up is highly overrated
by Mad Dog
There are four
stages of maturing, and theyíre technically known as: Less Fun,
Even Less Fun, Cranky, and Death. Like
television programming, maturing is a degenerative process with no
cure in sight.
we grow older our tastes change. And well they should. After all,
while itís healthy for a child to enjoy chewing Strawberry Snot
Shots gum while sitting in a mud puddle and trading Dead Rock Starô
trading cards with their friends, these same activities take on a
whole different feel when theyíre done at a PTA meeting, job
evaluation session with the boss, or the adult table at Thanksgiving
dinner. A shame, isnít it?
Itís called maturing, and
anyone over the age of twelve with the exception of Richard Simmons
and the guys who created South Park has felt its grip. It comes in
stages, or phases as parents like to call them. Psychiatrists prefer
the term ďcrisesĒ, but thatís because theyíre alarmist by
nature, a trait which the rest of us call self-serving. It
perpetuates business, keeping them stocked with plenty of Strawberry
Snot Shots gum to chew while scribbling in their notebook trying to
calculate exactly how much per second theyíre earning to hear that
you think your dog peeing on your foot when you were six years old
might be behind the failure of your three marriages. How ridiculous!
Everyone knows those personality faults are cast in stone by the age
There are four stages of
maturing, and theyíre technically known as: Less Fun, Even Less
Fun, Cranky, and Death. Like television programming, maturing is a
degenerative process with no cure in sight. There are no telethons,
actors wearing colored ribbons at the Academy Awards, or pieces of
stale candy for sale at restaurant counters to help raise money and
awareness for this problem. And itís a shame, since we all suffer
Thus people go on, blindly continuing to mature, knowing full
well whatís in store for them at the end but not doing anything to
stop it. Itís like watching ďTitanicĒ for the umpteenth time
and still being surprised when the ship goes down. Yes, thereís a
fine line between innocent hope and masochism.
Our taste in
clothing also changes, which is a good thing since after a certain
age wearing diapers, Mary Janes with ankle socks, and cheerleader
outfits is considered a fetish, not a fashion statement.
changes caused by maturing are benign, like what happens to our
taste in food. When weíre young very few of us like to eat
Brussels sprouts, liver, and anything that doesnít come in a bag
and include chocolate in the ingredients. Then we grow older and
mature, discovering that Brussels sprouts and liver really arenít
so bad after all. Well, as long as they come in a bag and include
chocolate in the ingredients.
Another example: Many of us
enjoyed getting drunk and throwing up during our college, or hazy
years. If you donít remember this ever happening to you then
youíre definitely one of those people and you should listen up.
Again we age, mature, and grow older and wiser. One day we wake up
and, when we finally stop hacking our lungs out, realize that the
two donít have to go hand-in-hand. Yes, there are ways to enjoy
throwing up without having to get drunk first. Like eating chocolate
covered liver, for one.
Our taste in clothing also
changes, which is a good thing since after a certain age wearing
diapers, Mary Janes with ankle socks, and cheerleader outfits is
considered a fetish, not a fashion statement. As we mature we find
that our clothes get brighter, contrasting patterns and vibrating
color combinations start looking good, fit isnít important, and
polyester is. Even off the golf course.
yes, our choice of games changes radically. No self-respecting kid
who isnít named Tiger and doesnít hope to one day tell the PGA
that he deserves a cut of every dollar they make would be caught
dead on a golf course. Well, not unless theyíre stealing golf
balls, teaching the cat that sand traps are litter boxes, or filling
in the holes so no one gets hurt by stepping in them and turning
Old habits can be hard to break. Well, unless you have
dementia, which is a technical term for the cusp between Cranky and
like to play games such as musical chairs, kickball, hide and seek,
and calling people on the phone to ask them if they have Prince
Albert in a can. Adults prefer musical beds, kick the dog, hide the
money the IRS seeks, and calling people on the phone to ask to be
bailed out of the can.
Oddly, one thing that
usually doesnít change as we age is our taste in music. For most
people it gets stuck in high school. Thatís why your grandparents
still listen to Benny Goodman, your parents love Elvis, you donít
inhale to Led Zeppelin, and your kids will listen to Eminem for the
rest of their life, even long after youíre dead and they can no
longer piss you off by blasting it so loud it rattles your lower
That proves that old habits
can be hard to break. Well, unless you have dementia, which is a
technical term for the cusp between Cranky and Dead. Researchers in
Italy have discovered that people with dementia make good pets. Just
kidding. Actually what they found was that people with dementia can
have sudden shifts in musical taste, like the classical music buff
who started blasting CDs of an Italian pop band she used to hate.
They suspect this may be
caused by lesions in the brain. These are littleóoh, I donít
know what the hell they are, but I do know I donít want them
inside my head. Well, not unless I get them on the right hemisphere
of the brain which can cause gourmand syndrome. This is when people
who never cared much for food suddenly spurn Strawberry Snot Shots
gum and instead start craving gourmet cooking.
Itís real. And it may
help explain why Nathaniel Bar-Jonah of Montana suddenly took a
liking to butchering children and turning them into spaghetti sauce
and stew. On the other hand, maybe he was just maturing and took a
newfound liking to liver. Hopefully not chocolate-covered. Yuck!
Mad Dog Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
These columns appear in better newspapers across the country. Read
them while sitting in a mud puddle.