by LOU MAZE
RMG humour writer
For the first part of our lives we learn what we can do with our bodies. Walking upright is our first big “Hooray.”
Once, we’ve learned to defy gravity, all the other physical laws are just play things.
So our brains subject our physical selves to all sorts of abuse, eating mud pies, cavorting across railways bridges and swimming in a lake, two minutes after the ice has cleared.
We say things like “Just don’t look down. Or up. Or around.” “The water’s fine, once the numbness sets in.”
Of course the exception to this long line of physical mastery is puberty, when we think we are still in charge, but our hormones are really running the show. The fact that they do so via the brain allows our delusion of mastery to continue. It is also conclusive proof that God has a sense of humor.
So it’s a big surprise in middle age, when our bodies start talking back. Around about 40 my knees started creaking. They did this on stairs. Now my knees manage complete sentences, because however terse, the expression “Get off me!” is a complete sentence.
Queen Elizabeth has been known to huff, “We are not amused.” My back, now Queen of the Vertebrae, also assumes the royal privilege of speaking for the collective and is rarely amused.
“We’ll bend down there,” she threatens stiffly, “but not all of us are coming back up.”
My bladder has a vocabulary of three words. “Now” and “Too late.” From conversations with male friends, I hear their bladders also say “Now.” But this is often followed by, “Well, maybe not so much.”
It’s partner in elimination, continues to communicate with toots, squeaks and noxious fumes. Once upon a time I had some semblance of control over the tooting, now I have only the illusion of control.
There was a transitional phase. Walking through a shopping mall, I decided to relax and let it happen. No one knows me and maybe the Christmas music will drown out my own.
This is the beginning, of the tyranny of the end. Now my posterior begins its musical montage completely without my consent. I am the instrument, not the conductor.
This is the reason, old men get kids to pull their fingers. It gives them the illusion of control while grossing out the young ones. When you’re old, you take what you can get.