Yesterday’s Stressful Hour, and How Have You Changed Since the Age of 26?

Yesterday I had my follow-up appointment with the doctor, to discuss the results of my blood work.  Here’s part of a text conversation I had with Toney, while I was sitting in the main waiting room with nervous sweat rolling down the center of my back.

Me:  Stressed.

Toney:  Are u there?

Me:  Yeah, and I’m the youngest person by 20 years.

Toney:  I know!  Some of them bring their own nurses with them.

Me:  And somebody doesn’t smell too good in here.

Toney:  Yuck!

Me:  I’m probably breathing in cancer.

Toney:  LOL.  I don’t think that’s contagious.

Me:  This sucks!

Toney:  You’ll be fine.

Me:  I bet he’s back there lubing up a fist, right now.

Toney:  You’re insane!

But, to my utter surprise, everything’s fine.  They tested my blood and (mid-stream) urine for a ridiculously long list of things, and there wasn’t a single problem in any category.  Whew!  I don’t understand how it’s possible, but whew!

My blood pressure was also down significantly from last time.  I took the doc’s advice and cut down on salt and soda — I’ve stopped eating Marlene Collateral frozen meals altogether — and my BP was a lot closer to normal than it’s been for a while.

However, he said the bottom number is still a bit elevated and he wants me to go on a very low-dose pill for a while, and try to lose 20 or 25 pounds.  If I shed the weight, he says, I’ll almost certainly be able to come off the meds.

At the end he added, “You’re doing great, for a 49 year old man.”  That sounded good, and I liked hearing it.  But as I was driving home… I started turning it over in my head.

For an old man, you’re doing well.  Not for a young guy, mind you, but for a person of your advanced age… not bad.  Is that what he meant?  I think so.

Also:  49?!  Holy shit!!  How is that EVEN possible?  I was 26 a couple of years ago.  And I feel exactly the same as I did then.  Oh, I probably understand the world a little better, and my life experiences have caused me to look at things a bit differently — possibly with more maturity.

But I still think insensitive thoughts all day long, laugh at stuff society says you’re not supposed to laugh at, and just generally approach things like I did when I was an ugly youngster.  Back then I thought a 49 year old man would be seasoned and reasonable, and would walk around thinking about pipe tobacco and cardigans.

Yet I’m still the same dumbass as I ever was.  My earthly container just keeps getting bigger, and my hair is turning gray.  Other than that… same dipshit with the same disgraceful visions dancing around inside his head.

I’m massively relieved, though.  I’m not sure if I mentioned it, but I’m not a fan of medical tests and that sort of thing.  I probably never said anything about it…  But I feel like a million pound weight has been removed from my shoulders.  Now I’m going to try to drop 25.  I really want to do it, and make this prescription nonsense a short-lived affair.

For a Question, maybe you guys can talk about how you’ve changed since the age of 26.  You know, assuming you’re older than that.  I’m serious, I’ve changed very little.  For better or worse…  How about you?

See you guys again tomorrow, or Thursday.  Wednesdays are tough, but I’ll try.

Have a great day!

Now playing in the bunker
Buy Jeff a beer, a celebratory beer!


  1. Dogberry says

    I’m more cynical, but at the same time, I have a much better sense of humor. Maybe one’s required for the other.

    Glad to hear your bloodwork was good. I donated a couple of gallons yesterday and I should be getting a note in the mail with all sorts of circles and chastising comments.

  2. Jimbo says

    I’m a wealthier, less attractive version of my 26-year-old self. I’m also a bit of an asshole now.

    Coincidentally, women seem to find me more desirable now.

  3. hot fuzz says

    Jeff, I read most of what you wrote in the voice of Morgan Freeman. I like your extremes and thank you for them. That toggle switch between the hair whipper and the sweet tea sipper under the shade tree provides for some wonderful writing.

    Thanks again bud.

  4. Theresa says

    Well, I’m 27 so I haven’t changed much since last year. I always think I will be like you Jeff, getting older but still feeling the same. I never feel older, I don’t think differently.

  5. hot fuzz says

    The 26 yr old version of me?
    – 25 lbs lighter
    – I didn’t have the whole trinity of obesity (diabetes, High BP and high Cholesterol)
    – happily recently married
    – no kids yet
    – rented and no debts
    – drove a little red Mazda PU
    – made $20k per year and thought I was doing just fine thank you very much
    – not depressed or frustrated

    Now? aches and pains and pills (oh my!!!!) When all of your “problems” don’t fit on one medic alert bracelet…. well….there’s your sign….

