Monday, October 20, 2008

...And Tuesday was always A-Team Day!

Let me tell you folks something -- approaching middle age sucks.

I don't give a damn for it, in fact. Furthermore I've gotten sick of people laying one of that insufferable, annoying shred of pop philosophy on me -- "Well, it beats the alternative."

If I hear that one more time, I may haul off and pop the alleged philosopher who's spouting that thread worn nonsense. The Hawg doesn't like aging one bit and I'm mad about it. So there.

I turn 40-years-old next year and was discussing aging with a friend of mine from college not long ago. We were talking about friends who have been divorced a couple of times, classmates that have dropped dead, the fact that most everyone we know seems to have wound up with one health problem or another since hitting 30-years-old and other cheery topics. We sounded like two old hens who were combing through the obituaries and checking to see who died while carping about our latest surgeries.

He said, "Ethan, it's ridiculous that we've gotten this old."

I agree.

Here's the thing. I'm looking forward to getting old as you can retire when you're old. You can be a raging eccentric when you're old and no one cares. Yes, I'll be the guy wearing a hunter's orange vest, a pair of shorts with black, knee-high socks and walking a little dog on a thin red leash. I might even grow a flowing ZZ-Top beard and loudly gripe about the government at the Waffle House every morning. No one will say a blasted thing to me about my erratic behavior, either, and I wouldn't care if they did.

Ah, but this middle age stuff is rather like being in limbo. You still feel young, see, but your body tells you that's a bunch of crap. I look like an idiot banging on my Fender Deluxe Stratocaster and churning out distorted barre chords while pausing long enough to pull a wave of fresh feedback out of my amp. I was setting up a tennis game with a friend of mine not long ago and we were both feeling too down to schedule anything for at least a couple of weeks (he griped about his bad back, I groaned about ulcerative colitis and we both realized things had changed for us since high school). Fortunately, most of the people I've known for years who are approaching middle age are about as bewildered about it all as I am.

One thing that happens when you get older is that you get downright sentimental about your childhood. Lately, for some reason, I've been thinking about those somewhat carefree days in junior high when every Tuesday was A-Team Day.

Ah, yes. I would wander around throughout the day at Eastside Junior High in Benton, Ark., just waiting for Tuesday night as I would get to see those fun-loving mercenaries from the A-Team evade the military police and right wrongs. The early 1980s were a golden time, indeed, and I'll fight anyone who says a cross word about the A-Team. Don't be like a friend of mine who referred to it as the Gay Team just to rile me. That's not cool at all.

If you're not familiar with the A-Team, I'm amazed at your lack of knowledge of our great pop culture. Click right here (in shame!) and educate yourself.

Yes, B.A. was always irritated by the crazy fool Murdock, Hannibal loved it when a plan came together and that suave Face was always running one con or another. It was all great fun and I loved every episode.

Was it junk television? Of course it was. Regardless, there's something to be said about a show that represented the best of 1980s escapism.

Did the fun-loving lads in the A-Team sit behind a desk while wearing suits and shuffling papers around all day long? Hell no! They wore fatigues, carried guns and their office was a ridiculously customized van. How do you like them apples?

Did the A-Team bow to authority or compromise their beliefs in hopes of staying employed? No! The stayed one step ahead of the law and ran around the world correcting wrongs and shooting up things.

The lads in the A-Team didn't get stuck in ruts and there wasn't a problem in the world that couldn't be solved with either automatic weapons fire, fisticuffs or the sheer innovation that allowed them to do things like rummage around in an abandoned garage for spare parts and build a Sherman tank out of rusty sheet metal, some coat hangers and spit.

What brought on all this decidedly shallow introspection? I was putting together an icon for another blog I run -- The All Arkie Army -- when I got the impish idea of modeling it after the A-Team visual at the first of every show. Go ahead and have a look. See that stenciled "A" on a red background? That's all A-Team, baby.

I also decided I'd head over to eBay before long and pick up those Marvel A-Team comic books that were around for just a bit in the 1980s. Yes, as soon as my Google Adsense account hits $100 (quit laughing -- it'll get there one day) I'll be blowing some of that fat (thin?) cash on all kinds of junk as that will be irresponsible, guilt-free money. A-Team comic books will certainly be included in the pile of loot I'll get with all that Adsense cash.

