The Fountain of the Eternal Gut
I always found it ironic that the 16th Century Spanish explore Juan Ponce De Leon searched for the Fountain of Youth and found Florida.
I don't mean jarringly ironic like that annoying Alanis Morissette song my timewarp radio station always plays. Just quietly ironic.
I can almost imagine the explorer's confused, and by now rather worn, face as he toured round The Villages today in a golf cart watching all the geriatrics hobbling around in those distinctive kids of green geriatric golf pants.
I have been searching for this myself but am sad to report is I only found a drinking fountain and the water tasted so foul it probably took a couple of years off my life.
So maybe I should have been flattered today when an elderly woman at checkout in FarmFresh asked for my identification when I bought a bottle of Pinot Noir.
But in reality I felt annoyed. I felt like saying: "look dude. It was legal for me to drink when the Romans were putting the white lines down the Fosse Way, when Julius Caesar was saying 'I have a bit of a stabbing pain in my back.'
I had read somewhere that exercise makes you feel envigorated so we took out family membership at the YMCA. I quickly found it's easier to take our membership than to actually go, but we have been making a concerted effort over the last few weeks.
Usually work out rooms are depressing because the people in them don't look like they need to work out. I am pleased to report there are some decidely untoned people at this Y. There are people with bottoms wide enough to balance a pint of beer on each love handle, if you should so wish. I haven't had the courage to try this one yet.
There are also some people who appear to be even older than me, which is always a big plus.
The last time I joined the Y, 20 minutes on an exercise machine left me feeling all the symptoms that the notice on the side of the machine says you should stop exercising if you feel; dizzy, pained and short of breath.
My collapsing on a mat routine gained me some alarmed glances although I got the impression nobody would try to administer first aid should a cardiac have arrest set in.
Strangely enough I seem to be fitter a few years later and a few years older. The cranky old elliptical machine in the living room, may have helped me in this respect, even if it clanks and alarms the cat, who now looks like a furry baby elephant. Sadly I couldn't get him on the family membership.
After two weeks of exercising my arms feel a lot firmer but I can see absolutely no progress on my gut. People still ask me "what are you going to call it?" at the most inopportune of times.
After 20 minutes of controlled sweatiness, I went into the pool to hang out with the fam. in the hot tub. Now I have no complaints with the Y - it's a smart, new facility, a million light years away from the cloying gyms and freezing chlorine loaded pools that I grew up swimming in back at home.
But they're a bit puritanical. I don't think they'd take it too kindly if you headed to the hot tub with a large bottle of pinot grigot and a few glasses.
Now my joints hurt but I'm starting to feel it may have been a waste of time. Something to do with the heavy duty Italian meal I whipped up tonight that seems to have done few favors to that gut.
Maybe I need to do something more radical. Maybe I need to go to Kentucky and search for the fountain of youth. Knowing my luck I'd lose it at Kentucky Fried Chicken.