Anytime is a good time for a midlife crisis

A midlife crisis isn’t necessarily bad.
After all, for every successful forty-year old male who buys a brand-new sports car to ease the effects of middle-age, one car company remains in business, employing thousands who, in turn, provide their families with basic necessities such as food, clothing, and Apple iPhones.
Thanks to moneyed male executives stricken with midlife crises, many people are able to use, own, and show off their iPhones to their poor, socially-inferior, iPhone-deprived friends. As a result, iPhone people lead infinitely happier, more productive lives, especially compared to those stuck with their low-end, monochrome, single-band Nokias which can’t get a decent signal inside a bus during a rainy night.
Moreover, unlike teenage angst — which is usually shallow, immature, and downright tedious, just like teenagers — the eventual occurrence of a midlife crisis reflects a significant yet subtle shift in the way people view their achievements, however few and irrelevant.
Take that bronze medal for spelling that you got during the third grade.
By no means is it a cosmic indication that you were destined to become a hotshot editor-in-chief of a national newspaper.
However, the medal — and the small, temporary glory you and your parents got from it — neither cramped your style as a clerk.
After toiling behind a desk for two decades, you begin to realize that the world — including the company which pays your salary — needs paper pushers just like yourself.
Casting off all ambition to become rich and famous by refusing to marry your boss’s fat and ugly daughter, the forty-something clerk with a midlife crisis discovers a newfound drive to continue working, assiduously keeping track of invoices, vouchers, and memos before the stupid janitor throws them all away.
Having acquired a certain level of maturity about their professional and personal capabilities, individuals on the brink of a midlife crisis are generally able to take stock of their dreary, empty, and pathetic existence.
In so doing, a midlife crisis enables everyone to look back at their lofty goals when they were younger and remind themselves their dreams are still within reach only if they win the lotto.
Indeed, there’s nothing like a midlife crisis to encourage sufferers from turning into replicas of their parents, also known as moody old farts given to sulking whenever their children fail to drop by during the weekend.
Which is why anytime is a good time for a midlife crisis, especially for people who have yet to have them. So the question now is: why wait for middle age?
From the Fine Print Dept. This piece was posted in a separate blog in November 2007. Picture courtesy of

Buck naked

Very few straight men find amusement in encountering another living, breathing male who happens to be completely naked.
Whatever the circumstances — cinematic, theatrical, sociological, social, personal, and worst of all, sexual — no straight male in his right mind, no matter how liberal, has relished the idea of being in close proximity to a man in his birthday suit.
Although always delighted by the sight of young and pretty females — especially those who show off more skin than usual — many men remain uncomfortable when confronted by a fellow male who has chosen to trump your garden-variety tabloid centerfold by displaying his willy willy-nilly.
This unfortunately pretty much describes my recent experience at the low-end gym I patronize.
While performing the second set of my elevated leg raises — an exercise which I am forced to do inside the men’s locker room — a fellow gym buff sideled up to my right, took a deep breath, and took all his clothes off, underwear included.
He then scoured his bag for a towel which he, perhaps by force of habit, proceeded to sling over his shoulder, oblivious to the fact that his crown jewels were within the visual range of everyone, including obviously myself.
Despite the easy accessibility of his package, I — with my unblemished record of staunch heterosexuality, to borrow a Seinfeld phrase — was not particularly interested in inspecting his specifications.
After all, everyone in the locker room possessed essentially the same biological configurations except that he couldn’t — and wouldn’t be able to — examine ours in the same way we could his (that is, if ever we intended to do so, whether individually or as a group).
And so, like all males pretending to be sophisticated enough for this sort of thing, I closed my eyes, praying that by the time I opened them the surreal penile apparition would either be restrained by cotton underwear, covered by a towel, or for lack of other options, relocated somewhere private, free to roam around without causing injury to anyone or anything and/or sustain any damages.
Unfortunately, this proved to be complicated.
Halfway through my exercises — with my eyes looking straight up — the subject in question emerged from the shower room, still unaware that slick willy resulted in everyone else’s discomfort.
As a result, I lost count of my leg raises, ruining the beginnings of a great workout, no thanks to a man in a birthday suit.

(Originally posted October 20, 2007 in a separate blog)