As I enter my pool after a hard day’s work, I’m greeted by the momentary chill one gets when going from over 105° to a frigid 88°. As I start my exercise routine, I soon warm. Fifteen minutes of calisthenics, followed by ten minutes of “floundering” as I don’t really swim, per se. When I decide I’ve had about enough of this whole “healthy” thing, I float like a dead man for another ten minutes…or, as I call it, the ‘Fuck You Richard Simmons’ position.
Then, after finally reaching the edge of the pool under methane power alone (which is great fun), I proceed to remove my protuberant posterior from its watery retreat and hit the lounge chair to dry off…which in AZ takes about three minutes. Then I always get chilled, “Shit, it’s cold.” As I look at the backyard thermometer the absurdity of the situation comes into frightening clarity. It’s 104°. The water was nearly 90°.
I’m cold? Kill me now, dear lord, as I have truly become just what I have dreaded for so long. I’m officially an old Arizonian. I can remember when I was in my thirties, on Lawn-Guyland, in the winter. If it was over 40°, I was in short sleeves. No problem. I worked in a refrigerated room for almost 27 years! I always went fishing on St. Patrick’s Day, when it was usually a balmy 45° with a stiff wind and stiff drink. And, when it passed 70°, I was in danger of breaking the local public nudity ordinances.
I am standing by my pool with a towel wrapped around my shoulders, freezing. It’s 104°! The term “WTF?” doesn’t begin to capture how I am feeling. As my feet become one with the now glowing-hot cool deck around my pool—a misnomer of the highest order—I have goose bumps on my arms. It’s like not knowing whether to shit or drink Drano. It’s not for lack of body hair, as I am a true ethnic Itralyun gorilla (see picture above). I am also not without the obligatory self-insulation (aka, body fat).
So what exactly IS the fuck, as it were? Am I sick? No. Have I somehow managed to transport the upper half of my body to the arctic, whilst leaving the lower half in Hellazona? No. I am just getting old. And that, my friends, sucks Burro beganga.
As I look at my reflection in the sliding glass door, with flames coming off my feet and icicles hanging off my chin, I am truly mortified. Next I’ll be exchanging my Metallica CDs for Sinatra! Will my Ram pickup magically change into a Buick LeSabre while I sleep? Am I destined to smell like an ‘old person’? Dinner at 4? Will I….(gulp) GOLF? I shudder to think of the string of atrocities yet to befall me…
I’m just a little cold, that’s all. Yeah, that’s it. Just a smidge of those chronological blues. I’m not heading for the great Bingo hall at the rec. center, right?
Or is this the way it all begins?
But I’m not ready…not ready by a long shot. I will fight! I will not go gently into that evil night. Time to play Nothing Else Matters on Spinal Taps’ level ‘11’ and maybe I’ll sneak out into the woods and throw a kegger. Ah…no woods, just the saguaro wastelands…and it’s a little hot and cold today. Maybe tomorrow. Now, where’s my fucking sweater?!
Cranky tip for today: Diesel smoke makes a very good Prius repellent.