Mike Fitzgerald

I hate getting old! There. I said it. Finally got it off my gray-haired chest.

Now before you start cranking your phone on the wall to call the editor to complain, let me explain myself, before yet another train of thought quickly leaves my station.

Now that I made it to 60 years old (you could have gotten great odds in Vegas betting the under), I love my fellow seniors. My mom turned 80 this past year and still drives around the Chicago area “like a bat out of Hades,” if you’re old enough to remember that commercial.

She shovels the snow while it’s still hitting the ground, slugs it out at the mall with the teenagers and even threw a New Year’s Eve bash for her condo neighbors where the old fogies frolicked until midnight.

I can’t even stay up past midnight in London, let alone Times Square, on New Year’s anymore. A few sips of champagne and I’m passed out before the last SportsCenter of the night.

Mom tried to sign me up for AARP when I was only 40. “You move so slow already son,” she said. “You’re lucky the cops don’t chase you like they did in the old days.”

My aunt is a mere 77 and she can hop on a bus to the casino while it’s still moving. The driver just leans over to grab her arm as she tumbles into a seat, barely ruffling her lucky Cubs hat.

And as a former print journalist of 32 years, I know that the average newspaper reader is no spring chicken. Many of us will die still clutching the pages with both hands.

Just the other day at City Market, a fellow geezer almost ran me down in the frozen foods aisle, zipping around in one of those souped-up motorized shopping carts.

“Get out of the way baldy, I’m off to the pharmacy!” he shouted.

Just waiting at the doctor’s office has been dangerous for me. Recently, a sweet-looking little granny started swinging her oversized purse at me for no reason.

“You look just like my dead husband, you scoundrel, and you’ll probably blow your retirement in Vegas just like he did,” she said. “And your nose is even bigger than his.”

My doctor here in Moab handed me a form to fill out my “living will” even before he checked my vital signs. “Sir, you have 10 times more hair in your ears than on your head. And your belly seems to be made out of Jello.”

I tried to joke that my blood test might come back as 90 proof, but he only shook his head and whispered to his nurse “Might be too late for life insurance for this guy.”

That’s when I remembered a classic bar sign: “There are a lot more old drunks than old doctors.”

And they’re not only advising a cane to help me walk, but they also want to place a camera, uh, well, where the sun definitely doesn’t shine. Makes “Say cheese” take on a whole new meaning.

The dentist trips were even worse, with one yanked tooth after another. My only hope is to hire my face out as a pumpkin for next Halloween. Just light a candle and stick it in my mouth.

I thought sports might be an answer to slow the falling-apart stage, but I almost drowned in the wading pool, dropped a bowling ball on my big toe and threw out my back taking a swipe at a golf ball, or at least it looked like one through my thick lenses.

Well, there must be a bright side. Breakfast is cheaper at Denny’s, if you can find a triple-size parking space near the front door. You can take a nap whenever you want, as long as you’re not leaning on the cross-walk button. And I can finally yell at the kids to get off my lawn.

That’s if I ever own a home to have a lawn. Hello mom? Can I get a raise in my allowance? It has been 30 years now. What, you just bought a new snowmobile?


At least it’s time to watch the Weather Channel. Now if I can just remember where I set the remote down.

Mike Fitzgerald is a freelance writer and lives in Moab. He loves fishing, watching sports on TV and calling his mom every Sunday. You can reach him at revfitz22@aol.com.