Fanfare for the Common Man: It’s my birthay
Today is my birthday.
Seriously, the 20th finally fell on a Wednesday.
I’m 56 years old.
I’m a grandfather, which is awesome.
I am officially a Senior Citizen, but unbeknownst to me, that happened last year when I hit the Double Nickel.
Growing up, I marked the significant birthdays, my 10th, when I made a killing off the Tooth Fairy; when I turned 13, I shaved for the first time and took my first trip to the E.R.; 18 because I was of age; 21 because I could walk into an establishment and order an adult beverage.
When I turned 25, I got married, on my birthday no less. My car insurance rates dropped like a big rock in a deep pond.
When I turned 30, I had two kids and found my first gray hair.
Turning 35 reminded me I couldn’t do those things I was able to do at 18 and my body showed me in the most inglorious ways possible. But still I tried.
When I turned 40, I gave up trying and my hair had turned mostly white.
I was also divorced.
At age 45, I embarked on my journey into the world of curmudgeonism. My hair was completely white, and I was asked to play Santa Claus for the company Christmas party because I wouldn’t need the fake beard. My Santa Claus suit concerns were dismissed with, “The tag says one size fits all,” when in reality – and yes, I did try on the Santa suit – one size fit everybody EXCEPT me.
“Merry Christmas and go away kid, you bother me.”
And no, I did not pass the Santa Claus audition, which was just as well. The Santa suit fit like O.J’s glove.
When I turned 50, I decided I was tired of my life and needed a change, so I moved from the mountains to the beach and became the Grand Pooh-Bah of the Curmudgeons Lodge.
Which brings us to 55, last year, and now, 56.
I decided, at 55, I needed some goals.
So I made a goal to finally publish one of those novels I’d been writing and hiding in the closet for the past 30 years. I published three, Locked Hearts, the Lunch Box, and today, my third, Broken.
My goal for 2014 is to score a book deal.
The process of soliciting a book manuscript for publication gunks up my brain like a peanut-butter sandwich stuffed in the VCR – heck, even that metaphor is antiquated. I bet there are many of you out there that don’t remember VCRs.
How about eight-track players?
That’s really showing my age.
I got to thinking about the years gone by and all the things I’d done for a living, especially the various intersecting career choices.
Since graduating high school I have been: A professional baseball player, college baseball coach, high school baseball coach, middle school basketball and soccer coach, art teacher (ask me to draw my 60-second bunny rabbit), newspaper reporter and editor, free lance writer, radio talk show host, TV producer (very, very small time), sports play-by-play announcer, disc jockey (the Old School kind), ordained minister, and now, published author.
My bio with the paper says I’m a “Jack of All Trades.” I’ve done it all, people tell me.
My punch line to this is, I’ve either done it all or I have trouble holding down a job.
So let’s blow out some candles and call 911.
There is probably a very big fire here and I just hyperventilated and am unconscious.