If you’re like me (a middle-aged man with male pattern baldness) or maybe not so much…it’s the start of what I’d normally refer to as “fall”. School has started again with kids shuffling off to their respective schools while I nostalgically reminisce about this summer that’s now streaked past us at breakneck speed. Back in the day…when everyone only had around three or four TV channels of which to get their news, sports and entertainment I’d anxiously await the release of the newest TV shows on the major networks. There were no VCR’s, DVR’s, DVD’s, Net Flix or network websites where you could watch your favorite show if you missed it, you’d just hope that your buddy could retell the entire episode of the Six Million Dollar Man accurately enough to get you through until the reruns came on over the holiday break. Oh how they’d tempt us all summer long with their commercials of funny new sitcoms and dramas. Who could forget that hot little number Kristy McNichol in the show Family? (As it turns out I didn’t need to worry about courting her…) or the wacky goings on in Milwaukee with the crew from Happy Day’s (Joni didn’t trip my trigger…too whiny) but the good folks over at Three’s Company…well….who’s trigger didn’t get tripped by Suzanne Sommers?! 

It’s been a pretty good summer, with most of it being documented right here, on the BLOG SITE of the CENTURY, but if you missed it….here’s a quick recap:

  • We vacationed in New York City where I didn’t get murdered, which I have going for me. We had a great time and my new favorite mixed drink is a rum side car.
  • I, once again, captured first place in the “49 and holding” category for shrieking the loudest once I hit the ice cold mid-June waters at the local swimming pool.
  • My brother Brian gave me a CD of some old color slides from the late 1950’s and middle 60’s of our family, that he’s been working on for some time. It’s pretty cool. I found a photo of my Grandpa Wagner especially moving since I really never got to know him AND my mother told me that when she watched a video of me screwing around and using a few swear words that I look and sound just like him. Who knew?! Not this guy!!
Grandpa Wagner with my brother Brian.

Grandpa Wagner with my brother Brian.

 

  • I also found these photos of my brothers and (eventually) them holding me extremely funny.
My brothers Brian, on the left, and Dan.  Just look at them...bored out of their minds...just hoping for something like a puppy or pony to come along in their lives. They got me instead.

My brothers Brian, on the left, and Dan. Just look at them…bored out of their minds…just hoping for something like a puppy or pony to come along in their lives. They got me instead.

OH JOY!!  A puppy!!!  Er...little brother!!  I must have been a "biter" because Brian is keeping his mitts off me...which he couldn't do later in my life....I still have the bruises to prove it!!

OH JOY!! A puppy!!! Er…little brother!! I must have been a “biter” because Brian is keeping his mitts off me…which he couldn’t do later in my life….I still have the bruises to prove it!!

And last but not least…I jotted down these notes while at the pool for the last time before it closed for the season.

“The pool is the place to be today. In just a few short days these kids will be sitting in classrooms, trying in vain to remember what was on their frontal lobe last June. The pools will fall silent and empty…becoming the graveyards of summertime fun as falling leaves skip across their decks. I spy a local basketball player who has a posse of little twerps laughing as they ascend up his legs and onto his torso before almost making it up to his shoulders before he flicks them off into the water…squealing with delight midair before splashing down into the coolness of the water on this hot August day. He’s being very patient with them as he sends the last one airborne before moving onto deeper waters. Later on a little boy, all of seven years old, struts by two ten year old girls and gives one of them a paused “stink eye”. While one is horrified her friend laughs and gives chase to the blonde haired Casanova for his brazen flirt.   I try to read a book that I brought with me but the high comedic drama that’s unfolding mere feet from the end of my lounger is too much for me to ignore.

Later I spy a guy who’s obviously unaware that I’m the alpha male at this pool and struts right past me. He’s muscular (the show off). He’s tanned a dark bronze (again…showing off). His oiled physique glistens in the sun. (did I mention that he’s showing me up?) He’s shaved every square inch of his visible body (and probably more) so he’s not nearly as hideous as the rest of us middle-aged guys at the pool. His waist is small without the additional spare tire of blubber that the rest of us idiots have been purchasing on a thirty year installment plan of beer, burgers and potato chips….and he’s wearing a tiny European swimsuit and ROCKIN’ IT!! My subordinates look at me curiously to see what my next move will be since my kingdom is being challenged by someone who obviously has the will power to not eat fatty foods, exercises hourly, shaves constantly and smells as good as he looks . I weigh my options, literally….I think that since I outweigh him that I’ll sneak up behind him once in the pool and proceed with dunking him several times…..in the hopes of retaining my role as APHLA MALE or until the 17 year old lifeguard asks me to leave as I just dunked her dad. Its like my Daddy used to tell me “an alpha male has to do what an alpha male has to do.”

The public address announcer states that the residents of Willow Run Retirement Center should make their way to their shuttle as it’ll leave soon. Dozens of octogenarians shuffle towards the exit as one of them, Agnes, looks back over her shoulder at me and yells “See ya in 2016 Richie Boy!!” as she scoots towards her bus with her walker. A strong melancholy washes over me as I realize that there’s no one left to apply the multiple layers of cocoa butter to my back, shoulders and thighs quite like Agnes could. I pout quietly until I notice the sheer delight of a two year old girl jumping into her grandmother’s arms who’s in waist deep water. The grandmother lets the little girl submerge if only for a second before lifting her quickly out of the water as both laugh and giggle at their game. The joy and exuberance on the grandmothers face makes me smile though I cannot tell who’s having more fun…but I’d bet that it’s the older of the two. If we could only harness the excitement, the energy, the shrieks of laughter, the smell of suntan lotion and the feel of a hot summer day while cicadas serenade us from the leafy canopy and BOTTLE IT for later use in January and February…we’d be quite wealthy.

A moment or two later the same seven year old blonde boy is teasing two high school girls who have taken a seat along the pools edge and have their legs in the water. He closes down from behind them and slowly…cautiously touches one of them on the shoulder before scampering away. This goes on for several minutes as the beauties talk to each other before one of them catches the scamp and wraps him up in her arms and lays him across her lap and tickles him. He half-heartedly attempts to get away before the other knockout latches onto him and hugs him closely to herself and denies his attempts at escape. With these two lovely tanned beauties fawning over him gives me the impression that he is EXACTLY where he wanted to be in the first place. The high school boys siting across the pool witnessing this spectacle sit slack-jawed wondering how they could ever weasel that kind of attention from the fairer of the two sexes. Good luck with that boys…maybe you’ll learn how in school. As for me…I’m going home. Its been a great summer….and I hope yours has been too.

Thanks for reading. God Bless!

R

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