether The Doors should have added horns on The Soft Parade

45) Somebody who is 40 does not say "boogie on out of here"  because they know it sounds idioticSomebody who is 60 says "boogie on out of here" because they idiotically think it sounds cool. 

46) Somebody who is 40 does not remember Topo Gigio.

47)  Somebody who is 40 thinks that 40 is old, just as you did once.   Now you realize how wrong you were and how wrong they are.   They don't!   

48)  You're reading this dopey list.  Somebody who is 40 is reading a different dopey list called"62 Reasons Why 40 is Not the New 30."

49)  If you heard someone say "remember how we used to get out the chains come winter time?," unlike somebody who is 40 you would not think seasonal kinky sex was about to follow.

50) When you meet somebody who is 40, you hope they will find you charmingly avuncular. Somebody who is 40 does not give a shit what avuncular means.

51) Somebody who is 40 does not wonder why Colgate no longer contains Gardol.

52) You find the wives of all your male friends to be frumpy and unappealing and are grossed out by the prospect of having sex with them.  Somebody who is 40 fantasizes incessantly about bean-bagging the wives of each and every one of his male friends, without exception!

53) Somebody who is 40 is not unduly upset that Richard Dreyfus and Henry Winkler are playing Jewish grandfathers.

54) Somebody who is 40 likes it when they mention their age and somebody they've just met says "I don't believe it, you look great!,"  but somebody who is 60 virtually orgasms when they mention their age and somebody they've just met says "I don't believe it, you look great!," even though somebody who is 60 knows the somebody they've just met who says "I don't believe it, you look great!" is lying to the degree that they will probably go to Hell for it.

55) Would you like to trade places with somebody who is 40?  Would somebody who is 40 like to trade places with you?

56) Somebody who is 40 does not know or care what Serutan spelled backwards is. 

57) Somebody who is 40 does not spend inordinate amounts of time worrying about whether he is more like Beau Bridges than Jeff Bridges.

58) Somebody who is 40 never worries about anybody ever referring to them as "40 years young."

59) Somebody who is 40 does not ever give a fleeting thought as to which of the three among Kukla, Franand Ollie was not a puppet. 

60) Somebody who is 60 is old enough to be the Boyhood Idol of somebody who is 40, even thoughit goes without saying you are nobody's Boyhood Idol!

61) Unlike somebody who is 40, somebody who is 60 no longer has the presence of mind to  realize that No. 62 below is the same as No.1 above.  

62) Look at the two numbers in the title of this post above.  In one of them, there is a 4 before the 0. In the other, there is a  fucking before the 0!


                                                                           Matt Damon is 40

Rocky Mountain High

"State of Colorado, Department of Revenue, Marijuana Enforcement Division, how may I help you?"

''Cool!  I like the sound of that."

"Hello, sir?  May I help you?"

''Yes, you may!  My name is Perry Block, and I've long been an admirer of your fair state.''

''That's very nice, sir.  I'm agent Carter.  What can I do for you?"

"Ever since I first spotted Colorado on the map as a small child, I said to myself: Now that's a wonderful southern state!''

"But, Mr. Block, we're  in the Southwest."

"Southwest, you say?  Can't believe my dear Aunt Ethel gave me such an inaccurate map! I'd be angry, but she's passed now."

"Sorry, Mr. Block.  What can I do for you?"

"No, it's more like what the great state of Colorado has done for all of us! The Rocky Mountains, the beautiful lakes, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, India.Arie, the Nuggets, the Rockies, Ken Kesey ... why, John Elway, he's my main man!"

"Is that so?"   

"Oh yeah!  I only wish he were still out there at center ice scoring goals today!"

"I see, sir.  You really do love Colorado!"

"Best place there is."  

"Thank you, Mr. Block.  Thank you very much." 

"Y'know, Agent Carter, I just happened to have heard by chance that the sale of marijuana is now legal in Colorado.'' 

"Yes, that's true." 

''I was wondering ... you guys have any kind of Honorary Citizen Program?"

"Honorary Citizen Program?  No, we don't."

"Friend of the State Status?"

"I don't think so."

"How about a Reciprocity Policy?"

'"What's a Reciprocity Policy?"'

"I send you something from Philadelphia, you send me something back from Colorado.''

"What would you send me from Philadelphia?"

