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."
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.