Sunday, July 15, 2012

What a racquet

I came up with the perfect crime…I mean business. It’s simple really and yet I’m surprised no one has thought of it before. Selling fake IDs to seniors. We are all familiar with phony IDs for teenagers trying to sneak in a bar or purchasing a beer or two. Instead of adding on a few years I want to take some off. 54 becomes 49, 63 turns into early fifties. There’s a gold mine in silver seniors. With the graying of America, there is a new niche to fill. More and more seniors are trying to look younger. Slogans such as “fifty is the new forty,” will only get you so far. Mine is an inexpensive alternative to plastic surgery. For those that are trying to find love the second or third time around, this may just be the arrow in Grandpa Cupid’s quiver.

            At last, my Photoshop skills can be used for evil and actually make me some real dough. And while cops are only too eager to pull a teenager over and check their driver’s license it will take one extraordinary patrolman to question a woman in menopause as to its validity. Will you be the one to suggest she needs to add a few years?

            It’s a natural progression. The older humans get the more likely they are apt to lie about their age. Darwin first wrote about it in his often-ignored book “The Deceit of Man”. Whether its dating, job interviews, senior discounts we all need to be either a little older or a little younger. I take the older route myself, and then hope someone will say “Wow, you look great for a man in his sixties.” Of course you run the risk of them not saying a word, in which case you confess and accuse them of ageism.

            While still working out the logistics, I joined the local men’s tennis team. I figured it was good training for dodging cops when this all goes horribly wrong. The last team I was on was the company softball team back in the eighties. I was working for a cable television company at the time in the art department. I was the staff illustrator and Associate Art Director. Of course, neither title of which had any pull when it came to the team. With a roster fill of installers, truck drivers, and deliverymen, I looked more like the team psychologist than the first baseman. My uniform was just as clean after the season as when it was first taken out of the box. At least I was easy to spot in the lineup.

            The tennis team, however, is quite the opposite. And still I don’t fit in, but it’s the opposite. Made up of local bankers, lawyers, doctors, and real estate developers, once again I am odd man out. Each week the team’s captain sends out emails to ascertain who will be available to play in a match. A flurry of replies would flash across my computer screen with such notes as “No can do…in Cambodia,” and “Sorry, have to fly out to Croatia tomorrow,” and “Be away until business deal gets done, Arrivederci.” I weakly and weekly reply “In my basement…is it nice out?”

            The ages of the players run from mid-forties to late sixties. My first reaction when meeting the team was do I want to play with a bunch of old men? Then it hit me. My God, I am an old man! But old men wear suspenders, and trousers. They say things like ‘when I was your age’ and ‘cat got your tongue’. When did all this happen? One minute I’m attending concerts and the next I’m one table farther away from the dais in life.

            What hit me most were all the arms, legs and joints sporting bandages. They all seemed to suffer wounds from past battles on the clay court. Our team had more wraps than a California snack bar. It was junior high all over again, and I so desperately wanted to fit in. This time instead of braces on my teeth I donned one on my leg.

            They turned out to be a really nice group of guys. With a record of 0-6 I’m more of a vestigial player. And yet when I mentioned I would be away in France (that felt good emailing) and miss two of the matches they were very supportive. They even offer to start a pool to extend my vacation. I explained how I would miss a third match, but they insisted. What a great bunch of fellows.

            The important question is has it helped me in staying or looking younger? Don’t be ridiculous. How can being beaten by a seventy-two year old dermatologist with a knee brace make you feel better? I feel worst now then when I started the season. It’s back to the drawing board, literally, and a new ID. If you want me I’ll be in ‘Botswana’, which is what I’ve been calling my basement these days.

Another nude I did from figure drawing workshop.