I am feeling great, and I'll tell you why. It's because of this article I read recently that said . . . um . . . it said . . . OK, wait just a minute while I get out this article. . . .
OK, here it is: According to this article, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania did a study showing that, as males but not females get older, their brains shrink. Was I ever relieved to read that! I thought it was just me!
Here's something I regularly do: I'm walking through an airport, and I see a newsstand, and I think: "Huh! A newsstand! I can get a newspaper there, and perhaps some magazines! I can read them on the airplane, and use the information in them to write informed columns!"
So I carefully select some newspapers and magazines; then I put them on the counter; then I get out my wallet and pay for them; then I carefully put the receipt into my wallet so that I can deduct this purchase for tax purposes; then I go get on the airplane.
OK, here's a pop quiz: What will I discover when I get on the airplane? You older, shrinking-brain males probably have no idea. You're saying to yourselves: "What airplane?"
But you female readers, and you younger males, know the answer: I will discover that I left my magazines and newspapers back on the newsstand counter. I cannot tell you how many times I have done this. (Note to Internal Revenue Service: The reason I still deducted these purchases on my tax return is that I am writing about them here.) I could save time if, when striding through the airport, I simply flung money in the general direction of the newsstand.
Here's another thing I do: I routinely go to the cleaners for the specific purpose of picking up my shirts, pay for my shirts, then attempt to walk out without my shirts, as though I were just visiting them.
Also: Many times I am looking all over for my reading glasses looking, looking, looking, looking and then I walk past a mirror and notice that they are perched on my head. "Ha ha!" they gaily shout to me, their lenses twinkling. "You cretin!"
Also: I have always been terrible at remembering people's names, but now I forget names instantaneously, before they have gotten all the way through my ear canal. If somebody introduces himself to me at a social event, it sounds as though he's saying: "Hi. I'm Blah."
"I'm sorry," I'll say. "What was your name again?"
"Blah," he'll say."
"Ah!" I'll say, smiling brightly while hoping that a meteor will crash into the building before I have to introduce him to someone else.
Here's another symptom: I currently own four that is correct: four identical, unused tubes of toothpaste, because every time I'm in a drugstore and walk past the toothpaste section, my brain, which by now must be about the size of a Raisinet, racks its tiny shriveled self in an effort to remember whether I have any toothpaste, and it can never come up with a definitive answer, so it always decides, Better safe than sorry!
(The good news is, if the price of Tartar Control Crest rises significantly, I will be a wealthy man.)
Anyway, I was very relieved to find out that this was not just my personal problem, but a problem afflicting the brains of males in general, although, as a frequent flier, I hope it doesn't extend to male airplane pilots ("Ladies and gentlemen, we are approaching either Pittsburgh or Honolulu, so at this time I'm going to push the button that either illuminates the fasten-seat belt signs or shuts off all the engines").
The University of Pennsylvania study (Note to older males: I am referring here to a study showing that, as males get older, their brains shrink) also showed that we older males tend to lose our sense of humor. This is definitely true in my case. I was just talking to my oldest friend, whose name is . . . Excuse me while I look up his name. . . .
OK, here it is: I was talking to my oldest friend, Joe DiGiacinto, and we were remarking on the fact that when we were teenage males roaming uncontrolled around Armonk, N.Y., we thought that the most hilarious imaginable human activity was the wanton destruction of mailboxes, whereas we now both firmly believe that this should be a federal crime punishable by death.
So my overall point is that the brain-shrinkage study makes me feel a lot better, because now I know that I'm not getting stupid alone, that billions of guys are getting stupid with me, as evidenced by:
The U.S. Senate
Here's what I think: I think Older Male Brain Shrinkage (OMBS) should be recognized as a disability by the federal government. At the very least, we should have a law requiring everybody to wear a name tag ("Hello! My name is Blah"). Older males would be exempt from this requirement, because they wouldn't be able to find their tags. I have many other strong views on this subject but I can't remember what they are.