As for me, I recently played the age card with an old acquaintance who introduced me to his extremely attractive niece, a girl of 22 or so. As he left to get our coffee order at some Internet café (a collaborative invention with our kids — they contributed the concept of the $4 cup of coffee), I proceeded to flirt shamelessly with the girl, drooling and pawing her knee. My friend returned and asked, chuckling, “You haven’t been molesting my niece, have you?” I gummed the coffee, coughed tubercularly, then blinked in confusion. With my best, hoarsest, and most senile voice, I said, “I forgot,” then quickly changed the subject. “Matlock’s on!” I exclaimed. This brought a hearty round of good-natured laughter, though the young lady looked genuinely disconcerted, and creeped out too.
Say what I will about yuppies growing old, I never related to them much and belong more in that cracks-in-the-system group mentioned above — though I can’t afford to live near the beach. I was pretty much born a malcontent and curmudgeon and so consider myself perfectly poised to face the challenges ahead. As depressing as our prospects may be in the years left to us, we can continue to count on our generation’s secret weapon: we will soon forget what we were depressed about.
I had intended to tell a little story in here about a boy I saw on a statue in Grant Park in Chicago in 1968 because it had something to do with what I was talking about, but it seems to have slipped my — Oh, I see it’s there after all. I didn’t forget.