Now, don't go getting the idea that The Hawg is broke. I make a pretty good living, but we're building up our savings at Casa de Hawg because we've got this wacky notion that having some money around things like retirement and sending the kids to college is a good idea. Running around and buying junk seems, well, inappropriate in that setting. Ah, but Adsense cash is completely guilt-free, so why not go nuts, yeah?

By the way, does anyone really go and click on those Adsense ads? If anyone has any success stories about how Adsense worked for them, I'd love to hear them. I've been stuck at around $80 since the first of October and have gotten one whole ad click this entire month. I'd be amazed if Adsense worked terribly well for anyone, frankly, but I suppose there are some people out there who love it.

Oddly, thinking back on those A-Team days made me realize that I had a pretty great childhood. While some kids were dealing with divorces, abusive parents, poverty, ostracism and the other things that plague youngsters, I had it pretty good.

Ultimately, I hope my children look back on their childhoods and get as sentimental as I have been lately. Only time will tell, I suppose.


The Mortgage & More Blog said...

I can tell you the older I get, the less I wanna do.

Theresa said...

I vaguely remember that turning 40 was pretty traumatic. There was no turning back then! Oh, and right when I turned 40, suddenly my eyes needed bifocals. Turing 50 was a piece of cake in comparison.

Still, the mind is willing but the body says "you've gotta be jokin', right?" when it comes to doing anything remotely physical.

A-Team was one of those love-to-hate, hate-to-love shows that I watched every Tuesday too. But there ain't no way I would ever, ever miss an episode of the original Star Trek. In the 80s, it was on at 5 p.m. and then again at 6, and I was right there watching.

See Ethan, it ain't so bad getting old. You still remember the good things!

Mystery Man said...

The A-Team was awesome. Shame they don't make shows like that anymore. Wondering how long it's gonna take them to remake it. becuse you know some "genius" is gonna do it sooner or later.

We have this station down here callen RTN. It's all retro stuff, A-Team comes on every night at 7. Other stuff that comes are Ironside, Airwolf, Magnum P.I., etc.

Not sure if you have it up there, since it just started down here last month.

The Natural State Hawg said...

mortgage and more -- Yeah, that's the truth. Hell, one of my joys in life anymore is a good, long nap on a Saturday.

Theresa -- As long as I can still drag myself to a tennis court, I'll face aging just fine.

I love the original Star Trek! And, when I was in college, The Next Generation debuted. Yes, we were happy.

Mystery Man -- I hope they never redo the A-Team. Remember how they slaughtered the Dukes of Hazzard? Yikes!

We get RTN here and we've had it since we moved back to Benton in 2004 (I think it's been that long, at least). That's one we watch regularly here at Casa de Hawg.

Arkansan? Why not Join the All Arkie Army?

shaxx said...

haha... I hope you are not suffering from one of those mid life crisis thingy.....

I am 40 this year and sometimes, I just could not be bother living my age... hahaha... Just enjoy it. Cheers! said...

Hawg, I am forty years old and feel really good. No lie, hawkeye!

But I have to work at it, whereas when I was younger, I could do just about anything and the next morning hop right out of bed and ready to roll.

Now I stagger out of bed, but within thirty minutes I am ready. To. Roll. Sort of.

Da Old Man said...

The A-Team was (is?) one of the greatest TV shows ever. So what that thousands of shots were fired, and no one ever got hurt.
The one thing that really made me LOL with the Team, was the bad guys always surrended at the end. Didn't they realize that the odds of the A Team actually hitting someone with a bullet was nil? Sort of like the old Superman show when after emptying the gun into Supes, they would throw the gun, like that would work.
Worst part of getting older is the body can't cash the checks the mind still writes.

Signs of Life said...

"I pity the fool" ~ who doesn't read your blog! You are hilarious!!! I tried to drop on your entrecard, but it's not working, imagine that!! -- Anyway, your blog rocks!


Ad_Infinitum said...

