Friday, May 04, 2007

Three Score

My senior law partner finished his sixtieth trip around the sun today. Since 60 is the new 55, he does not feel all that bad about it. Considering the alternative, there is much to celebrate. Still, when the bible gives you three score and ten, and you have completed three score, it is probably time for a little reflection on the past, especially since looking ahead is not particularly exciting. At a Mexican restaraunt at lunch today, the wisdom of this sectagenarian was shown when he explained to us that "the root cause of homelessness is that the homless don't have a home" . Truer words were never spoken, and one marvels at the insight which longevity sometimes, but not inevitably, brings.

The problem with my partner is that he has already reflected on the thing most 60 year olds reflect upon, retirement. When I began working with him 17 years ago, he told me that he was going to retire in 28 months. He said that every morning when he took his shower, he mentally clicked off another day.As I said,that was 17 years ago. He has had one retirement scheme or another for almost each one of those 17 years. He has done way too much reflection on the subject, soI believe that he will be more profitably spending his time reflecting on other things.Chief on his wish list right now is to become a Texas naturalist, whatever that means. I think he aspires to acquiring instruments for doing chemical analysis on the waters in and around Austin, so that he can make daily and horrifying announcements on a web page. I looked for a pith helmet as a birthday gift, but could not find one that you did not have to order. An aside here. Pith is a funny word because when you say it, it sounds like you are saying piss with a lisp. Indeed, if there was such a thing as a "piss helmet", you would never know for sure which helmet, pith or piss, the person with a lisp was talking about. Like the old Seinfeld joke about seltzer and salsa. Where the hell does pith helmet come from ? The ancient meaning of pith was "spinal cord". Even today, to "pith"an animal means to severe its spinal chord in order to kill or disable it for scientific purposes. The "pith"in the "pith helmet" is a cork like substance found in Indian swamps. The "pith" in a "pith helmet" as spoken by one with a lisp, is urine.

That aside sort of got away from me. Back to the heart of the matter. My partner, with or without a pith helmet, looks about the same as he did when he was in his mid 40s. He and I shared a trainer(at different seesions) when he was 49, and I very easily convinced her that he was 70. I told her that I was concerned with her pushing him so hard, because I did not want him to have a stroke or heart attack on her time. My partner, for some reason, got quite upset with me when she started easing up on him, and then told him the reason. He said that I had taken advantage of her naivete', which is somewhat true. She was about 21. But what I had really taken advantage of is that he looked a lot like Harlan Sanders staring out at you from a bucket of chicken. To be fair, a Harlan Sanders that only weighed about 175. I guess he really looked like a young Harlan Sanders who had dyed his hair and beard white.

Colonel Harlan Sanders lived four score and ten years , and ate transfats every day of his life. My partner keeps himself in excellent shape, eats right and will probably make the four score and ten. And when he does die, I know the last thing he will say to anyone: "You know, I was thinking last night about when I retire."

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