    But, you only get one life and I am most thankful for it. Things can always be worse and for so many, they are. I try not to complain too much (I absolutely do almost all of it here) and end up most of the time on the receiving end of other people’s problems. I guess when you realize this is your only time at bat, you need to swing away.

    I saw part of Castaway the other day… “I need to remember to keep breathing. Tomorrow the sun will rise. You never know what the tide will bring.”

    The tide has brought me far more good than bad.

  6. Limey says

    I hope my brain never “grows up”. It must be really boring thinking about pipe tobacco and cardigans. I like my brain just fine stuck in the early 20s, although I’ve noticed that it’s slowed down considerably :( now I’m 40.

    What’s changed in the preceding 14 years?

    35lbs of weight found
    Knees ache
    Brain slower
    Muscle tone of a jellyfish


  7. caveboy says

    At 26 I’d been married 2 years had a 1 year old son was not earning enough money to support a homeless person and the car I drove was about as dependable as a stock tip from Bernie Madoff. Had another kid just shy of my 27th birthday without any improvement in my financial situation. Now I’m damn near 52, been married almost 28 years, both of my kids have been married and divorced (one divorce I got to pay for), have one grandson that is surely one of Gods miracles, have a good job that pays me well. I still laugh at things I shouldn’t, technology has passed me by and I don’t really care, raise a vegetable garden in my backyard, have a good family, and a handful of good friends that help me get through this round about we call life and one last thing, I love backing into parking spaces.

  8. Root 66 says

    Since I was 26 I now have less hair and (much) more weight. Also note that the remaining hair is mostly gray. Without a shirt I look like a silver-backed gorilla, or something!

  9. Uncle_Wedgie says

    I bet you are still loaded with tiny tumors. I read somewhere that tweeting causes that.

  10. Mean Dr. Lily says

    I’m nearly positive that you’d drop that 20-25 pounds pretty quick if you stopped going to Wendy’s every day for a #1 (with no pickles and a coke). Maybe switch to a 6-inch Subway turkey for a couple of weeks, and see if it makes a difference?

  11. madz1962 says

    I was madly in love with an asshole. Thank God that phase passed quickly.I was pretty wild back then. Not stupid – just wild. I remember crawling in to work on Fridays on about 18 minutes worth of sleep. For some reason, the partying always started on Thursdays. And New York City was my playground. Sigh – I can wistfully look back on those days.

  12. Kenny D. says

    Just some tips on losing weight. If you are looking at getting into working out, I HIGHLY suggest getting into the pool. Both swimming and water jogging (I know its laughable) is amazing for shedding the pounds. Plus, it is great on your joints with the low impactness of it all.

    Congrats! Keep on Keepin’ On

    • says

      You are so right – it is the best way to do it – especially for people who have been sedentary for a while.

      • madz1962 says

        I wish I had a pool near me. Years ago they were supposed to open a Y but that never came to fruition. The only thing they accomplished was putting up a covered traffic light in the middle of the street – not even near an intersection for chrissakes.

    • Uncle_Wedgie says

      I would recommend a sport so you are having fun and do not notice you are working out. Hit some tennis balls, walk a golf course. Make it fun instead of work.

    • Skully says

      +1 on the pool. It excercises your whole body without feeling like excercise.

  13. says

    Except for gray hair, I am pretty much the same as I was at 26 (many years ago). The only difference I can see is that I don’t suffer fools even more than before and I am not above reaming a new one for a banker who is hell bent to charge me fees for every little thing I do (or don’t).

  14. Doug says

    If it is possible, I’m even dumber than I was at 26. Or maybe I am just now realizing my stupidity.

  15. Clueless says

    26 was 38 years ago for me. Don’t eat meat, fast food, sodas, etc. so weight’s about the same, but I’m a wee bit thicker around the middle. Hair’s been grey for years and I ache after yard work these days. Spend my time working on the disconnect whenever I look in the mirror. WhoTF is that old lady? Couldn’t be me…

  16. Bec says

    Oh my…26 for me was 31 yrs ago, I can’t hardly believe it. I weigh more, I’m not as pretty, my skin is as loose as a Shar pei, if I could put a zipper in my upper arms I wouldn’t have to carry a purse. I can’t squat down anymore so I have to bend over with my big ass in the air, the young guys at work love this I’m sure. What I’m thankful for is that my mind as just as sick and twisted as it was, I just hide it a bit better, and life is so funny sometimes, thank God.

