I’m reminded of a line in Young Frankenstein where they are digging up a recently deceased body and Frankenstein says, “What a filthy job.” Igor replies, “It could be worse. It could be raining,” and it suddenly starts to pour.
It’s Mel Brooks Philosophy 101: It could always be worse.
Sure, it’s 103 degrees outside, but it could be worse. That could be your own temperature. If so, quit reading this and get yourself tested for you-know-what.
Although my flesh and bones temp hovers around a boring 98.6, I signed up for a coronavirus test last week, and during the scant few seconds it took, what popped into my head was Vinny Barbarino from Welcome Back Kotter saying, “Up your nose with a rubber hose!”
While the experience was a bit awkward, to say the least, it was mercifully brief and the lady at the Socorro County Health Department proved to be very skilled at her job.
Oh, by the way, If you remember who the above-mentioned Vinny Barbarino was, you may be in one of those high-risk categories. You know, that age thing, or as we like to say around here, an old-timer.
That being said, I have never figured out exactly what makes one an old-timer. My first guess would be someone who has more or less seen it all. Take, for instance, my favorite old-timers Gabby Hayes and Ma Joad. First, you've got John Steinbeck’s Ma Joad in The Grapes of Wrath, quietly wise and impervious to hardship, and then there's Gabby Hayes, the grizzled but good-natured sidekick to the likes of Randolph Scott, John Wayne and Roy Rogers who could cuss up a storm without using profanity.
On the other hand, while we're talking about movie old-timers, you also have the old, bitter Miss Havisham, all cooped up in her decaying mansion or the crotchety Mr. Potter who drove George Bailey to want to throw himself off a bridge.
It takes all kinds. Some people age like wine, others age like milk.
One thing is true, real-life old-timers just know stuff, and the older you get the more you know how to do things, whether it's how to force out a chigger or gap a spark plug, you pick up things just by…well, living.
But I digress. I got the coronavirus all-clear texted to me on Sunday. So far, so good, I’m thinking, but wait, that doesn’t preclude all the ordinary crummy things in life from happening.
Case in point: that same day, while unceremoniously gnawing on a fried chicken thigh, wouldn’t you know it but a crown came off one of my pearly whites. Granted, in light of the crazy stuff we’re all dealing with it’s a trivial thing, but hey, teeth are supposed to behave.
As a matter of fact, I was re-watching an old Hitchcock movie made in the 1950s recently and in one of the scenes, a woman is telling her husband, played by Henry Fonda, that her teeth have been giving her pain for a few days.
The wife, Vera Miles, said the dentist told her it would cost three hundred dollars to extract four wisdom teeth. “He also gave me a little lecture on evolution on the side,” she said. “It seems the human race is growing smaller jaws…and having fewer teeth, but the teeth are ahead of the jaws, and so everybody has more teeth than they know what to do with.”
That’s why I have four impacted wisdom teeth, she grimaced.
I’m thinking Hitchcock just had to throw a little reminder of dental pain and suffering into the film, even though it was a central plot point: how does the husband come up with $300?
But I, again, digress.
I'm in a quandary. Every time I go on the Internet looking for Kevlar gloves for holding the steering wheel, I'm bombarded with popups and ads for the latest and bestest whiz-bang face masks, and I'm wondering if my standard tri-layered white just isn't cutting the mustard, fashion-wise. Am I out of step? Am I clinging to the old-school masks of, say, March? Does one make a fashion statement with a COVID-Safe Practices face mask? Is that a thing?
I ventured into John Brooks the other day and saw face coverings that ran the gamut. Besides your basic black or white, they ranged from tie-dye to Denver Broncos to cowboy bandanas.
Should your mask coordinate with one’s ensemble? Does it matter if the checkered mask clashes with a striped shirt? And for that matter, are there gender-specific masks? If so, mine should be manly. No leopard prints or smiley faces for me, nossir. Maybe a simple Zia or camo or … or ...
Stop. I’m overthinking this.
Whatever I wear, at least people can’t see that gap in my teeth where the crown fell off.