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The Final Word by Jim Thompson
I have a birthday later this week (63) and just last week an uncle of mine passed away.  Signs of mortality are everywhere. Next week, I have an appointment with the ophthalmologist to talk about cataract surgery (early onset caused by cancer drugs years ago).  Fred the dog seems to be showing the early signs of dementia.   Everyone asks me when I am going to retire.  Suddenly I become deaf—I can’t hear them.  They say adults all feel like they are 27 years old, and I have to admit, I fall in that camp (but see last sentence).  Yes, I know my reflexes are a bit slower, and when I ride my “old man” motorcycle (Yamaha V-Star 650—not a “crotch rocket”), I take that into account.  And we are working on a succession plan here at Talo Analytic International and Paperitalo Publications.  However, my goal, when we get that figured out, will be to frustrate the heir apparent (as yet not picked) as much as Queen Elizabeth has frustrated Prince Charles.  I think retirement, at least for me, is a mistake.  So, I’ll kindly ask you not to bring it up at least until another birthday rolls around—when I plan on giving you the same answer.  And by the way, I figure the first 40 years were just practice, so I think I am only 23—with early onset old man’s hairy ears syndrome (sigh).

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