    • Tiff says

      ‘if I could put a zipper in my upper arms I wouldn’t have to carry a purse’ is one of the best lines about aging I’ve ever read.


  17. Miss Q says

    Like you, Jeff, I feel pretty much the same as I did at 26. My last birthday was 45 and I still get a kick out of the same twisted humor I used to. About the only difference now (besides the physical ones, which I won’t bother to delineate for you) is I’m no longer willing to put up with other people’s shit like I used to.

  18. dto says

    By 26 (33 years ago) I was well on my way to destroying brain cells…but only the bad ones while at the same time nurturing the good ones. I’ve always had a strong desire to experience, learn and flirt, (not necessarily in that order) and none of that has changed. I seem to have always had a natural desire to keep myself fit Used to run…now I hike. Getting older by the lost pages of a calender hasn’t phased me in a bit.

  19. Jill says

    Glad all is well Jeff…

    In the 15 yrs since 26….

    Still have the humor of a deranged 11 year old..
    Pretty much the same weight
    back to smoking
    knees pretty much always hurt and/or pop out of joint

    Oh and Ive had 15 years of being a beacon for douchebags – Ive married/dated or been engaged to some of the finest specimens the east coast has to offer… still cant seem to get that right….

  20. Tiff says

    huh. I was 26 24 years ago, so almost half a lifetime. I thought I knew it all back then, and I now realize I might have but have forgotten most of it. A lot of the edge has been polished off in the tumble of those intervening years, but I’m stronger and way more self-aware and satisfied with me than I was then. Maybe it’s that 50 pounds of extra weight I’m carrying that has softened my outlook…

  21. chill says

    Since age 26 I’ve gained weight and pants sizes. I’ve also gained knowledge, skills, confidence and bifocals. My hair is longer but only has the slightest few strands of gray. I’m still a few months shy of 54.

    My sense of humor is, I think, better than it was back then, and I’m less shy about cracking wise. I still laugh at inappropriate things, but now I also make up inappropriate things for others to laugh at. Example: I set up a WiFi network at my job; the encryption key is midgetsumo. I trust nobody will abuse this.

  22. renn says

    I’d like to think that I’m nicer than I was at age 26. I think I just keep more to myself.

    I also have an 11 year old that gives voice to many of the hysterically wrong thoughts that I would never admit to having. It’s a mixed blessing.

  23. Alex says

    I’m a bit mellower. Or at least more conscious about what I will blurt out. Maybe a bi-product of the p.c. workplace as the 26 year old me would be the guy being complained about to HR.

  24. squawvalleyskip says

    26 was 30 years ago. Definately not as broke now as I was at 26. Probably healthier now than I was then, as at that age I drank heavily and enjoyed just about every illegal substance one could smoke, swallow or inject. Emergency rooms, jail and bars, not neccesarily in that order, were a way of life at 26. These days I don’t drink or use drugs, and haven’t been arrested or hospitalized since those days. And my 7 year old off-the-showroom-floor harley doesn’t require the constant fiddling that the old harleys from my younger days did. Married (to a woman who didn’t know me then) and settled down with grandkids (from kids that do remember me from back then) now. But I still have a tendency to romanticize the bat-shit crazy women I picked up in bars and the drunk rides home and the not working for a year at a time when start feeling like I might be feeling my age. Wouldn’t trade the past for anything, but wouldn’t want to relive it for anything either.

  25. johnthebasket says


    You’re certainly getting a lot of advice today about what to eat, what not to eat, how to exercise, where to exercise, and, in general, how to clean up your act. I gave up giving advice when I was 26, but eleven years before that, my man sang a song that contains just about all the advice a man needs….

    Johnny’s in the basement
    Mixing up the medicine
    I’m on the pavement
    Thinking about the government
    The man in the trench coat
    Badge out, laid off
    Says he’s got a bad cough
    Wants to get it paid off
    Look out kid
    It’s somethin’ you did
    God knows when
    But you’re doin’ it again
    You better duck down the alley way
    Lookin’ for a new friend
    The man in the coon-skin cap
    By the big pen
    Wants eleven dollar bills
    You only got ten

