There’s nothing like getting old, and only the serious need apply. I know things that can’t be learned other than by getting old. It’s like being a parent—some things can be learned only if you have children, and if you don’t have any you don’t know squat.

One thing I’ve long suspected and now as a codger feel I’m in a position to say out loud is, “The masses are morons.” Look at the things they put up with. Look at what’s on television. Look who’s president. That’s the cream of the crop?

And for years I’ve looked forward to being a dirty old man, able to get away with things for which younger men would be soundly thrashed. I’ve been gearing up for 30 years. So far, I’m old enough at least to have a new understanding for what passes for pedophilia. Girls bloom for reasons way older than any of us, and involving the government in any matters of sex is a bad idea. Governments are too stupid and corrupt to trust with such matters. I liked little girls when I was a little boy, but if I were to play doctor now like I used to, the government goons would lock me away, and for the same thing. There’s something wrong with that. I remember when lusting after young girls was in fashion. Old enough is old enough and has nothing to do with anybody’s stature. Remember the song “Youngblood” by the Coasters? Probably not.

Romeo talking trash under Juliet’s balcony was a long time ago. I used to do that kind of stuff. Now I’d be under a restraining order. When I was growing up in Chicago, stalking was a sign of affection.

And as I age faster and faster, I’m surprised to find myself enjoying life more and more. I think I’m more awake. This past year in particular has been good for me in several ways.

First, I hardly hemorrhaged at all, just little nicks now and then. And no internal bleeding! Not bleeding profusely is good.

I wasn’t beaten severely, and neither was anyone I know. If they had been, somebody would have called me.

Back in the ‘70s, when I was weaning myself from television news, I realized that if something bad happened to somebody I knew that someone else would call to tell me about it. I didn’t have to watch the news to see if everybody was OK, because if they weren’t, I would find out anyway. What a relief.

And this year my house wasn’t destroyed by a brushfire or a tornado or rising floodwaters or an invading army and, in fact, is in better shape than it was last year.

When I go home after a hard day’s work, I’m reminded how much better this is than looking for work that seems always to be somewhere else, and I smile. When I go outside, there are hardly any snipers, and I didn’t experience exploding metal falling from the sky or a maximum security dungeon or any number of other horrible things.

I didn’t go blind, I’m a long way from starvation, I still get around fairly well, and there are no suppurating growths hanging from my face. I like that. My family loves me, and I love them. Life is good, isn’t it?