I WANT THOSE GENES

   The initial invitation was for the wedding dinner. We were invited to share in the celebration of marriage of our good friend Domingo (not his real name, but close) to his beloved Franchesca (also close) on the evening before they would tie the knot in San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsomís office, with the mayor officiating.
   Not a big deal, unless youíre 90 years old, as is Domingo.
   A lot of 90 year old men get married again. You read about it all the time in the paper. Itís usually in some retirement home, and the groom is wheeled to the altar, where he happily gives his elderly bride a peck on the cheek and then they go take naps.
   I knew this wasnít going to be that kind of wedding when, the following day, I got the invitation for the bachelor party.
   Domingo isnít your ordinary 90 year old. Iíve known him for a long time, and he is living proof that the new 90 is the new 50. Of course, it helps to be a freak of nature.
   He still plays tennis almost every day, and competes in national and international tournaments, outlasting his opponents one way or another. Heís up early, and out most nights. Before he met his new bride by conventional means, he was working the internet on Match.com and other dating sites, looking forÖ..who knows? All I know is I want his genes.
   So I wasnít surprised to receive the invitation for the bachelor party. Since Iíd never been to a 90 year oldís bachelor party, I wasnít quite sure what to expect. Strippers were a possibility, but not likely.
   The event was in a private room at a local restaurant. Domingo had gathered about 60 of his closest friends, many of whom still had their real teeth. Almost all of them, except me, were wearing suits and ties. Obviously, it had been some time since they had been to a bachelor party. I was ready for action, they were ready for sleep.
   As soon as we were seated, Domingo called on me to say something. I wasnít prepared, primarily because this was a BACHELOR PARTY, or so I thought. I guess in the olden days, it was more of a roast. So I stood up, looked around at the stone-sober group in front of me, and knew I was going to die.
   Sure enough, my little talk about how Domingoís sex-change operation was almost complete (thereby fulfilling Mayor Newsomís requirements of same-sex marriage before he would officiate) was met with dead silence. There may have been a chuckle, but I think it was actually someone choking on an ice cube.
   I muttered a few other unintelligible (apparently) comments about how Domingo wanted to know what size breasts he should get as the final part of his operation, and then slumped back into my seat, secure in knowing that I had bombed like few have ever bombed before. I vowed never to speak at a 90 year oldís bachelor party again.
   As other speakers followed me, I realized I wasnít the only one. Sexual innuendos did not receive the raucous laughter they would invariably get at a 25 year oldís bachelor party. Apparently, these guys had heard them all before, or else they didnít want to think about it. Either way, I was hoping the strippers would arrive soon.
   But the food was good, and some of the speakers fared better than me. By 9:00 though, I was ready to go home. Thatís when a retired doctor rose up and invited everyone to come out on his boat for a late-night cruise on the bay.
   At least someone had too much to drink, I thought, as I listened to his ridiculous invitation. I looked around at the sophisticated, staid group of gentlemen and felt sorry for the retired doctor, who would be rather lonely on his boat. This group was going home, just like me.
   I said my goodbyes, and headed off to my little bed. Imagine my surprise when I learned a couple of days later that 12 guys, including Domingo, had joined the doctor for the late-night cruise. And then they continued into the night, stopping for a last call at a strip club before getting home at around 2:00 .
   I was relieved to hear, though, that Domingo finally showed his age. Not only did he refuse the lap dances offered to him, but he also got his fellow late-night revelers to back his story.
   His bachelor party, no thanks to ďyoungĒ deadbeats like me, was a huge success. If I hadnít been asleep, I would have loved to join him.
 

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