Thank goodness for living in a part of the world where television when i was lil consisted of reruns from other countries :D

I remember the A team and loved it :D I remember many things I like...

Worst thing about getting older is seeing the young people grow up to be even more screwed up than you were...

I'm off to search for my zx spectrum clone... memories :D

Margie and Edna said...

God bless the A-Team for cementing the phrase "I pity da fool!" in the American vernacular. :D

Mike Golch said...

I miss the A-team as well.

The Natural State Hawg said...

Shaxx -- That may be exactly what's going on. Or it could just be that work sucks and I don't handle ruts well.

One or the other.

Paul -- Heh. Reminds me of college. Study until 4 a.m., wake up a couple of hours later, study for more and head off to take finals. You know why college kids think they're bullet proof? Because they're practically indestructible.

These days, however, I tend to roll out of bed, groan around for awhile, stagger to the shower and fully wake up about the time I'm washing my hair.

Ah, youth...

Crotchety -- Yeah, I love the A-Team. I do believe they were trying to implement family-friendly, cartoonish violence so that they wouldn't raise any eyebrows in prime time.

I always got a kick out of those old Superman shows, too. Funnier, still, was that Superman would stand there and let bullets bounce off of him and then grab the crook after the gun was tossed at him (and you'll noticed that he actually dodged the guns that were hurled his way -- odd). It was like he was mocking the bad guys.

And, you're not kidding. I've tried doing a lot of things that were no problem 20 years ago and things typically don't work out so well.

Signs of Life -- Thanks, and you're right. The poor fool who doesn't stop in over here regularly is to be pitied, indeed ;)

Thanks for the kind words.

ad infinitum -- That can be bad, by the way. I had a Palestinian friend when I was in college who grew up watching reruns of the Beverly Hillbillies.

When he told his mother he wanted to go to school in Arkansas, she broke down in tears.

Margie and Edna -- Ah, here's where I show what a fan I am. Mr. T frequently called Murdock a "crazy fool," but he never said "I pity the fool" on the A-Team. That was Rocky III.

Worthless knowledge? I've got a head full of it.

Mike -- Thank God for reruns and netflicks, huh?

Arkansan? Have ties to the Natural State? Go ahead an join the All Arkie Army!

HebsFarm said...

One of the worst things about being this age is that we really are the grown-ups now. People our age are on the school board, we are the county commissioners and the township supervisors... CRAP even Palin and Obama are my age. It's damn scary. Oh well, I've got my gun and my Bible, so we should be good to go at my house at least.

Allure said...

I love the A-Team. It was shown here in Manila way back way way way way back in the 80s lolz! I had a huge crush of Murdoch.
I noticed everyone here who comments is in their 40s. 5 years from now I will be 40! waaaaaaaaaaaaa.

Grandy said...

"I love it when a plan comes together."

I watched A-Team and was always amazed at how no one ever got hurt after the helicopters crashed.

What an honest depiction of how things work in the world. :)

If you were to be a character from the show...which one would you be? Or did I miss that?

Robin said...

By the time I reached 50 and then 60 I had accepted the fact that I couldn't do the things I could when younger .. and that's why turning 40 was perhaps the hardest because it was then that the realization set in.

Even though I can't do a lot of the things as well as I did, I still occasionally make the attempt! As the song says, I'm "still crazy after all these years!"

Thanks for the trip down memory lane!


The Natural State Hawg said...

hebsfarm -- That is a scary thing, isn't it? To make matters worse, I've got an 11-year-old son and a 7-year-old daughter. So, all of the sudden, I'm the mean ol' parent.

How the hell did that happen?

allure -- I'll be 40 in just about 8 months. Not looking forward to that at all.

A crush on Murdock? The insane one? Heh. That's a new one!

Grandy -- Ah, I'd want to be Hannibal -- the plotter, schemer and the one who "loved it when a plan came together."

Failing that, I'd want to be Ace Frehley, the lead guitarist for KISS!

robin -- You're welcome. I've been strolling down memory lane a lot lately, which I suspect a lot of people do when they're about to hit 40-years-old.

That's like an adult age, see? A way adult age. Hard to fathom.