2017-04-27 / Viewpoint

The VIEW from here

Better than the alternative

Phil Foley — Staff Writer Phil Foley — Staff Writer “A

Tigger’s a wonderful thing,” goes the Disney song. “Their tops are made out of rubber, their bottoms are made out of spring. They’re bouncy, bouncy, bouncy, bouncy,”

One thing is clear, I’m no Tigger. A least not anymore.

When I was in my 20s I fell out of barns and tuna towers and bounced about in all sorts of less than safe vehicles at stupid speeds. After a day of less than well-thought out behavior all I needed was a hot shower and maybe a cold beer and I was good to go.

Jimmy Buffet’s “Havana Daydreamin’” was my favorite album at the time. “If I don’t die by Thursday, I’ll be roaring Friday night,” from Side A’s second track was practically my personal motto.

I snickered at the line, “If I’d known I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.” I shouldn’t have.

Easter Sunday I was sitting on my porch with my brother-in-law, when he causally asked, “Wanna beer?” I said yes and reached for the cold, blue can. As I reached, I felt an almost imperceptible pop. I barely noticed it.

Until I stood up, that is. As I stood, it felt as if King Kong was trying to separate my spine from my pelvis. A white-hot pulse shot to my ankles and back, reminding me of the time when I was nine and I misjudged the height of a pig fence I was trying to hurdle.

In a nanosecond I went from being a normal human being to being a 900-year-old man. All of a sudden, my best friends were heating pads and Ziploc bags of ice wrapped in tea towels.

I’m still walking around like

Walter Brenan. If you’re old enough to remember watching “Rio

Bravo,” or “Support

Your Local Sheriff,” with Rita Bell on

Channel 7’s Prize Movie, you’ll understand. If you’re not, you will. Give it time.

It’s just not fair. All I did was reach for a 12-ounce can. Then again, I can hear my father’s rumbling voice in the back of my head, “Fair has nothing to do with anything, boy.”

For the past few days folks at work have had a steady flow of tales of contemporaries who’ve thrown their back out while reaching for a bottle of shampoo in the shower, turning off an alarm clock or spitting tooth paste into the sink.

I don’t need to hear this. I really have no desire to be reminded how precarious my life has become.

In my skull, I’m still 17. My beloved would tell you that it’s more like 12. But I’m finding that while I can hit the deck as hard as I ever could, getting back off the deck is becoming somewhat problematical.

Still, it’s better than the alternative.

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