The O.P.P.


LukeIt all goes downhill from here, people.

By Luke Robinson

 

Happy belated New Year, y’all! I am usually pretty indifferent on Jan. 1 myself, but I always thought that the beginning of the New Year was like a fat-fingered proctologist: People either love it or hate it. 

I am now leaning more to the “hate it” side.

Don’t let the boyish face in the box to your upper right fool you: I am writing this article as a 42-year-old man. As evidenced by the fact that I still cannot grow a full beard (and that I will still read a comic book should the opportunity arise), I don’t really act that old. But trust me: I am every bit of the backside of 40.

Unfortunately, my body thought my mind needed a refresher course in my age last January. I was playing flag football when I felt a sharp pain in the back of my lower leg. I immediately hit the ground and turned my head to see who kicked me. When I realized there was no one within 20 yards, I had a feeling I was in for some bad news.

Sure enough, I had torn my Achilles tendon. It was a downer to say the least. Plus, I feel quite certain had I not torn it, I would have had a pick six on that play! (Editor’s note: According to everyone else there, he’s lying.)

Anyhoo, after several trips to D-1 Sports Medicine near Brookwood Mall and their fantastic staff (thanks Dr. Connor, Katie, and Carrie), I am proud to say my 40-yard dash time is just as slow now as it was before I was injured. But this experience did make me think about being (upper) middle-aged. Maybe I can warn some of you who happen to be speed-walking toward 40 like a freight train full of strained prunes.

As I found out the hard way, the body of a 40-year-old begins to go through changes. Not the good Hey-look-what-I-can-do-in-the-shower! kind of changes, either. These changes suck like Dracula’s vacuum. To keep with my usual theme, I will use sports-related acronyms to let you know what to expect. I’ll call it O.P.P.

This used to mean something totally different when I was young: O was for other and P was for people. The last P? Hm…That wasn’t that simple. I won’t get into that sorta properly. I’ll say the last P…stood for property. (Kudos to you, Naughty by Nature.)

Sorry; not anymore it don’t. O.P.P. now means “Old People Problems,” and folks my age have those in spades. I am literally making lists to remind me of other lists I wrote. And those lists are usually of the medicines I need. In keeping with my acronymic theme, here are even more acronyms to prepare you for elderly life:

ESP: It’s not “Extra Sensory Perception” anymore. Now it means “Extra Super Peeing.” You will pee a lot more, period. Years of alcohol abuse (sorry; it’s true, and it is time you knew) have left your liver and kidneys nothing more than hollow shells of their former selves. Now, when you have to go in the car, you can’t hold it until the next exit; it’s a pull-over-right-now-or-plan-on-having-your-seats-reupholstered moment.

ESPN: It’s not just the OFFICIAL network of the WNBA anymore. Now it means “Extra Super Peeing at Night.” Maybe this is only a guy thing, but I pee more now in one night than I used to in all of February. I just started wearing a condom to bed to save trips. If this keeps up, I’m going to invest in a rubber sheets and galoshes.

ESPN2: It’s really more like “ESPN for 2” because it is the same as ESPN, but it is for couples because you each take turns going to the john. Show of hands: Who has actually accidentally run into his or her partner while in a sleeping stupor on the way to the head? Wow, that many of you, huh?

ESPNU: That’s when one of you accidentally (or purposefully, if you two are down with that) pees on the other in a vain attempt to make the bathroom. Obviously, as with your cable company, you have to have ESPN2 to get ESPNU.

FEMA: A federal emergency response team? Nah, now it means: “FacE lift Makeover ASAP.” Let’s “face” it: You are getting droopy. Based on the number of face lifts I have seen in Birmingham recently, it is like the city passed an ordinance that everyone over 40 is required to have one. Hey, I ain’t judging you. I’d get a tummy tuck and rhinoplasty this afternoon if I had the coin. Just heed this advice: Do not ever skimp on plastic surgery or you’ll wind up with your sideburns around your shoulder blades. If, while in the consultation, your surgeon just mentions giving you a free T-shirt after the procedure, slowly back out of the room and run to your car.

Well, here’s hoping I haven’t scared the beejeezus out of you. I just thought some of you may want to know getting older is not all running by the ocean while holding hands and side-by-side bathtubs as the commercials would have you believe.

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