THIS OLD DOG
LIKES NEW TRICKS
One of the many
things that fascinates me about life is that in my sixth decade of living,
I can discover something that I could and should have been doing for the
last 50 years.
instance, just the other day my daughter informed me that most cars have
an arrow on the gas guage that shows what side of the car the fuel tank is
This upset me for
two reasons: 1) Had I known this, I could have avoided the many, many
times I pulled into a gas station with a rental car and desperately and
unsuccessfully craned my neck to see if I could spot a gas tank on my
side, only to end up guessing, usually wrong. 2) How did my daughter get
so lucky to find this out at such a young age?
it showed me once again that you can indeed teach an old dog new tricks.
To prove my point, I will list three additional miraculous discoveries I
have made in the last year. While these may seem ridiculously obvious, it
doesnít matter. These are my stupid revelations, and everyone else has
NUMBER ONE: YOU DONíT HAVE TO PULL YOUR BATHING
SUIT DOWN WHEN PEEING IN THE OCEAN.
quit cringing. Everyone does it, men and women alike. Itís an ocean, not
a swimming pool, and bathrooms are seldom nearby. But all my life Iíve
struggled with pulling my suit down while being battered by the waves. It
just wasnít that comfortable. Then one day, not long ago, it dawned on
me that it doesnít really matter because youíre already underwater and
basically in a washing machine. Suddenly, after 50 years of awkwardness, I
YOU CAN EAT A WHOLE PRAWN WITHOUT PEELING IT ALL THE WAY TO THE TAIL.
prawns. And all my life, Iíve taken that first bite right down to that
last half an inch where some lazy kitchen guy stopped peeling it. Then Iíd
peel away the remnants of the shell so that I could devour that last half
an inch of prawn. And it was always less than satisfying.
Then a few
months ago, I somehow realized that if you squeeze from the bottom while
simultaneously pulling the whole prawn with your teeth, every bit of the
prawn comes happily into your mouth. I now enjoy prawns more than ever.
THREE: YOU CAN STORE YOUR SUNGLASSES ON TOP OF YOUR BASEBALL HAT.
aware people have been doing this for years. For some inexplicable reason,
I never thought of it until lately. I guess I assumed they would fall off.
But once I started doing it, I was amazed at the security and the
convenience. No longer do I stick my sunglasses in my pocket, risking
breakage or loss or a big bulge. I now have a permanent parking place on
top of my hat where I can easily take them on and off.
examples show, Iím kind of clueless about certain things. But the key is
in the timing of the discovery. While Iíve wasted countless years
floundering in the ocean, spitting out prawn shells and fumbling for
sunglasses, I hope to have many years left enjoying my new knowledge.
that can happen is what happened to me at the tender age of nine. My best
friend, Cory, lived all the way around the block and down the hill in San
Francisco. We had been best friends for five years and would have seen
much more of each other if he had lived closer.
the block and down the hill is a long way when youíre a little kid. So
we played together when we could, and wished for more.
Then one day
when we were nine years old we were playing in my backyard and decided to
explore the thick bushes in the very rear. We poked our way around until
we could see through, and much to our surprise, there was another house.
Thatís right---Coryís house.
delight, and then imagine how stupid and disappointed we felt when we
remembered it was our last time playing together because I was moving to
the other side of the city the next day.
making that mistake again. So if you see someone standing waist deep in
the rough surf, sunglasses firmly entrenched on his baseball hat, and
happily eating a big old prawn, youíll know itís me.
come too close.