    Maggie comes fleet foot
    Face full of black soot
    Talkin’ that the heat put
    Plants in the bed but
    The phone’s tapped anyway
    Maggie says that many say
    They must bust in early May
    Orders from the D.A.
    Look out kid
    Don’t matter what you did
    Walk on your tiptoes
    Don’t try “No-Doz”
    Better stay away from those
    That carry around a fire hose
    Keep a clean nose
    Watch the plain clothes
    You don’t need a weatherman
    To know which way the wind blows

    Get sick, get well
    Hang around a ink well
    Ring bell, hard to tell
    If anything is goin’ to sell
    Try hard, get barred
    Get back, write braille
    Get jailed, jump bail
    Join the army, if you fail
    Look out kid
    You’re gonna get hit
    But users, cheaters
    Six-time losers
    Hang around the theaters
    Girl by the whirlpool
    Lookin’ for a new fool
    Don’t follow leaders
    Watch the parkin’ meters

    Ah get born, keep warm
    Short pants, romance, learn to dance
    Get dressed, get blessed
    Try to be a success
    Please her, please him, buy gifts
    Don’t steal, don’t lift
    Twenty years of schoolin’
    And they put you on the day shift
    Look out kid
    They keep it all hid
    Better jump down a manhole
    Light yourself a candle
    Don’t wear sandals
    Try to avoid the scandals
    Don’t wanna be a bum
    You better chew gum
    The pump don’t work
    ’Cause the vandal took the handle

  26. bikerchick says

    26…..>heavy sigh<…… Welp, now at 48 and running head into 49, I'm still dreaming my life away. Finally, I am completely happy with my boyfriend (I hate the word "boyfriend". It sounds so high school). But am still plugging away at trying to do my own thing and get out of that rancid doctor's office. Doing almost the same thing I did when I was with another doc at 26. At least I'm a little wiser…I hope.

    Also trying to cope with the shit that age brings…weight, wrinkles, and menopause…..UGH

    • madz1962 says

      My only regret with menopause was/is the friggin’ night sweats and hot flashes. Some people say I’m crankier but what the fuck do those douchebags dimwits muthafuckas know? I don’t see any change.

    • Bill in WV says

      I just crossed the 49 threshold last Thursday. I still do pretty much what I could do when I was 26. Still play softball, drink 12 beers a sitting, dance with my wife, etc. Age is just a state of mind.

  27. bikerchick says

    Oh….and now I, thankfully, have The WVSR to come to everyday. Finally a place where everyone “gets” my humor and I get theirs. And seem to be in the same age group, give or take, kind of going through the same bullshit everyday. I’ve said things here I’ve never said to my friends because they would look at me like I was wearing a turd bra.

    • hot fuzz says

      As long as you’re wearing your red FM pumps I wouldn’t notice your bra right away anyways… 10 seconds later maybe but not right away…

      • dto says

        Blonde hair and boobs and FMP shoes
        And a turd bra she’s sportin’ tonight
        Tho all the folks glare
        I can’t help but stare…and think
        Thiis just might be love at first sight

  28. hot fuzz says

    Bifocals, I forgot about the bifocals.

    I’ve lost an inch….in height. So tell me, If I’m shorter, why isn’t it easier to reach the ground when I bend over. I sound like I’m either breaking my knees or breaking wind when I bend or crouch….squatting is not on the menu.

    And at what point in my life did I find it mandatory to tell stories to the young guys and gals that work at Future Shop, Best Buy, Staples, Home Depot. It seems I have nuggets of wisdom to share with every 20something just trying to help me understand what I need from their store. How do we end up here?

    Every website I go to for fun (Chive, The Daily What, What the Christ)… why do they all have pictures of girls the same age as my kids? I’ve become the dirty old man I made fun of when I was 26.

    • Alex says

      Damn. At least it wasn’t a semi truck tire that went flying. What’s the speed limit on that stretch?

  29. bikerchick says

    Seriously?? You’re brother-in-law?!? Wtf are the chances of that happening?? Holy shitballs.!!!

    • madz1962 says

      Started out walking to the store. Woke up in the hospital. Kept saying “Someone has to walk the dogs and call my mother…” Both dogs and his mother are long departed…

      • dto says

        Good thing it wasn’t Blitzaks that hit him. They’d ‘a taken his goddamn head off!

      • CADude says

        I hope traffic’s back to normal.

        Oh, and that your b-i-l is OK. Yeah, that’s the important part.

        Stereotypical Californian? Guilty, sometimes.

  30. Max says

    Hell if the Mayans and the tin foil hat-wearing people have their ways, I might not even make it to 26.

