I must admit that I have become a complete failure.

With all the ice and snow and long dragged-out winter, I had decided to change careers. I had made up my mind that I would become a mean, nasty, grumpy old man. After all, I had good reason. But that didn’t happen.

No matter how hard I tried, I completely failed. And I have no qualms about blaming my failure entirely on family, friends, neighbours and strangers.

When I approached each or any, they looked at me with an ear-to-ear smile, or equally broad grin, and asked me how I was doing.

To which I usually answered with, “Fine, good, okay,” or on occasion I’d answer, “If I get feeling any better I could well be dangerous!” with the after comment, “If I jumped in the air and clicked my heels together, I could easily displace a bone in my back, which would put an additional burden on OHIP, which at the present economical state could well be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, thus putting our province into far greater chaos than it is.”

That usually brought forth additional smiles and a mixture of cluck-clucks about government spending and rising taxes. But nothing that brought out the mean and nasty that must be hiding somewhere in a system the size of my hulk.

This past winter I’ve lived a life of complete deprivation. I had a slight cough but no colds. I’ve had a slight sniffle but no sneezes. I’ve had some slight aches but have been deprived of all pain. I’ve had an occasional itch that disappeared when I scratched.

Man’s primate heritage needs only a roof overhead, a warm place to sleep, and enough to eat.

I have much more than that, but absolutely nothing, and I repeat nothing, to complain about. It’s not easy to live a life so depressingly deprived of reasons to complain. What do you talk about? You can’t talk about the weather forever!

I went to see my doctor this past week for my usual yearly, just to see for myself how he was doing.

After a number of pokes here and a jab or two there, an embarrassingly positioned finger performing a wandering-behind-the-scene Trudeau salute, a little cough left and a little cough right, assuring me that I have no hernias, (or equal rights himnias), it appears I am okay, he appears okay, and everything is quite all right.

He ended by saying, “I’ll give you a prescription for some blood tests just to see if anything is brewing.”

When properly re-clothed, I went to the nurse’s desk to pick up the prescription. She smiled broadly while asking me, “How are you doing?”

My answer to her and to each of you readers is one and the same: “Doc says that I and he are both okay.” Then I added, “I keep one eye open, two feet on the floor, I’m bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, overflowing with lust and passion, and if I get feeling any better, I could well be dangerous.”

Then, as a postscript, I added, “Do you think anybody would mind if I turned cartwheels down the hall on the way out?” To which she, and the rest of the staff chided “Be our guest!”

 I didn’t though; they all appeared to be 40 or more years my junior, and having waning intentions of being  mean and nasty, I just didn’t have the heart to embarrass them so greatly by doing what they well know they can’t. Needless to say, though I staggered slightly off balance on the way out, as a grumpy old man, I have completely failed.

As a point of interest folks, take a look at this past month of March calendar. It has five Fridays, five Saturdays, and five Sundays. People in the know tell me that this happens only once every 823 years.

Take care, ‘cause we care.




Barrie Hopkins