You know the line. Usually spoken by an ersatz Bruce Willis type, it is well past cliché, sliding in safely but awkwardly beyond its years to self-parody, as predictable as the pablum in which it appears.
[And note, I like every other Die Hard movie.]
And yet, here I am: Too old for this.
I am too old to go from zero to 200 decibels in 2.4 seconds.
I am too old to respond to random direct marketing pleas.
I am too old to argue that the next political product saves.
Ah yes, my friends, there was a time. Back in the day. When I was a lad. Etc. Ad nauseum.
The newspaper-covered, sticky floor of our puppy years is unbecoming as our coats gray.
My angry young man-noise should give way to listening. Quietly.
My gullible-covet should cede time and place to ignoring. Contently.
My blind-pride devotion should know by now that yet another … isn’t.
Ah yes, my friends, the sins of yesteryear. Youth is wasted on, and by, the young. Ad infinitum.
Now it wouldn’t be a bad thing to get all of this earlier. But sometimes I think this learning curve doesn’t work that way, which is why it takes 18 years for humans to be considered adults and 18 weeks for actual puppies to be so. So much massive mistaking seems to need the personal touch before we actually ‘get’ it.
And there is a lot to learn.
So to eventually notice how near the word pleas is to the word please is better than nothing. Nearly a full decade past Dante’s “midway on this life we’re bound” … well, OK. Alright. I’ll take it.
Not pleas as in please-and-thank-you-so-much.
That’s kindness and gratitude and salutary. Do it.
But pleas as in please please please read my blog or please please please buy my impossibly technically over-named doohickidgety that will bring more people to your blog or, worst of all, please please please vote for me, and all your wildest dreams will come true.
Don’t hear what I’m not saying.
Of course there is righteous angry.
Certainly we must sometimes buy.
And voting may even be our duty.
All these proprieties are possible.
But … seriously?! As the kids say.
Absolutely everything ticks you off?
This random ad gets your money?
And every 730 days life matters?
If ya think … well that could be a problem. It’s called grow up.
All that stuff we think and say and do, that we think and say and do to make the planet(s) spin and the galaxies form and the stars die, does not actually do all that. We’re the highest form of creation, and we suck big time almost all the time. Time to let someone else handle it. Word.
Some random ad — I mean that near-literally, not because the kids say random — claims it ‘gets’ you and should therefore get your attention. No way. Do these guys also bet on horses in ignorance, loan money to guys in bus depots, and have sex with someone they met in a bar. Oh.
You mean to say the most vital absolutely important choice (let alone mere election) we’ll ever make, ever, in the entire history of mankind, is this one? By 57% of the adult, registered, voters in a single country that’s existed for just 240 years? And this smilin’ dude here, saves? Right.
You know the line. It sometimes has an extra word at the end of it. I do not say additional word but extra.
It isn’t needed in those movies; in fact, absent Bruce Willis it detracts. T’isn’t here either, and for a near-similar reason.
Yet I began this essai with that word in that place, purporting to anchor the subject with its heft. Some do still think it even has gravitas.
It has its place, its use, sometimes even at our age.
Bruce Willis can still make it work, because long (long) ago he made it his.
He can say that line all he wants. We expect it, and would demand refunds if he didn’t.
[Could do without that annoying damn smirk, though. And not just sayin’ … as the kids say.]
Still, I realized as I wrote, not here and, most cogently, not now.
Because the perquisite, even the prerogative, of maturity is not to acquire wisdom, not even to dispense it with wink and nudge, which is as easy as a young man’s misplaced angering and acquiring and admiring.
It is to exercise it.