It seems all of our lives we look forward to retirement – right up to the time when it actually happens. Then we are faced with the reality that we must fill every day with interest and activity. For some this isn’t a challenge, they simply substitute paid work for unpaid work in the form of volunteering and others choose to travel while others simply go back to work. But then there is that small minority who simply try to withstand the daily adventure and mini-disasters that seem to follow them around, my wife and I seem to fall into that category. I offer a typical day in our retirement paradise.
Being retired we have no reason to rise before the chickens but after 40 years of greeting the sun with mixed emotions, it is now impossible to sleep in. Well not really – we sleep late now and don’t get up before 6 AM, which some see as the reason senior citizens are so crabby – they’re sleep deprived. But not us – we bounce out of bed each day ready for adventure. Of course we must admit there is less bounce than there used to be and some days we have to have a full Homeland Security groping just to ensure all of the body parts are intact, but still we start each day with enthusiasm. But – as the usual day in our retirement paradise progresses our enthusiasm wanes and today was very typical.
As usual we were up with the chickens and skipped downstairs, the skipping was due to having left our glasses downstairs and not being able to see all of the steps, so we skipped a couple. THAT gave us a good adrenalin rush, which we counted as our cardio-workout for the day. And now we were ready for breakfast. Contrary to what we tell our doctors we really don’t eat high fiber, low cholesterol, low carbohydrate, health foods so widely advertised on TV. You know the ones that promise perfect children, tight butts for life, and no need for health insurance. Instead we opt for the traditional breakfast of bacon, eggs, and toast, which would send our doctors into cardiac arrest if they knew, so we feel we are actually helping save their lives by telling them that we have given up real food and rely on better living through chemistry. But it isn’t like we are ignoring all aspects of the healthy life style. We no longer fry our eggs in the bacon grease but instead we use real butter – totally natural foods for us – no longer any of that processed junk peddled by the Pillsbury Dough Boy and his junk food pushing buddies like General Mills.
So this morning’s menu called for poached eggs on buttered toast with sausage. This was a simple healthy breakfast – easy to make, which I managed to whip up within minutes, but as usual nothing ever goes according to the plan. So I sat down for my breakfast and poked my fork into my poached egg. POW!!! My egg exploded!! This was not just some little poof – I mean it was like a car bomb. The yoke blew up and threw the yoke all over me, the table, and the floor. I figured I had been attacked by an egg bomb planted by some extremist militant PETA inspired chicken. Or maybe it was my doctor sending me the message to stick to egg whites, I don’t know which but I definitely was left with egg on my face. Well there was the sausage left so I stuck my fork into it. It was like releasing Niagara. It began to shoot a liquid clear across the plate and right onto my chest. I jumped back and yelled “My sausage just pissed on me!!” That turned out to be a poor choice of words because my wife wasn’t clear on just what sausage I was referring to and sort of took the position of “SO--? what else is new?” Another one of my failures in communications, but it seemed clear to me that I had been attacked by my breakfast, but I quickly decided I wasn’t dealing with an attack by PETA, the sausage was just showing solidarity with that Chicken or maybe it was the doctor delivering a symbolic message regarding my health choices.
So as you can see it wasn’t even 6:30 AM and our day was already off to a rocky start. But the sun came up, the day dawned, and so began another day in our little retirement paradise. I began working on my computer while The Commander In Chief (aka the wife) started her usual mysterious banging, tearing, squashing, and talking to herself. Suddenly there was an animal like scream and she immediately activated her emergency -- knight in shining armor alarm – that’s me, although the response time isn’t quite as fast as it used to be. So I dash downstairs – well dash at my age isn’t quite as fast as it once was but I arrive out of breath and in a rush of adrenalin (second cardio for the day). Of course I hadn’t heard the initial cry but I certainly hear the second one. It definitely sounds like an animal and it is in the HOUSE!! We immediately launch a search – well I search while my wife remains barricaded behind the chairs. After searching high and low, I bump into the package of toys she had wrapped for our grandchildren -- VOILA` The package emits this animal like cry!! She shouts “IT’S THE MONKEY!!” and of course being totally involved in all domestic events -- at a casual interest level -- I shout “WHAT MONKEY” Well it seems that as a welcome gift for my new iPhone, Verizon sent a monkey – Don`t ask because I don’t get the symbolism either. It seems my darling wife – had packed this monkey with the other toys destined for our grandchildren. This monkey makes screaming sounds as if it were being tortured (probably by a competitor like AT&T?)when moved or disturbed – mystery solved. So it was now lunch time and we have had two cardio-work outs and enough excitement for another typical day in retirement paradise. How the United Postal Service will react to this package is to be determined.