Slow Down, You Move to Fast

If you are an up and coming boomer, you might have noticed you are not as sure of foot as you once were. Start looking for ways to improve your stability and balance. If everything fails, start looking for walls and chairs and most any inanimate object you can prop on or use for support. Other people can be pretty good props if they are not as feeble and shaky as you are.

If you drop something, don’t try to catch it unless it is extremely valuable and fragile.Trying to catch and object you have dropped can be very risky. If it is a knife, let it go and try to get your feet out of the way without falling over. I once caught a steel rod that was pointed on one end by just using the palm of my hand. That was 55 years ago and I can still see the scar.

In illustration:

Our old friend, Bubba Jack Johnson was still living at home when he was 65. Bubba’s Mama was a large woman we called Mama Jack. Mama Jack stood about six and a half feet tall and weighed just a shade over 400 pounds. I never knew Papa Jack. I understand that he was fairly small in stature and actually slept in the same bed as Mama Jack until they found him in a breathless state one morning. Mama Jack’s pounding on his chest in her attempts to jump start his heart, cut his chance of survival from slim to none. Death was attributed to COPD and I guess that’s a good description as any for what happens to you when a six foot, six inch, 400 pound woman falls into a deep sleep and rolls over on top of you.

Anyhow, Bubba was taking a shower one morning in the master bathroom. He liked showering there because it was roomy and it had a built in bench where you could sit if you got tired. While he was washing behind his sizable ears, he dropped the wash cloth. It slipped down the front of his chest and headed south for the shower floor. In his haste to retrieve the wash cloth, Bubba Jack threw his right hand down, grabbed for the cloth, got a hand full and snatched his hand back up with great force.

Unfortunately Bubba had grabbed a hand full of curly hair that grew so profusely around that area down there that is known as the nether region. When he snatched his hand back up, not only did he scalp his groin but his ass came with the hair and he threw his ass completely over his left shoulder. Firemen had to use two hydraulic jacks to pop his fanny back into place. A team of hair transplant surgeons reattached his pubic hair and it took four nurses to remove all those splinters from his buttocks that came from the boat paddle Mama Jack used to beat him with for tearing down her shower stall.

Just watch out for what you go grabbing in a hurry. It can get you in a lot of trouble.


Your Shoes and Your Gimpy Feet Blues

Your feet are killing you because we always made a special effort to buy, beg, borrow or steal the worse shoes that ever shod flat feet. If you are still wearing flip-flops, dock shoes and other flats with no arch support, your feet are so flat by now that you are walking two inches below street level. You couldn’t find a pair of arch supports in a thousand pairs of those super cool loafers and dock shoes we used to wear.

Don’t forget all that fat you have picked up in forty years. If you got that much bigger, did it ever occur to you that your feet got fatter too. You are probably walking around in shoes a size to small with fritter-flat soles. When you take your shoes off and you see all those deep lines and impressions running across the top and down the sides of your feet, do not become alarmed about having congestive heart failure (unless you have congested heart failure). Your shoes are too little for you. Stop being such a masochistic old goat and go get your feet checked out. Get some shoes that fit you and comfortably support the arches you used to have.

If you are an early stage boomer hitting your sixties and if you are still running or jogging, and your feet hurt you to the point that you can hear them screaming don’t talk back to them. Evaluate what you are doing to them.Your feet are old. Walking places a lot of stress on certain parts of the foot and running exerts three times that pressure. You are jogging down that long lonely road to Geezerville and you want to hang on to your feet. It will not be fun for you if the rest of you outlives your feet. You know who I’m thinking about. They are the less fortunate of us who are saddled to canes, crutches, walkers and wheel chairs.

I want to curse my feet every day but my feet are blameless. I am the dummy who, as a kid, wore dumb shoes that caused a great deal of the pain I now suffer. My only salvation was finding better shoes and making enough money to pay for better shoes before I lost total use of my feet.. I found Rockport and Reebok and eventually Reebok bought Rockport and eventually Adidas bought Reebock so now I don’t know who owns what and I feel sure almost all our shoes are made in China but I do know that the DMX construction used in many of the Rockport and Reebok shoes are the most comfortable I have found for my feet. They also have a wider shoe now for people like me whose feet Geezered up and got fatter. These shoes cost more but they are worth it and they usually last and last.

If you are a clumsy klutz like me you should stay away from shoes with Velcro flaps and tabs. Velcro tie-downs have a diabolical way of loosening as you shuffle along and if the inside of your right foot rubs the inside of your left foot as you walk, you are in big trouble. A flap on one foot will playfully jump out and bind itself to a flap on the other foot and attach itself like you had put them together with super glue. Your shoes begin to move as one (with your feet in them). You will think you have gone back to playing hopscotch with the girls in the third grade. This thought will occur to you only a nanosecond before you root up about a yard of pavement with your nose when you do a face first on the sidewalk.

