I recently turned 50 so I bit the bullet and had the medical exam that goes with it. Heart’s good, lungs okay, bones hanging in there. Cholesterol was 210 and the doctor prescribed a statin. Uh, no thanks — I’ll try oatmeal first. Had edema because of crappy leg veins but that’s nothing a few “footballs” (street name for oval shaped furosemide) won’t cure. So basically I’m in about the same marginally mediocre shape I was in five years ago, except that my cholesterol is down eighteen points.
So what is my point? Well I had always thought that once you turned 50, you started listening to Lawrence Welk and playing Count the Floaters. Turns out that’s not true. You might still listen to alternative music or rock and decide that roller derby is your new passion.
That’s how I found myself at the Granada Theater for a Jenny Lewis concert. Got there an hour early so we could get good seats since it was general admission only. Stood outside in 100 degree heat for about thirty minutes before the doors opened. Once we got inside, it was pretty dark but even as old as we are, we could see that there were no freakin’ chairs! We looked on the lower level and the middle level and thought, they must be on the upper level. I love Jenny Lewis’ music a lot but I wasn’t quite willing to stand on puffy legs for nearly three hours.
It was dark as hell but we started up the stairs. Gingerly, I might add. If you’ve never worn bifocals, you don’t know how tricky stairs can be. In fact when I first got bifocals, my mom said that everyone takes a spill within the first couple of years. Anyway, as we climbed higher, there were a couple of chairs roped off in a few areas but that was it. When we got to the top there was only a bar and a bathroom with another five or six steps. No chairs for general admission.
So we started back down. I crept along like Susan Hayward on her way to the gas chamber. I was almost to the bottom when I must have become over confident. Because there I was, dumped forward on both knees with first degree carpet burns on my hands. First thought — F**K! And that’s F**K with a diphthong. Second thought — Who slipped something in my drink? Third thought — Pop up fast so no one sees you! So I sprang up almost as fast as Kung Pow Tina (a roller derby reference) — now infinitely thankful for the darkness. Maybe yesteryear’s teachers were right after all — humiliation IS a great motivator.
So I had a double bourbon and Coke so that I could pretend to be drunk and not just old, cursed the Granada, and limped out to the lobby where we exited, mumbling something about roofies. A couple of guys in the band were practicing out behind the theater as we walked to the car. As we were driving away, I thought I saw a shock of red hair in one of the band’s bus windows.
Was that you, Jenny?