By Juan Botino – A Cyber-Savvy Cuban GRANDdad
As I approach retirement, I contemplate my life and ask myself: “What the h*#$ happened???” Seems I just got here on my raft at the age of 7 and now I am looking at cruises and senior citizens’ discounts! And now, as I remove all sharp objects from my office, such as scissors, staplers, thumbtacks, staple remover and copy paper, I do so with some trepidation…you see, in all the movies that were ever made about law enforcement, fire fighters, and EMTs, the old guy that is retiring in two weeks always gets killed! And since I don’t respond to calls anymore, that makes my office a dangerous place to be during this time. My last week on the job will find me sitting in an empty office strapped to my chair that has been attached to the floor and a heavy duty umbrella to protect me from falling ceiling tiles.
I remember my mailbox being flooded by AARP solicitations when I turned 50. Then after 60, I started getting prepaid cremation letters. What do they send after 70? I’m hoping free coupons for chiropractors or anti-inflammatories. Speaking of chiropractors, I have the best. Before I met him, I went to one that in an earlier life worked for the Spanish Inquisition. After one visit, you think I would have been smart, but noooo…! I returned two more times…as I left his office crawling to my car, I vowed to never come back. Luckily, I found the best one, here in our own little town. He always gives me good advice, like “stay active and keep moving”. So I make sure while I am watching TV, I change the channel every 30 seconds…not only does it keep my thumb supple, but it annoys the heck out of my wife. I also exercise my brain every morning by counting the many supplements that I take each day. My chiropractor told me that I had an extra vertebrae…I felt gifted…here God had given me one more than most of the people He created! Then I realized, “one more darn bone that’s going to hurt!” My chiropractor has been a true life saver since I ruptured a disc over two years ago. I have achieved Elite Client status, and I am striving for Platinum so I can get a free toaster oven. I look forward to my monthly visit, when he “puts Humpty back together again.”
I have booked a cruise for May, where my wife and I are taking my 82 year old mother and my sister. We got connecting balconies, just in case I need my mother to help me. We also got the unlimited drinks package for free, so I have to get my money’s worth. When I told the cruise consultant our ages, she tried to sell me the “Burial at Sea” package. I asked her what that included, and she said they wrap you up in their finest linen, and gather the passengers and crew, throw you overboard while they play “Another One Bites the Dust” on the loud speaker. The next of kin get a 20% discount coupon for their next cruise (restrictions apply) and a free 8×10 picture with the deceased. I declined, since the ceremony takes place while off the coast of Cuba, and they may imprison my body if it washes up on shore.
Next year, I will invite my mother-in-law to go on a cruise. I did turn down the package, because I plan to be cremated and see the world. I told my wife to send my ashes to all the places I wanted to visit using a non existent delivery address, then the post office would return the package back to her with “unable to deliver.” (I get a lot of those “unable to deliver” mail, even though the address is correct. I wish they would add a reason, like “because I don’t feel like it” or “I’m on break” or “It’s raining outside”).
I happened to look in the mirror the other day, and after getting over my terror (I saw a strange old man staring at me) I further exercised my brain by counting spots. I came to the realization that a leopard is just an old cat! And I keep trying to evict the fat that has made itself at home around my middle, but I keep getting a “cease and desist “ order every time I open the refrigerator. Apparently, I need the love handles to make it easier for burial at sea. I did try one of those compression T shirts that’s supposed to slim you down…didn’t work…it made me taller for a few minutes, then the fat moved to my feet and my face, so I couldn’t put my shoes on and I looked like George Lopez.
Juan Botino – A Cuban GRANDdad
I will be retiring on May 29th, 2015 after a 42 year career in Emergency Medical Services, 28 years as director of Madison County E.M.S. in Florida. My wife of 31 years and I will soon have twelve grandchildren, although only two live in the same town. The rest are scattered around the country due to our boys being in the military. I have formed a special bond with my 4 year old grandson, Charles and I am his old buddy.