Christmas shopping I found myself at a cosmetics counter. My eyes were drawn to a display with small cans of aerosol spray that were priced at $150. The cans appeared to be abour 4 or 5 ounces. The spray was some sort of "age defying" concoction that promised results in no more than 3 days. The sign said this stuff "rivals Botox" in it's ability to make you appear younger. They had a "tester". I deduced that at $150 a can, even a "test spray" of this stuff would be worth five bucks. I thought about trying it for a moment - maybe come back three days in a row - to see if I saw marked improvement. Just as I was reaching for the can, a saleswoman approached. "May I help you?" All I was able to blurt out was, "$150 a can???" She said "Yes" and went on to extol the virtues of this magic liquid in the can. I thought (but did not say out loud) she'd have to sell me the stuff naked - for me to spend $150. I thought fast. Last week I was asked how old I was when purchasing a pack of cigarettes. They key the age in for verification. I asked the cigarette lady how old I looked. She thought for a moment and said, "32?" I said "That's it! You got it exactly. (She was quite low.) I decide now to ask the lady with the $150 super spray the same question. I figure she's going to say once again a low number. Confidently I ask, "How old do I look?" She says, "Uhhhh......52?" It was at that moment I realized I was dealing with a very very very good salesperson. I'm sure when training to sell $150 cans of age defying spray, the salespeople are instructed to add 20 years when asked to guess a customers age. Yeah, that's it. That's gotta be it.
I like cardboard tubes. I always have. It's the best thing about wrapping presents - the left over cardboard tubes. They make great swords. It's fun to thwack your kids in the head with them. Most of all - it's fun to speak into them. Grab a tube and talk into it. That is quality fun. If you don't see the value of speaking into a cardboard tube, you haven't done it recently. The joy of the tube has been lost to you for too long. Try it. Advanced tube play includes - blowing up balloons and attaching them to the ends of a long tube. You can then pretend it's a barbell and you're the worlds strongest person. You can use them as binoculars in your make believe world. I keep my tubes nearby all Christmas season. Whenever I need to raise my spirits - or those around me - I break out the old dependable tubes. Enjoy your tubes, they've always been there - you were just too quick to call them trash. Sometimes it's the little things right under your nose that make all the difference, and there's nothing more fun than "thwacking" your kids with a tube.
Soon, my father will turn 75 years old. He's losing his ability to order a hamburger. He admits this. The thought of never again being able to order a hamburger frightens him. He's not senile. He doesn't show signs of Alzheimers. At times, he's more lucid than me. Then why on Earth can't he seem to order a hamburger? He can - it's just becoming a more lengthy process.