• Richard Scrimger

Bully time

Passed another milestone on the road to maturity (yes, that's a euphemism. I'm talking about growing old). I don't know how many milestones that makes, but there are a bunch behind me. I remember listening to a friend's little sister screeching excitedly about Christmas, and thinking: I'm getting too old to appreciate it. Ah, the bitter nostalgia of nine years old. Felt glum all the way home. I can remember my first day of school after moving downtown from the suburbs and hearing, casually, on the playground, the f- word. Wow, I thought to myself. You're a big boy now. I can recall, vividly, walking home from high school marching band practice in my uniform and hearing some little kid say, Hello, sir. That one sent a real shiver down me. I wasn't ready to be a sir, yet. I wanted to remain a, Hey, kid. But time is a bully, pushing you around whether you want to go or not. I remember the first time I wasn't asked for ID at a bar (a relief, that one, since I was still under age). Not a kid. To this one bouncer, my friend John looked younger than I did. And as the years continued to shove past me other people started to look younger than I did.


I remember the first time I noticed that the NHL seemed to be made up of young-looking guys. Some of them seemed absurdly young, in fact. I can remember getting a speeding ticket from what looked like a teenage policeman. I wanted to say, You're kidding, right? This is some kind of Halloween trick. Anyway, the point of this post is that I was confronted the other day by a librarian who looked like a high-school kid. Hockey players and cops are one thing, but when the librarians start to look underage, you can stop fooling yourself. That face you shave every day belongs to a geezer. Dave Barry wrote a book about turning 40, and one of the chapters is called, How to Geeze. I tell you, I am in a geezing kind of mood this week. I'm going to start wearing my pants higher, and complaining about the government. Darn kids had better stay off my lawn.

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Richard Scrimger | scrimgerr@gmail.com | Toronto, ON, Canada