Be careful with your feet.


Over Fifty years ago Coach Bob Lowe taught us in the seventh grade to use big toenail clippers that clip your nails straight across so you won’t have ingrown nails. We were unsophisticated country boys and some of our guys were using  knives, machetes and weed eaters (with the lawn-edging attachment) to keep their nails from getting too ragged. Back then some people kept going to school forever. We had people in high school well over twenty years old with beards so thick they should have shaved twice a day. Their toenails were lethal weapons. We started cutting our toenails straight across so we would not develop the dreaded ingrown toenail.

My old buddy C. Tross has his own devilish method. He has been cutting his toenails for years using what I call the vampire pattern. He uses a secretive and tortuous tool that leaves his toenails in a wicked “V” shape. The ends or sides of the nails jut out like daggers and the centers have artistic indentations. His wife has serious scarring on her lower legs and  spends her evenings sleeping on the couch. If you are still sleeping with that wonderful woman you married, but you feel like you need more snooze room for yourself, use this system to gain a greater share of the bed at night or the whole bed,for that matter.

After going to a lot of trouble cutting my toenails straight across for over thirty years it occurred to me that I have never had an ingrown toenail. Now that I am a worn out old coot and still cutting my own toenails I find that I can barely touch my toes even sitting on a stool about a foot off the floor. I can just reach my feet to trim my nails but I decided to cut them like I cut my fingernails and be done with it. That was twenty years ago and I have not had an ingrown toenail in all that time.

You might not want to try anything different with your feet but it does make you wonder why you do the things you do. Was it something you read; something you saw on television repeated by someone, who probably is not as bright as you are, or did Coach Bob Lowe tell you to do it the seventh grade?

As I said, you probably don’t want to try this, especially if you are diabetic. You could start with a sore toe and wind up losing your whole foot. If you still have all the walking gear God gave you at the start, and you’re still ambulatory, a foot is definitely something you want to hold on to.

Go see a podiatrist if you can manage it. Let the doctor look at your ugly feet (there are no pretty feet after you get past sixty) and give you an opinion on whether, “Yo feets are failing you now!”


Fallin’ Out with the Gout

We’re talking about the feet because you have to start somewhere and our feet were our first means of motivation. Our feet put us out on the road right up to where we are now. We will eventually work our way up to the head. We’ll talk about it later because the head won’t be as interesting since most geezers have empty heads.

Gout – There are no known atheists who have suffered the gout. Gout will make true believers of the world’s worst heathens. Deep in your body there is a demon who waits patiently until, one evening, you come home, you have a shooter or two before dinner and then you pig out on a delicious sirloin steak and wash down all that red meat with good wine or a beer or two and later, just when you get settled into that peaceful, restful sleep you are so looking forward to, there comes a little twinge or twist in your big toe. You don’t know it yet but a demon has you by that toe and before the next two or three days pass the demon has performed a life changing, body and soul, conversion on you. Gout is so bad that it hurts me even to talk about it. After that first warning twinge, the demon leaps into bed with you, leans over your leg, and stabs you in that same big toe with an icepick. You cannot see him but you will never forget him. An icepick stabbed directly into the center of your big toe, right through the toenail, creates a horrible and indelible memory. You may forget birthdays, anniversaries and important business meetings but you will never forget the demon with the icepick. You will become a world class believer. You will call on the Lord for mercy with the biggest megaphones and bull horns money can buy. Your entire neighborhood will become your personal confessional booth and all your neighbors will hear how big a sinner you’ve been. You will even make up sins to confess.

To sum up the pain of gout, over the years, we have collected the following quotes from old friends:

Good Quote – “When you have gout, you don’t want the bed sheet to touch it.”

Better Quote – “When you have gout, you don’t want a breeze to blow on it.”

Best Quote – “When you have gout, you don’t even want a flashlight to shine on it.”

Gout can hit you in almost any joint. Elbows and knees are especially painful. Some places on the foot are not as painful as others but if the Toe-Demon gets his hands on you and you don’t choose to kill yourself, you will rank right up there on the tough guy scale with hockey goalies. If you have never had an attack of the gout, don’t go looking for it. Watch your diet closely and know what causes uric acid to collect in all that fat and lard you have accumulated the past few years. Do your homework. Eat and drink the right things. There’s a lot of good info out there about the gout, what causes it, how to prevent it and what meds you need to get from your doctor if you are attacked by it. Do not invite the gout to come and live with you!