Lord I Can’t Drive….FIFTY-FIVE!

I turned 55 yesterday, and I have a confession to make.  Several times in the past year I ordered off the senior menu at IHOP, and was served with no questions asked.  After further review, there might have been some Eighth Commandment violations there.  But the cool thing about Reconciliation I just learned recently is that you aren’t supposed to get specific about your sins, so as to not create an occasion of temptation for the priest; i.e. put tempting mental images in his mind.  For example, you are not supposed to say “Father I climbed a flag pole at midnight naked with a Penthouse magazine in one hand and a bottle of Jack Daniels in the other.”  You just say “Father, I have been impure.”  So while I would be embarrassed to give the gory details of my IHOP transgressions in the confessional, all I really am supposed to say is “I lied x number of times.”  But my problem is to be truly forgiven I have to be truly sorry, and the truth is the Senior Omelet (with mushrooms and turkey sausage) and the two pancakes is exactly the right amount of food for me.  With it three dollars cheaper than the gut-busting regular omelet and its three pancakes, I’m struggling to muster the necessary regret.  (Sigh!)  The path to Heaven is crooked, narrow, and bumpy.

The last two months have been crazy, with one child heading for a three-year Army assignment in Germany, another for West Point as a plebe.  The highlight though was my oldest son Andrew got married in Spain in June, and we were in Torremolinos for 10 days.  My first real foreign trip: been to Canada twice, but that doesn’t really count, eh?  No culture shock visiting the country with the greatest number of donut shops per capita in the entire world, just sweet memories.  Anyway, Torremolinos is a beach town, in the province of Malaga, in the region of Andalucia in southern Spain.  There is a dining tradition there called tapas, which I can best described as an endless series of appetizers, most of which are fish or seafood, and the shrimp arrive with their eyes intact (yeeewww).  You are not in Torremolinos long before a McDonalds hamburger seems as desirable as a filet mignon.  A Captain D’s oily odor of cooking fish hangs in the air everywhere, and it does get to you.  We did stop at a restaurant on a mountain overlooking Granada on our way the Alhambra that specialized in grilled meats, and they were wonderful, with some kind of marvelous chutney and potatoes on the side.  My son Matt eyed his chicken on a big skewer suspiciously, but ended up inhaling it.  Good stuff.

We found a tiny Catholic church tucked in among the shops along the beach, and Mary and I went to Sunday Mass in the evening.  Several elderly ladies brought their small dogs in on a leash (!).  I timed it: Mass was only 19 minutes, with a 5 minute homily.  It was like Univision on steroids.  The primary purpose of the deacon seemed to be to keep flies away from the sacred elements.  It was interesting, if maybe a little less reverently awesome than the Pope’s Easter Mass in St. Peter’s Square.

One morning I decided to take a long walk down the strand along the beach.  It ended against a rocky promontory, but then picked up again on the other side.  The walkway was about 30 feet above the beach.  As I came around to the other side, I espied two elderly gentlemen in nothing but thongs – definitely pushing 80 – oiling themselves down in preparation for the sun.  I was having an internal monologue, along the lines of “C’mon guys, maybe you should be rethinking this – especially you, the guy who’s gi-normous.  Those are the biggest man-boobs I’ve ever seen!”  Then, remember the music from old TV shows that signified sudden, shocking realization, you know, “bum bum BUMMMMM!” all horns and kettle drum?  Well, I heard that music in the back of my head when I had the sudden, shocking realization that…those…weren’t…..GUYS! AAAAAARRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!

But all in all it was a great trip.  My son married a wonderful girl from a wonderful family, and they actually let me cantor a cappella during the ceremony, and it seemed to be well-accepted – all that hard work in shower did not go to waste.

Changing the subject, all the political posturing throughout the “debt crisis” is pretty disgusting.  The government’s revenue receipts every month far exceed the amount needed to service our debt obligations, but the nattering about “the catastrophe of default” goes on shamelessly.  The Department of the Interior may have to lay off a park ranger or two, but no way does Uncle Sam pull out his empty pants pockets and shrug at the Chinese.  Washington thinks we are all a bunch of gullible idiots, and Washington is terribly wrong: it’s just most of us are gullible idiots.  Really, how serious can a debt crisis be when the NFL lockout was resolved?  WE HAVE PRO FOOTBALL!  Everything else is just details.

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One Comment on “Lord I Can’t Drive….FIFTY-FIVE!”


  1. I believe you have observed some very interesting details , thankyou for the post.


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