Buzz Paths

Common Sense For Common People

Life begins When? A Rusty Birthday Story

February 4th, 2012 by Bob Gilmore

We now re-join Sir Bobalot, the Knight in Rusty Armour,as he approaches the Great Swamp of Memories along the winding road of his life. He stops at the edge,removes his helmet and then ponders whether to proceed straight through and possibly sinking into his past or travel around towards the unknown. Unlike a fire breathing dragon,this challenge he can only see in his mind and has the same level of skill and cunning. The invisible foe that lies before him is……HIMSELF. Let’s watch the Rusty Knight from the cover of trees and thickets and let today’s birthday story unfold…

Since Feb.3 fell on a workday this year and the Superbowl is tomorrow,any birthday dinner or shopping for myself will be scheduled for today. I have been up since 6:30am because all 3 cats were pawing my face and whomping the stuffing out of me for their breakfast. There was no sense in going back to sleep, so as the coffee was brewing I stood in front of the fireplace mantle where all the recent birthday cards are displayed. They are the usual mix of silly jokes and reminders not to worry about getting older. As I looked them over I began to recall exactly 12 months ago how I was told that life begins at 50. This wisdom of course came from people older than myself. These are the people that got married in the 50,s and early 60′s, were employed by large companies with benefits for many years,bought houses in the suburbs with 30yr mortgage,had children early,no long term depressions and could save for retirement along with pensions,social security etc,etc. They got a mortgage and had kids in their 20′s and in their 50′s the kids are gone and the mortgage is paid. I then turned toward my Armour that I have forged during my life so far and noticed a little more rust on the tops of the metal boots. I realized how it got there and in a low voice said to myself…”don’t piss on my shoes and then tell me it’s raining”.

( We may recall that when our Rusty Knight turned half-century and was up to his iron waist in offers from AARP, it was also Sir Bobalot’s darkest hour. Unemployed for a long time with little hope, savings completely wiped out,economy destroyed..all was lost. Then,months later the call came for him to once again saddle-up and ride. With high hopes and very low wages our oxidized hero is now charging and slashing his way forward in a desperate attempt to start his life over from scratch. This is what brings him to the edge of the Great Swamp of Memories.)

As I look out over the swamp and watch many of my fondest memories of my past bubble up and mix with some of the dark ones. I must decide whether or not to forget the past and leave it far behind or hold on to it and and run the risk of dragging it like a heavy chain into the unknown,hindering any progress. This problem hit me like a lance at full gallop a while back in the Rite-Aid drugstore. I entered the store as a favor for a coworker and as if lured by a temptress I stopped dead in my tracks at a display of toy cars and trucks. There before me was an exact model of my first car. The moment I saw it the memories engulfed me like a prairie fire. I purchased the little toy car hoping to pay homage to the original for giving me such happiness while I had it and lightly wishing to be reunited so the thrill could be relived. Be careful what you wish for…..

Now that I have been working steadily since mid-May is not really necessary to don my rusty action wear every hour for helping others and day- to- day- daring-do…until a few days ago while driving a heavy company truck north on hwy36 past Keansberg/Union Beach. As I was slowing down for a red signal ahead a familiar shape caught my eye on the side of the road. A moment later it came into full view and suddenly a shocking chill flashed up my spine. Like a man possessed I swerved over to the shoulder and brought twelve and a half tons of steel pipe,fire hydrants and valves to a screeching,bone crushing halt. My eyes were like burning red coals staring down at what stood before me and my diesel burning steed….

Only the most powerful sorcery could have conjured up such an object to test me! The little toy car I brought home was now full size and standing only a few feet away! As I looked over her hood to the windshield another chill ran through me like a knife…

It has been said that the pen is mightier than the sword and in this case it is true. Even if I would have been wearing my rusty tux that day I would have sheathed my Excalibur and chose not to fight and to wait until the odds were tilted in my favor. The reason is because the pen wrote..FOR SALE. Until we meet again temptress,I have your number.

Looking over the swamp with my helmet in one hand and sword in the other,I have decided to use my old school construction skills to solve the dilemma.(the Rusty Knight’s secret identity is a carpenter). I do not wish to avoid my past by going around it and taking the long way,nor do I want to be lost or sinking in it. After all, my past is what made me what I am today. We have been told to either” think inside or outside the box”. Being of limited means and starting over, I think maybe it’s time to use the box itself…to carry my tools through whatever lies ahead. As I look around the Great Swamp of Memories I see everything I may need…trees for lumber and raft,long vines for lashing. I would much rather build a bridge out of logs and vines so that I can often travel back and forth whenever I want. I would also make it strong enough for cars to cross like green Maverick’s,yellow Novas and orange Pontiac’s from the past.

Now that our slightly corroded crusader is another year older, he realizes that a certain age or finding employment does not determine when your life begins. I does however, begin when you start living each day to the fullest and working with what you have at hand. You can first build a raft and then use it to build a bridge. We(Rusty’s friends) have all had more hysterical,fall down,piss yourself laughing good times making and flying paper hot air balloons than anybody will ever have playing electronic games..ever.

I’m sure we will look in on the Rusty Knight from time to time and to follow his adventures. Fair maidens, dragons,swamps,cars…nothing is off limits to this squeaking,clanking cowboy!

Well, it’s time for a coffee refill and later on Sir Bobalot will be off to supper with his Hooters Gift Card! A lot of the waitresses know that the Rusty Knight helps animal rescue with medical supplies and pet food. He drops off cat and dog food donations to a few of the girls at Hooters that have rescues also. Hot babes love a hero,even if he’s a year older.

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This entry was posted on Saturday, February 4th, 2012 at 9:21 pm and is filed under General Buzz. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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