By The Men's
I'm going to paraphrase one of my favorite monologues
from a movie. It is taken from "City Slickers." It is
the story of a middle-aged man, who "has lost his
smile." Billy Crystal's character, Mitch, is asked by
his son's grade school class to give a talk about his
job. Mitch's job is selling advertising time for radio
stations. In other words, he sells "air." The teacher
calls the class to attention, and introduces Mitch. He
stands in front of the class and begins to tell them of
his job. Approximately half-way through his talk on "the
joys of selling air," he realizes that he has lost his
audience, as he sees his own son with his head down on
his desk. He pauses, and then tells the class what they
can REALLY expect from life. I've added my own
special touch, but certainly give all just due to the
When you hit 40, you realize that you've wasted most
of your life and you have less than half of it to go.
Your company is talking of down-sizing, and your family
is finding the hidden liquor bottles that you've
squirreled away. Antacids, tranquilizers, and
hair-coloring products fill your medicine cabinet. You
have thoughts of running away to a South Pacific Island
with the check-out woman from the local convenience
You reach 50, and you look in the mirror one
morning to flex your once proud muscles, only to
see sagging underarms, a protruding belly, and an
un-protruding hairline. You borrow your wife's
wrinkle cream to cover up those droopy bags
under your tired eyes. You avoid all mirrors.
Your doctor tells you that you need your
first operation, only he calls it a "procedure."
You have it done, and are in constant pain for six
months. It takes you another three months to kick your
addiction to the painkillers. Towards the end of your
50's, you start thinking that those chest pains just
might not be heartburn after all.
At 60, your sex life is now down to a once-a-monther
- and that's only during good months - and on full moons
- during leap years. Each doctor's visit brings panic
until you get back the tests and see that your prostate
- your heart - your colon - your liver - your kidneys -
still have some mileage left on them. Your chest pains
grow as the kids leave home and find alternative
life-styles. A conglomerate buys out your company
and you are now taking orders from a 25-year-old kid.
They call you the old man.
All the rest
In your 70's and 80's, you spend time looking up
friends from high school. Most of them "cannot come to
the phone." You gain a bit of wisdom, but cruelly you
keep forgetting what it is. You have a major operation,
and wind up in a wheelchair with a Jamaican nurse who
rifles through your wallet everyday. You have found your
smile, but you have no idea why. Besides, you haven't
the foggiest idea of where you left your teeth. The TV
Guide becomes your best friend.
That in essence was Mitch's speech to his son's
class. How much of that is true? None of it! It's just a
silly monologue from a movie. We are all healthy vibrant
men with great paying secure jobs. We all have a robust
and fulfilling sex life. Our children are healthy and
happy and call us all the time to tell us how much they
love us. Life just keeps getting better.
It's great to be a man.
I'd say more, but I have to call my doctor. The tests
are due back. I'm sure everything is okay, but I do feel
that tingle in my arm when I,...never mind. Damn, where
did I hide those pills?
Has anyone seen my wallet? Men Editor's Archive
FEED Back to this article