It’s not the years, it’s the mileage
Happy birthday to me. My present upon turning 55 was getting to shovel a half block of snow; a neighbor got the other half. We’re the only semi-able-bodied men on this side of the street, so we tag-team snow removal on behalf of those less mobile.
As blizzards go this was pretty weak stuff, though the lawn will like the heavy, wet snow; just enough to soak the greenery without tearing branches off trees. Plenty of ice underneath, which makes me wish I owned an auto body shop. Instead of chipping away at a sidewalk with a plastic shovel I’d be pricing real estate beachside, browning like a fat pork chop in a skillet and enjoying a frosty beverage shaded by a tiny paper umbrella.
The snow croaked my plan to ride my age (55 = 55 miles). One friend suggested doing it on the stationary trainer (ho ho); another noted that I have been elevated to the ground floor of a new racing age group (which already holds most of the fast dudes who had been flogging me in the 50-54s before I wised up and retired from competition). A third sang me a variation of the “Happy Birthday” song over the phone:
Happy birthday to you
Your basement’s fulla poo
You work for a website
And they’re not paying you.
I could mark this auspicious occasion by drinking 55 ounces of beer, then peeing a big 55 in the snow. But I fear shrinkage in this vile weather. One wishes to impress the neighbors, not amuse them.
Late update: OK, it’s not exactly a present-free birthday. The aforementioned website finally crossed my palm with coin of the realm, a full 12 days past the contractually mandated deadline. A number of you have weighed in with various deranged salutations involving pricey beverages that I can’t quite reach from here. And the mom-in-law rang me up to sing a proper version of “Happy Birthday” (mind you, not just ’cause she fears being consigned to an Army cot in the garage when she comes to visit in May). Finally, Herself authorized the purchase of a used 12-inch 1.5GHz G4 PowerBook from PowerMax as a backup for the recently resurrected MacBook. This expenditure required the trading in of the two beater G3 iBooks that have been stinking up the joint, which makes it another exercise in thinning the MacHerd and therefore semi-responsible in addition to self-indulgent.