Young Pups

[dropcap]I [/dropcap]was pulled over yesterday by a kindhearted highway patrolman who had the babyface of a six-year-old. After serving me a traffic citation, he smiled and said, “Have a merry Christmas, son.”


The deputy wasn’t even old enough to have hair on his forearms.

When did the world get so young? Have you watched the news lately? The weathermen nowadays look like sophomores all dressed up for prom. Even the department-store Santa is younger than me. When I walked through the double doors, he asked me what I’d like for Christmas. I explained, “I’d like to upgrade health insurance without remortgaging my house.”

He laughed. “I’m Santa, not Jesus, son.”

I remember when the world was managed by elders who called me, “buddy.” They wore button-downs, tucked in. Men brimming with experience, full of well-told jokes. Because only older men can tell jokes right.

My twenty-year-old pal, who still smells of baby powder, attempted a joke about marriage once. His punchline was about as flat as Bob Dylan singing with a head cold. It’s not my friend’s fault. He is just too young to be telling marriage jokes. He’s never even had to sleep on his own living-room sofa for Christ sake.

Furthermore – and I don’t mean to complain – there ought to be a law against becoming a doctor until one is old enough to wear proper reading glasses. My pimple-faced doctor wears hair gel. He pointed to my X-rays and said, “Oh, looky here.”

I fumbled my reading glasses from my pocket. “Looky where?”

“Oh, just a little arthritis, son,” he said. “Say, did you hear the joke about the married man with arthritis?”

“No, but tell me, have you ever been shoved from a speeding vehicle by your wife?”

“No. Have you?”

“How do you think I got all this arthritis, son?”