The human brain can be a remarkable thing, depending upon whose head it happens to reside in. Some people have a brain that works like a powerful computer, taking in raw data and processing it until it is transformed into technically coherent terms. Other people's brains work like a Sledge-O-Matic. Information is set in front of them like a helpless watermelon, then their brain beats the hell out of it until it's reduced to a mushy mess they can understand.
My brain is like a camera, and I don't mean that it works best when it's loaded. My brain processes information much like a Polaroid One-Step processes film. My ears hear what someone is saying, then my brain takes that information and develops a mental picture of it. Granted, it's often a paint-by-the-numbers mental picture, but you get the idea.
Ordinarily, this is not such a bad thing, but lately l've had an awful lot of pictures being developed in my head that I'd really rather not see. Mainly, pictures of old people having, you know... sex.
Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with old people having sex. In fact, I hope to be old myself one day and will probably enjoy sex if I can manage to stay awake. But for now, mental images of elderly couples doing "you-know-what" kind of makes me wince. Maybe it's because I saw my Granny Boozie naked once and never quite recovered from it. There are just some things a six-year old boy shouldn't be exposed to. Eighty-year old naked ladies being high on the list. Not that there's anything wrong with eighty-year old naked ladies... I mean... uh oh, pictures are starting to develop... anybody have a Sledge-O-Matic I can borrow?
Let me toss out this roll of mental film and start over because the last thing I want to do is get myself in hot water with the NAARP for making snide remarks and not-so-subtle innuendo about the sex lives of our senior citizens. We're all adults here and most of us would agree that given the choice between a good, swift kick in the behind and a nice leisurely roll in the hay, we would choose the latter every time. Well, everyone except for Marvin from Montgomery, who has indicated on more than one occasion that he would gladly take both in no particular order.
Marvin, for the last time, man, get some help. As my Grampa Merle used to say, "Son, you just ain't right."
Fact is, some of my favorite people are old people. We seem to have a lot in common, like the same energy level and low tolerance for young people. Take my seventy-year-old aunt, Rilla, a former juke joint waitress who claims to have had torrid affairs in the 1950s with both Vernon Presley and Little Jimmy Dickens. She now spends her days playing cards with her girlfriends at the Senior Center and talking about how few really good old men there are left in the world.
Then there's my uncle, John Knox, the retired factory worker who lost so many fingers working the line at Acme Tire that he's now known as, "Pinky." His wife's name is Pearl. She is his sixth. When Uncle John refers to her, he fondly says, "Now serving number 6!" Pearl retaliates by saying, "Johnny just can't keep his paws off me!"
Children, please. I love you all dearly, but I do not want the mental image of you having sex being printed out on 8x10 sheets in my head. This Foto-Mat is officially closed.
By now, depending on your brain type, you're probably wondering why I'm writing a column that focuses on something I'd really rather not discuss. No, I haven't subscribed to "Swinging Seventy Somethings" magazine, nor have I been exposed to marathon "Golden Girls" episodes (Bea Arthur looks too much like my Uncle John to be sexy). All I've been doing is watching the TV news and reading the newspaper and browsing the internet. You can't swing a dead cat these days without hitting an old couple talking about having, you know...
And what's the reason for all this senior spunk? The new impotency drug Viagra, which claims to put the bullets back into a man's gun, if you know what I mean. Pfizer, the maker of Viagra, insists that their product is for men of all ages with impotency problems, not just the elderly. But judging from the media coverage this drug has received and the focus of its affects on men over sixty-five, the marketing slogan could be: "Viagra, it's like crack for old folks!"
You've seen the interviews on the TV news magazines. They always feature a nice older couple who live in Arizona or Florida. The man's name is usually Leo or Irv, the wife is Jean or Lois. Jean is shown sitting dutifully beside Leo as he speaks. She squeezes his hand and sniffs a bit when he tells of his years of plumbing problems. And when he finally reveals that, yes, he tried Viagra and, yes, it did work as promised, Jean blushes and slaps his hand. Then she says, "And I can't wait for him to take another pill!"
Wait till Aunt Pearl hears about this. And the pictures begin to form...
Even famous couples are doing St. Viagra's Dance. Among them, former senator and Republican presidential candidate, Bob Dole and his wife Elizabeth (who is much better looking than Bea Arthur). Turns out, Bobby Boy took part in the Viagra testing trials. Dole told Larry King last week, "It is a great drug. I'll be honest, I was in the protocol and participated in the program."
In layman's terms, that means: "I took the pill, me and Elizabeth did it, then I passed out while she watched Leno." Bob and Elizabeth Dole doing St. Viagra's Dance; the citizens of Russell, Kansas should be very proud. I wonder if they'd be interested in purchasing a few mental pictures for souveniers?
Besides implanting scary images in my head, Viagra is also forcing a lot of states to take a long, hard look at whether or not the miracle pill should be covered under Medicaid. The burning question is: should the government have to pay for putting the spark back in a citizen's fuse?
Ten states, including Alabama, have decided to pay for Viagra for poor Medicaid patients. However, Alabama, a state that believes things should standup under their own merit, is now trying to cancel Viagra coverage because of the cost (about ten bucks a pill). Currently, Alabama will pay for four pills per month. Arkansas, Louisiana and Maryland will pay for six. But it's Utah that comes out on top with ten pills per month! Ten Viagras a month? Jeez, I couldn't use that many now. I wonder if this has anything to do with the fact that the Osmond brothers are all getting up in age.
Back home, Alabama State Representative Ron Johnson, the man in charge of the state's Medicaid Oversight Committee, went on record to say, "The sex drive being what it is in some people, it may very well have a lot to do with the mental well-being of a person."
While I'm not exactly sure what Rep. Johnson meant to say, I believe he does know what he's talking about.
After all, he is a politician. Who among us is better qualified to talk about sex?
And the pictures begin again...
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Tim Knox, Entrepreneur, Author, Speaker, Radio Host
Founder, The Insiders Club, Giving You The Power To Start Your Business Today
Bestselling Author of: "Everything I Know About Business I Learned From My Mama"
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