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From the Mouth of the River

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Old men are tough

The toughest men on earth: I know, I know, you probably think it’s Hulk Hogan or Arnold Schwartzenegger, or some big eight-foot stud logger. But it ain’t. No sir.

Maybe, someday when they get older, but right now the toughest men on earth are the old farts. Men past 65 who worked for a living! They didn’t tell you about that in collage did they? No sir. All you’ve ever heard about was those "Golden years," the time when you just lay back, drink mint juleps, play a little golf. Go fishing, play games with the grandkids, have barbeques. Just kick back and enjoy life in the slow lane.

That all sounded good, back then, But, back then, when this was first thought of, no one lived past 65! That’s why the government wanted you to invest in social security. Because they didn’t expect you to live long enough to collect any of it!

And, they would have all that money to play with.

No one knew that the American health plan was going to come to be what it is today, where people live into their 70s and 80s. We just never expected this to happen.

I know you’ve heard, or probably said it yourself, these words: "Had I known I’d a lived this long I’d a taken better care of myself!"

The first time I ever heard anything about taking better care of myself, I was clowning a Rodeo when a bull caught me next to the bucking chutes and broke an egg in me. (Mashed me against the fence.) When I came to, they had dragged me to safety back of the chutes, where this old man was trying to revive me by pouring beer on his dirty handkerchief and rubbing my face with it. "You all right, Kid?" he asked, in his drunken stupor.

"Yea, Yea," I said. "I’m okay."

"You got some broken ribs, I think," he said, "but you’ll live. He mashed your back up pretty bad too. You wanna beer?"

"Nah, I’ll be all right in a few days."

"Yeah, right, in a few days," he said. "You’re young, now, but in a few years, this day will come back to haunt ya!"

Now, whenever it clouds up to rain or a cold front moves in, I remember that old man’s words. "You wanna beer?!" I should’ve took that beer.

Modern medicine, along with new and improved doctors, has kept my body functioning, when, in fact, it should have conked out years ago. But no, every time I get on the brink of demise they come up with a new way of keeping me alive. "Here take this pill. I know it costs a lot but it will take care of that little problem of dying. Some side effects may occur that will cause you agonizing pain. But hey, beats dying, right?"

They had to kill a very expensive pig just to use a small part of him to keep my heart pumping, and when I asked if I could get the rest of him cut and wrapped, they just said "No.You gotta lay off fat meat. Besides, that would be cannibalizing, as you’re now blood kin to this hog!"

Gall stones, kidney stones, pancreas, colon cancer, false teeth, eyeglasses, vasectomy, blind staggers (aka, vertigo), ugly toenails, sugar diabetic, arthritis so bad nothing works in the morning until noon, except my bladder and nose and they run all the time or not at all.

I take so many pills in the morning I’m too full to eat breakfast. But hey, I’m alive!

And, according to the doctors, that’s all that coun ts.

Oh, no! Wait! I got this pain right here!

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Boots Reynolds Boots Reynolds The "internationally-renowned cowboy artist" Boots Reynolds has moved his comedic interpretation of life into the writing field with his regular column in the River Journal - From the Mouth of the River.

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