After 8 a.m.
You may want to start yourself up with…
A Bloody Mary
A Bloody Caesar
That’s what the breakfast menu said at the Jay Lodge Inn, I think it was called. I’m a little foggy on the name, and no, it’s not because of the two breakfast specials. I may be able to remember the name of every schoolteacher I ever had, but it’s the recent past that sometimes escapes my memory banks. My daughter and I were attending her hockey tournament at Jay Peak, of all places. It’s not just the National Hockey League who have pushed the hockey season up to St. Jean Baptiste Day, all in the pursuit of perennial profits. Every kid’s sport runs year-round now, and parents are encouraged to sign up quickly, before all spots are filled. How else will your kid make the big-time, ensuring themselves (and you) the equivalent of King Solomon’s riches ?
And just behind the Holy Grail of never-ending overflowing coffers lies our elusive search for eternal health and youth. We all love to laugh at the old travelling circus hucksters selling Snake Oil, guaranteed ‘to cure what ails ya.’ But any glance at any sort of media, from mailbox stuffers to the internet, shows that our self-delusion did not disappear with bowler hats and handlebar moustaches.
Back in the early eighties I remember reading the biography of Jim Morrison, entitled ‘No One Here Gets Out Alive’. I was in my mid-twenties then, and I thought it was a great title. Not applicable to me, of course. Your correspondent is as delusional and optimistic as the American novelist William Saroyan, who put into words what so many of us secretly believe: “I’ve always known that everyone must die, but I just think that an exception will be made in my case.”
P.J. is a young guy that I play hockey with once a week. Like many young athletic kids of today he is into working out and drinking protein shakes: low-fat, high carb, probably gluten-free for all I know. We shared a good laugh in the dressing room the other day.
“You know,” he confided to me,” when my dad was younger he worked out with the weights as well. But in those days after all the lifting they would refuel with a couple of cheeseburgers and a milkshake.” I guffawed right along with the young lad, then added, “No, that’s not exactly right. I would also have an order of fries or at least some potato chips as well.”
But the thing is, no matter what we do we always end up looking our age. The Hollywood set may have access to the latest diets, personal trainers and best skin care products in the world, but when even the best of them reach the age of fifty-five they are no longer playing the romantic lead. Okay, well, maybe they can if they are both producing and directing the movie. And even a quick glance at the aging beauty queens making the presentations at the Oscars proves that too much botox and one too many facelifts aren’t going to help land any prominent roles. Not unless you want to play the lead in the next sequel of ‘Aliens.’
There is a special locker room at the YMCA I frequent called the ‘Men’s Plus’. I’ve always avoided the place and it’s not only because of the extra charges. But because of renovations to the regular Men’s Room’s shower floor I’ve been allowed into the exclusive confines. These men are older, wealthy, prominent figures in the business and government world of Ottawa and I’ve been privileged in the past few days to see them shaving, naked, in front of the mirror.
So relax, everybody, relax. Even though I can’t realistically recommend the breakfast special at the Jay Lodge Inn I would probably venture to say that unless you really enjoy eating seaweed and drinking carrot juice that it’s not really going to help a lot in the long run. Have an extra glass of wine and unwind. We’re all a little too uptight as it is. Just remember to enjoy yourself and not to stray too far from the basics. Jim Morrison may have been a little excessive in some of his habits, but his basic philosophy applies to all of us.