"Would you like some of our famous cheese steaks or replicas of the Liberty Bell?  I can send you a whole lot of Michael Vick jerseys!  I think I could get you Patti LaBelle's autograph too; I happen to know where she gets her hair done."

''And what would you like us to send you in return, Mr. Block?"

"Oh, I dunno. Well, maybe an ounce or two of your very best Mile High Mile High, Aspen Gold, or BadAss Boulder!  Whatever it is you got! And please, before the weekend!"

"I'm sorry, Mr. Block, there's no Reciprocity Policy."  

"How about a Pollyanna Gift Exchange? Like in grade school.  I'll be your Pollyanna!"

"Sorry,  I can't help you."

"Well, can you send me some medical marijuana then?" 

"You're sick, Mr. Block?  What illness do you have?"

"End Stage Bupkis. It's been a terrible ordeal!"

"Oh.  Only thing is my wife's Jewish, Mr. Block."'


"You just said you have End Stage Nothing."

"Damn it, Agent Carter, why can't you help me?  I was smoking dope before you were born!  How old are you?"

"I'm 32."

"Actually, I had already given up smoking dope before you were born."

"Mr. Block, we are simply not allowed to send marijuana out of the state."

"Well, isn't there anything I could do?"

"Yes. You could move here."

"But I don't wanna live in the south!"

"Mr. Block, I told you, we're in the Southwest."

''Oh, who gives a crap where your crummy state is!"


Man on the Cusp

I am poised on the cusp of an age I always thought was exclusively reserved for people’s parents.

Or I have already cusped. I’m not sure. Both as to whether I’ve already cusped and whethercusped is a word.

My name is Perry Block. I am 61 years old, born September 12, 1950. I am a Truman baby. 

I hate all of these facts. 

I don’t even know what to call myself.

Am I middle-aged? 

Once that very expression struck the same terror in me that Bernie Madoff  feels every time he hears the words “your new cellmate likes you,” and yet now I cling to that status as if it were a deck chair from the Titanic.

Am I a Senior? 

Once a welcome and desired euphemism for elderlygeezer, and Joan Rivers,  Senior is now the most hideous word in the English language except when used expressly to refer to somebody's kid who'll be graduating in the spring, unless he or she is required to take math.

Yet the International House of Pancakes calls me a Senior.  So does Super Fresh Markets, but at least they give me a 5% Senior discount without my having to first order their burnt-to-the-ground tilapia.

But I don’t want to be a Senior!

Senior is Mr. Kropopski, who makes keys in the back of the hardware store.  A Senior is Mrs. Berkowitz, the bulbous bejeweled lady in the front row at the synagogue whose face has all the suppleness of a Shar Pei.  A Senior is that sunken-chested guy with the faded sports cap and wrinkled burgundy warm-up jacket at the Little League game who's always pointing a bony finger  towards the players and saying:

Yessiree, that's me grandson Timmy!!!

And a Senior is also Dustin HoffmanRichard Dreyfus, and Henry Winkler.  Once they were The Graduate, the young shark hunter from Jaws, and the Fonz.

Now they play Jewish grandfathers.

I am continually amazed by ads for so-called "Plus 55 communities" where the residents ostensibly my age and depicted as joyfully engaging in water aerobics, organic gardening, and the savoring of fine cuisine in the community's award-winning dining room which closes daily at 6:00 P.M. have the appearance of Gertie and Sol Goldstein in my 1963 Bar Mitzvah photo album minus a cumulative 185 pounds, dramatically sobered up, and dropped into golf clothing.

Why would I want to live somewhere where I have to spend my days looking at people who look just as lousy as I do?  

I have seen actors and movie stars who were in the prime of life during my childhood  and early adulthood grow old,  lose their looks and careers,  pass silently away, and yet continue to appear regularly on television looking young and vibrant, thoughtlessly reminding me whenever I see them that they’re dead!

I am closer to being 80 years old than I am to being 40.    I always used to think that people who were 80 years old were perfectly happy to be 80 years old. 

They were into being 80 years old.  They were good at being 80 years old. 

Guess what?  None of that is true.

Eighty year old guys want to be 40 year old guys having sex with Scarlett Johansson and Sophia Vergara and Mrs. Pressman who lives on the next block and takes in the newspaper in her negligee. 

Know how I know that?

