Curiosity and a lack of beer brought me to my high school’s all-class reunion this weekend. Fifteen hundred graduates gathered to compare hair loss, gut growth, and spray tans. It was a great event and I believe I can speak for all of us when I say that each of us certainly looked better that most of the rest of us. I was surprised, though, at how much more grey hair I have than most of the women there. Must be gene determinant.
Everyone I talked to at this event seemed to have an old story to toss around — and I may have flung a few around myself. Most of the good ones had gathered extra moss over the years and some tales were remarkably better than when they started. My flingees, of course, sounded the ting of lasting truth, even though I filled in a couple of blank spots with things that only probably had happened.
I’m told that before the reunion, emails and FaceBook entries burned up the ether, but I missed many of them. The one I did get suggested I dress in linen to beat the heat. I wore jeans, since table cloth had gravy stains. I don’t think anyone minded, ‘though the table cloth holds a better crease.
One of the memos I apparently missed was the ‘Points-On-Which-To-Pontificate’ memo to older graduates. It should have been missed by more of us. Some could still recite the memo’s bullet points after five or more scotches. After five scotches I can’t recite how many fingers I have. Nor can I count them.
It’s nice to see how many of my school mates have achieved their life-goal of becoming Rush Limbaugh—a void that needed filling since Rush made good his promise to leave the country if the Big Health Plan passed. The Rushes solved all the Big Issues for me, answered all the Big Questions with nicely packaged Big Answers. And they did it while conserving so many neurons. That’s why they call themselves conservatives.They waste very few axons dispensing the Big Answers. They will brake for liquor, though.
Two of the really big Rushes were talking about guarding their asses. I figured neither their wives nor girlfriends would approve and I was prepared to tell them such when I figured out that they were saying “guarding their assets.” Possibly the two are interchangeable.
Turns out that these old friends spend many sober hours protecting their assets to the exclusion of other directions of thought. I’m behind the curve in this, I was told often, and I need to catch up. If I don’t, it seems, ‘the new administration’ will steal my assets.
One of my biggest assets is an eight-year-old tan Mazda truck. It’s in my driveway most nights and the door is open, by the way.
My night closed with one of our school’s biggest assets telling me how I have squandered my productive years teaching and traveling and writing about the things I love when I should have been garnering my resources and amassing wealth. I promised him I’d start tomorrow, and I will—tomorrow.
As I walked away from him I felt a little self-absorbed. We’d spent a good while talking about me and I forgot to ask how his fourth marriage was getting on. I turned to correct this faux pas but saw that I had been replaced by another pontificatee.
So I let it drop and went home to my meager mound of assets, my loving and lovely wife, a dog that thinks I’m the richest, brightest guy in the world, and two kids who are certain I’m neither