One For The Old Guys

A Fool In NH Column Heading

There has been a lot of controversy lately about bathrooms and who can use which ones.
I am not here to criticize or praise any of the groups that are involved in this controversial subject, but I am here today to make the case for my own group and our needs which are being totally ignored.
Of course I am talking about all of us men that are sixty or older.
I know, I know, sixty is not considered old in this day and age and I agree. Many of our forefathers were lucky to make it out of their forties and fifties alive. Great progress in medicine and sanitation have helped modern man live happy and healthy lives well into their later decades.
Still, there is the inevitability of certain things that, though they might not slow us down that much, they are still a part of aging and need to be addressed on a social level.
That is why I am calling for age specific bathrooms, especially for men.
When we older men were younger, we never realized how good we had it when it came to answering the call of nature. It could be anywhere from a grimy rest room at a highway rest stop to a plush experience at The Plaza. It might be the Porta Potties at the Weirs during Bike Week, the horse troughs at Fenway Park, a nice oak tree off the side of the road, we didn’t care. It was always a quick in and out and we were back to work doing the foolish things that young men do.
As we got older and we grew in mind and spirit and in other parts of our bodies as well, we began to realize how good we once had it. We were now in our fifties and sixties and seventies and things were beginning to slow down. We began to pay attention more to our lives because, let’s face it, it seemed like we had no choice but to stand around occasionally and just think. We no longer were in a rush to get back to the foolish things of young men and even if we were, some things were holding us back.
The grimy rest areas, Bike Week Porta Potties, the troughs at Fenway and the giant oaks were still at our disposal, but we began to avoid them in order to seek out a few more of The Plazas.
Still, the call of nature waits for no man and so us older men are often forced to meet it head on with anything that is available, often sharing our time with those much younger who don’t understand our ways.
“Hey Pops, you gonna take all day,” is often the taunt us older and wiser men must endure from those younger and so self assured who wait behind us in a crowded rest room. “C’mon old man, let’s move it” is another that many of my peers experience on a regular basis.
We don’t need to take this. We have paid our dues, given of our time, paid enough into the system to at least be allowed to be treated with a little more decency.
That is why I am calling for a movement to have all public places to provide age specific bathrooms so as to provide the dignity and respect us elders deserve.
Fifty and older? Sixty and older? That is all to be worked out. I’m sure those in the Congress and Senate will be on our side. Many of them have been there long enough to have reached this stage of life themselves. (Maybe that’s why there is a bit of animosity between those elder statesmen and their younger colleagues. I hear the rest rooms at the Capitol are magnificent, but what good are they if you are always being rushed?)
Of course, like anything, there will be controversy. Can a young man of twenty-one wake up one morning after a night of indulging, put his hands to his throbbing head and proclaim: “Man, I feel like I’m sixty this morning” and then have the right to use our rest room? I’m hoping not, but there will be battles like this to face along the way.
I realize this is a sensitive subject and, well, most would be afraid to even write about it, but someone has to take a stand and I’m happy to be that person.
So, older guys, won’t you join with me in my quest to give us what is our due?
The time is right for a revolution. We will take it to the streets if necessary, as long as we are home by 8pm.

To find out more about Brendan’s book and upcoming appearances go to www.BrendanTSmith.com