I’m a 61 year old guy and I want to be a 40 year old guy having sex with Scarlett Johansson and Sofia Vergara and Mrs. Pressman who lives on the next block and takes in the newspaper in her negligee.  

Especially Mrs. Pressman.  

I didn’t have to interview a shitload of 80 year old guys to ascertain that they feel the same way.

So where does all this leave me?  My  17 year old son Brandon tells me that I should accept what is and embrace my age.

I say I should give my age A KICK IN THE BALLS!

My name is Perry Block. I am 61  years old, born September 12, 1950. I am a Truman baby. 

I hate all of these facts ….


Welcome to our world, Perry! 

Not so long ago, the local Super Fresh Market began providing discounts    on Tuesdays to a particular class of shoppers.  You know who.

It is that class of shoppers commonly referred to by a particular word that I virulently despise and in fact eschew. But considering the discount, if the eschew fits, I decided to wear it.  So I screwed up my courage, swallowed my pride,  decided not to come up with a third sexually based metaphor, and went food shopping.

That is, food shopping on Tuesday at Super Fresh, to avail myself of 

The Discount-That-Must-Not-Be-Named!

When I arrived, Super Fresh was already awash in polyester, plaid, and a profusion of  gray and blue hair.   Everywhere I looked were members of the Greatest and slightly post Greatest Generation.

So naturally I began humming Sugar Magnolia by the Grateful Dead.  You see, there’s nothing like humming 40 year old rock music to prove conclusively to one and all in a Super Fresh that:


I steered my carriage carefully through the Super Fresh aisles, checking prices,  picking out the products I needed, and gradually shifting over into the Rolling Stones.  In Aisle 8, I paused to ask a youngish store employee some directions.

“Gherkins?  That’s Aisle 14, sir,” he said.

“Thank you very much,” I replied.

“And they’re on sale too," he added.  "That plus the Extra Discount for being a Sen…

“For being a what?!!!”  I wheeled about, cutting him off.  

“Sorry, sir,  what I meant was …”

I didn't stay to listen.  I hustled myself and rickety cart out of range fast as I could. Did he not hear what I was humming?  Maybe I needed not to hum, but to actually sing the lyrics? 

“… but if you try some time, you just might find, you just might find ….”

Well, what I just might find was myself next in Aisle 14, looking for the gherkins.  But up ahead coming down the aisle in the opposite direction was a leathery looking gent whose posture was such it practically bade you stick a saddle on him and ride him to the nearest glue factory.

I looked away.  I sang louder.   It didn’t matter.

“Hello, friend, ” he greeted me  cheerily.  “Didja know you get an extra 5% off here at Super Fresh?"

Oh no!  Did he view me as a new recruit?  Did he mean to be taking me under his wing? 

"You see," he went on, "you take this coupon they put in the newspaper ..."

What was he planning to do next --- baptize me into the ways of the Nouveau Old, Formerly Cute?

" ... and you hand it in when you check out your groceries.  See, it says right here 'Discount for Seni ...."

I did wheelies and ran to the checkout counter fast as my wobbly cart would take me!  Now I segued back into the Dead, giving forth almost as if I were in concert:

"Drivin' that train, high on cocaine, Casey Jones…"

The checkout guy, about 25,  eyed me suspiciously as he began to total up my items. 

"That's $87. 58, sir," he said.

“Did you already give me The … umm …  Discount-That-Must-Not-Be-Named?”

“The what?   Oh, sure, don’t worry, sir.  I put the Senior Citizen Discount right in.”

He said it.  He had  said it.   It hurt bad.

“Don’t you want to ask me something?" I said to him.  "Verify something?  Assure yourself of something?”

"No, you’re good, sir." 

“But shouldn't you card me?  Make sure I’m the right age to get The- Discount-That-Must- Not-Be-Named?"

"That's hardly necessary, sir."

"Card me, you fool!!   Please card me!!!”

Now I was no longer singing Casey Jones.  Nor was I singing You Can't Always Get What You Want, Sugar Magnolia,  or anything by the Grateful Dead, Rolling Stones, or any other rock group from the Boomer era at all. 

 I was singing:

“Strangers in the night, exchanging glances, wondering in the night …"

The Discount-That-Must-Not-Be-Named had won. 



Anonymous said...

Wish you were my Daddy and could read me into the land of Nod.

Perry Block said...

I still can! "Daddyships" are available this month at low, low rates.