A Grey Christmas

Sweet Jesus, there are grey hairs all over the place.

So, I have this friend. Let’s call him Jon B., or perhaps J. Butler. Anyhow, this friend travels to a local barbershop for his tri-monthly haircut shortly after his 23rd birthday. He sits down, hypnotized by the familiar buzz of the shears when suddenly the spell is broken.

Sweet Jesus, there are grey hairs all over the place.

“Uh, excuse me, sir,” the friend stammers. “Did you, like, forget to clean this smock when you were cutting some old guy’s hair?”

“Nope, that’s all you, brother,” the barber replies. He points to his own head and says, “I’ve got more than a few myself, and as long as they stay there, I don’t give a shit what color they are.”

There’s wisdom in those words, but they offered little comfort to my friend as he received his first bitchslap from Father Time. It starts with a few grey hairs, and then escalates to untold horrors of advancing age. Soon enough, I could be complaining about my “bad back” or “crap knee,” injured in some bygone sporting event of epic proportions—the details of which I will surely exaggerate to anyone willing to listen. Far too humiliating to admit, the lower back finally threw in the towel while lifting a bag of peat moss in the ole garden.

Let’s not even mention the inevitable loss of mental acumen, as I’ve been suffering from that long enough already. According to my father, who is perfect in all things and immune from visits to Planet Dumbass, blame for my deficient brain cells rests solely with my mother. This means that, 20 years from now, I will lose things on a daily basis, but never really lose them.

At first, “somebody stole it.” This usually applies to her purse, but the occasional hairbrush has been subject to theft on particularly bad days. In reality, these objects usually hide in plain sight, leading her to deduce, “You damn kids must have moved it or something.” Sadly, I’m prone to many of these lapses already.

Yes, Gerald Butler is perfect in all things mental (or at least errs when no one is looking), but his physical condition has suffered along the years. Thirty years from now, I can look forward to a detached retina, leaving me mostly blind in one eye. This will serve as a double-edged sword as a parent. On one hand, my children will call me “One-Eyed Jon” behind my back, in whispers of fearful awe that befit a healthy home and ensure I never become a eunuch Buddy Dad.

Unfortunately, a loss of depth perception will transform a drive in the family automobile into a truly religious experience. Watching the old man weave to and fro on the highway was eerily reminiscent to a marathon Mario Kart session, and we all thank God that his preferred SUV company cars are equipped to handle rough terrain—curbs at the grocery store, for example.

If you’ve seen those fancy new sensors on luxury cars that tell the driver when he or she is getting too close to an object, you understand my mom’s function. Except instead of a friendly beep, she employed a frantic shriek.

So, in the hopes of stemming the physical and mental deformities sure to befall me under the ravages of advancing age, I humbly present the following Christmas wish list—cribbed liberally from late-night infomercials.

Bowflex. Chuck Norris uses it to pump up his “bis, tris, and pecs,” and the Chuckster looks pretty damn good for an old guy. If I supplement this Draconian piece of home workout equipment with a not-so-healthy regimen of Sly Stallone’s Instone brand of barely legal steroids, I will be chiseled from granite. Granted, a heart attack seems inevitable, but no pain, no gain.

Extenze. If it’s good enough for Ron “The Hedgehog” Jeremy, then certainly Jon “The Jonaconda” Butler could use a boost to “that most special of male body parts.” Age seems to shrink everything, so with these magic pills I’d be packing a package the size of a baseball bat well into my golden years. Furthermore, these pills should negate the shrinkage factor of Nostones—er, Instone—on my Get Huge lifestyle.

Botox. At 23, some may say I’m too young to inject botulism into my face. And to them I say, “Stop hatin’, beeyotch.” Four years of undergraduate midterms and final exams have taken their toll, and I need to regain the youthful countenance of my prime. With luck, it will end there—although years of diligent Nip/Tuck viewing have taught me that anything’s possible in plastic surgery these days.

Actually, screw it. While I’d love for Just For Men’s patented Grecian formula to turn back the clock a year or so, one fact remains: George Clooney epitomized pimpin’ as a salt-and-pepper man, and clearly I’ve been chosen to carry his legacy into the new millennium. Laugh if you want, but some day I may finally be in the position to convincingly lie about my age and nail the oversexed, Desperate Housewife milf I’ve wanted under my Christmas tree since I hit puberty. Oh, what a merry Christmas that would be, indeed.

Self-centered, snarky humor aside: Best wishes to you and yours during the holiday season. May you receive nothing but good times with good people…

And perhaps an Xbox 360 that you’d love to share with a poor, greying writer.

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