The other day I was making fun of some young guy behind his back. I’m too old and frail to do it face to face.
Here’s what I was gossiping about. I was commenting on men’s hairdos and suits. Young guys are wearing their hair parted and buzzed on the sides. The suit jackets are super short and tight. They’re pez dispensers. I have an uncontrollable urge to go up to them and rip their heads back for a piece of candy. I’d do it from behind. Execute a ninja chokehold. Pop the candy free. Point my finger and say, “My wife made me.”
So far it hasn’t happened. My wife won’t let me leave the house in my teenage mutant ninja turtle pajamas. She says, “Leave the young people alone. Have you looked in a mirror lately?” I have. My hair is parted in the middle. My clothes are loose and fit fine. And there’s no candy in me. Young people deserve what they get. An old girlfriend of my wife once told her, “Mark dresses casually elegant.” That made me happy. Then this friend added, “Mark looks like Fritz Coleman, the weatherman.” That made me sad because Fritz looks like an old baggy pez dispenser. If there’s candy inside him, it’s definitely passed the expiration date. Yuck.
Times change and you have to go with it. El Nino is coming our way. This will be a very different experience than the drought conditions we are now dealing with. While the city inspects terrace drains and checks floodgates, I’m busy preparing, too. In anticipation of a winter deluge, I have buzzed my hair short and parted it on the side. There will be no time to deal with long hair when the power goes out. To stay grounded, I have bought clothes three sizes smaller to counter gale force winds. And thanks to Haggen’s going out of business sale, I’ve stockpiled flashlights, candles and pez candy dispenser refills.
When my preparations were complete, I looked in the mirror. Looking back at me was Fritz Coleman. He smiled and said, “It’s good to be prepared to face up to what’s coming. You don’t want bad weather sneaking up behind you and ripping your head off like some pez dispenser.”
Mark has faced up to the change that’s coming and believes Fritz looks almost as good as he does in teenage mutant ninja turtle pajamas.