Chewing my cud…    feeling somewhat irked by another radio commercial.  Pondering this culture.  Yes, I am of a sub-set of the demographic that is older.  I am white.  I am male. I just turned 60 years old (that is the first time I actually wrote that number to explain my age!) (WOW!). So the radio programs I listen to ( i.e. Howie Carr in the afternoons) are going to appeal to my demographic – hence they’ll attract advertisers looking for access to me and my ilch…  but for Heaven’s sake!

I’m so sick of the myriad of commercials touting the services whereby we old buzzards can procure medication for an erection on demand, a new head of thick sexy hair, sparkling white teeth – that are straight!, lipo-suction or worse…  a gastric bypass!  Imagine having part of your stomach removed surgically because you can’t put that third cheeseburger down?!

At least the ad I heard today for a “men’s clinic” had the voice-over done by a guy who actually said the words “I did it for my wife”  as opposed to his “partner”!   I often hear ads for the blue pill wherein they entice you to think of “your partner”.   My God!

Then, I’m affronted with the expressed notion that because I “suffer” from male pattern baldness…I’m somehow not virile, not sexy, not youthful…    less of a man.   I have been bald since I was in my early twenties…and all my life I’ve been physically stronger and more virile than most the men I’ve met all my life or known that were my age!   I mean c’mon!

My wife hounds me about going to the dentist regularly and flossing regularly…yeah she rides me about this continually…but I DO brush my teeth vigorously twice daily and never have cavities.   I have all my teeth in my mouth…   but for three.    I am NOT ashamed of my “smile” either!

…and yeah, I’m a bit portly.  But, I still need an athletic-cut suit ‘cuz my waist is still 10″ smaller than my chest.  I can’t buy dress-shirts for work anywhere but at the Big & Tall stores ‘cuz my neck is 20″ around.

You know what else disturbs me somehow?  Just a little bit.   Have you noticed lately a lot of men in “their thirties” or older –  pushing baby-carriages?     seems a bit….disproportionate.

I’ve also noticed among younger men lately a sort of “sing-songy” cadence and tonal variance to their voices…    especially if you find yourself in a line at Starbucks ( God forbid!).  Just listen these days.  Men’s voices are changing…maybe it is a “tone’ thing.   I think it’s societal.  I really do.

But hey!  all men might not suffer from this particular malady…but I have it bad.  Wait for it.

Wicked thick toenails!   It’s tough bein’ a guy!

I have sometimes been embarrassed to be on my boat in the summer (I’m barefoot whenever I can be!) and I’ve preempted any comments or shrieks of horror by just explaining that I can’t for the life of me get my toenail clipper open wide enough to cut these horse-hoofs of mine!  Well, I finally thought of something and tried it over this past weekend…and it works delightfully-well.   My Dremel!   Yeah baby!   …works like a charm!  Just plug ‘er in and let her rip!  sanded these babies down like a smooth piece o’ marble!  To think!   I was going to pop into a nearby nail & hair salon and dip my feet into one of those cool-lookin’ basins and have some Asian chick give me a pedicure.   I wimped out.   …snapped the correct sandpaper-wheel onto the Dremel and a buzzin’ I did go!

As I looked into my shed where I keep my lawnmower, garden tools ect.   I noticed sadly that I’ve hung onto the kiddie-pool toys and plastic water-cannon weapons that I got for my grandchildren when they were real little.  Sadly I must throw them out as my oldest grandson is signing up this week for Driver’s Ed.  Bummer.  They’re all getting older.  Seemingly less time for Papa and Nana.  The sleep-overs are becoming fewer.   They have their respective buddies, sporting events and band rehearsals.  Bummer.

My father’s older brother’s son.  My first cousin; “Archie The Hooligan” passed away suddenly last week.  56 years old.  Major sudden heart attack.  He was a hockey-player in college and an all around sports buff.  Always seemed in real good shape.  Way too young to die like that.  We used to be rather rowdy together in years past. Many, many fun times.  I’m sad that he’s passed.  God bless him…     so sad that his wife and life left him to be cremated and without a proper Catholic burial.  He was said to have “no faith”…so, they had his ashes in a little box atop a kneeler in the funeral parlor….where they had a “Celebration of his life” instead of a Catholic funeral mass.  I left before that began…    saddened by my extended family’s renouncement of the true Roman faith that so animated the souls and lives of the founding father and mother of our Gillis family here in Boston.

Life trudges on…     I sin.  I go to confession.   I go to Mass.  I pray the Rosary.  Death will come for me.

YOU must go to confession and pray for a good death!   Nevermind your teeth, hair, pot-belly or your penis!

Allan Gillis


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