    But until that actually comes to fruition, I’d love to have a job that pays a lot more than I make now. And hopfully I won’t be working on my 8th year of being single by then.


    • dto says

      Max…how the hell old are you? Does your Mom know you’re reading this stuff? Goddamn man…I don’t need your mother on my ass for saying bad words. Jeeze man…don’t get us busted with your Mom.

          • Max says

            Don’t worry dto, sometimes I wonder how my mom manages to get on the computer let alone find the Surf Report.

            However, both my mother and sister are off limits. Sorry guys, I wouldn’t want to have to lay a whoopin on anybody. Haha

  31. Clueless says

    It’s best to never trust anyone under 30. But with Fukushima ready to blow and destroy the world, Max’ll never make it to 26. *adjusts tin foil hat*

  32. CADude says

    This post has had me doing a lot of wondering for the last 24 hours. The last 31 years?

    It seems that Jackson Browne’s “The Pretender” has been the lyric that’s been with me all those years. I’ve recognized it along the way, but have gone with the flow, for good and/or for bad.


    • bikerchick says

      I love how he had the door open to “enjoy the view”. Not many of can say that when pooping.

    • dto says

      That’s it? You’re fat? I’d demand a second opinion…
      icey:……………. “I want a second opinion”!
      old lady doc…”Ok…You’re ugly too”.

  33. Knucklehead says

    I was pretty wild and living in San Francisco when I was 26. I’ve mellowed some, gotten crankier (if that’s even possible) and have more tattoos.
    I still have a sick sense of humor and I’ve noticed my mouth filter must be out of warranty (at least the Italians can’t understand me half the time).

    Happy Thursday, Surfers!

    • bikerchick says

      Knucklehead…you reminded me….I didn’t have any tattoo’s at 26. Now, I have4. I would have never thought of it until I started hanging with the “bikers”. Fucking bikers….

  34. Henderson says

    Since the 26 yr old me…..

    3 wives
    2 divorces
    3 kids
    6 houses
    4 Harleys
    10 cars
    1 head of hair
    4 inches on the waist
    8 tattoos
    6x the income
    3 years living in Singapore
    switched from beer to liquor
    started fearing teenagers
    stopped fearing blacks
    stopped hating Republicans
    started hating Democrats
    buried 2 parents and 1 child

    … and my balls hurt

  35. TxTy says

    Right there with ya’ Jeff. I’ve told many people I’m a 14 year old in a 49 year old body.

  36. johnthebasket says

    Right on topic, I was searching for something else and ended up on I thought while there I’d check on the accumulated wealth of my fav singer, Bob Dylan.

    celebritynetworth described Bob’s music as …”a touchstone for the…ant-war movement.” Bobby, who has always been way ahead of us, is, I guess, already writinig post-apocalyptic anthems about the war after the next war.

    I forgot to actually check his net worth, but what with the ant war and everything, it hardly matters.


    • dto says

      Bob always knew the feds were on to him and felt his room house, anywhere he went was ‘bugged’. So he’d just say the place was full of ants. He’d place those little ant traps all around the room just to throw off the feds when they’d hear him talk about his problem with ants. The had no idea he knew about the ‘bugs’ and just thought he was crazy. Bob felt Adam Ant was a government operative (because why else would someone like that have a carrer) and refused to tour with him and has not spoken to him to his day.

      • madz1962 says

        If you play it backwards, the real lyrics to Blowin’ in the Wind are:

        “The ants are our friends, they’re blowin’ in the wind. The ants are blowin’ in the wind.”

        • CADude says

          Only a very fertile mind would come up with that.

          One that’s been filled up with lots and lots of fertilizer.

          I love it.

  37. dto says

    ***while Jeff is still trying to chew through is bed restraints….

    At 26 I was prime Couager bait…but they were creepy, wore too much make up and colone. Now they’re hot and I too old for ’em. How the hell did that happen?

    At 26 I had the world by the balls. Now I just think the ARPP come-on packet should include a key chain with a miniture vise on it.

    At 26 I’d hit the “Early Bird Special” for breakfast..

    At 26 when I was told I was going to Dallas, I’d get my book out to look up, “friends”…ahem…Recently I had a book to help me find a truck stop to park my rig.

  38. ron says

    at 26
    best paying job in my life
    recently divorced
    75# lighter than i am now
    75% more hair than now

    every day is a saterday,and monday never comes
    another good thing is there are more hot ladies
    at 26 anything over 35 -40 was too old
    now there are some smokin 80 yr olds