Laughter after 70

Every Thursday morning, ­Anna and I go to a coffee hour. Well, actually, more than Anna and  I go; a number of other folk also attend, along with a good assortment of donuts, cookies, biscuits, and squares. When I mention squares, I’m not referring to the human kind, although now and again one or two of them also show up.
Folks of various ages come, but because we meet in a morning when most people work, seniors usually form the majority. And you guessed it, when oldsters get together they start telling jokes with aging frequently figuring in the punch line. A week or two back, somebody mentioned doctors another common topic among the geriatric set. We tend to talk about doctors frequently because, next to our grandkids, we see doctors more often than anybody else.
Then someone said she had a doctor joke, grabbing the attention of all of us. Her story went like this. It seems that an older gentleman, while undergoing a medical exam, asked the doctor how he determined when a senior patient should go into a nursing home. The doctor explained the test he used. He would put a patient into a bathroom with a bathtub full of water. He would then give that person a bucket, a cup, and a spoon and ask him or her to empty the tub.
At that point in the story, I thought, "Only an idiot would use the spoon or cup instead of the bucket and so qualify for a bed, not just in a nursing home, but in a padded room."
Fortunately, I kept my mouth shut, and the storyteller continued with the joke. She said that the patient responded that any normal person would use the bucket to empty the tub, proving he wasn’t ready for the nursing home. However, the doctor shook his head saying that a normal person would simply pull the plug. He then asked the patient, "When would you like to check in?"
For a moment I felt the walls of a padded cell closing in. Of course, the bathtub story was just a joke, but to demonstrate that humour tracks along with us older folk, I’ll tell you a true story. A friend called me last week. While I do have one or two younger friends, this fellow is an old guy, at least one year older than I am. When he said that he had gone skiing the previous Saturday, I wondered if he had slipped a cog. "What are you talking about? You told me you had scheduled knee surgery for next month. Now you tell me you went skiing?"
He answered, "True, and I also have an appointment with a surgeon to get my shoulder repaired."
"So," I said, "Don’t you think that under those circumstances you should stay away from dangerous winter sports?"
He paused for a moment. I thought I could hear fingers scratching on a bald head. Then he said, "Well, I did wonder about that when I fell down and couldn’t get up."
As I suggested earlier, humour and seniors walk through life hand in hand. But I will admit something: in our serious moments, most of us will insist there is absolutely nothing funny about growing old. 

Ray Wiseman