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Am I becoming a grumpy old man?

Bill Fox

Bill Fox

By Bill Fox/Columnist

I’m starting to realize that I might be changing into a grumpy old man.

If you might be wondering if you’re becoming one too, there’s no need to take a survey.  I found six ways that you may realize you too are in danger of becoming a grumpy old man.

  1. You hesitate to make new friends because you don’t like too much change.
  2. Clothes exist for function, not fashion. Long ago you gave up on trying to impress with your flair. Vests, cardigans, and corduroys, are still favourites and you refuse to buy any new clothes until you have “worn out” the ones you own.
  3. Technology refuses to co-operate with you. You’re fine with mobile phones, e-mail, maybe even Facebook, but at the mention of Instagram or Amazon’s Alexa, you become overwhelmed. You yearn for the days of less than 50 TV channels and one remote control.
  4. You have replaced conversation with complaints. If someone asks how you are, you might embark instead on a litany of physical ailments, and grumble about the state of the world (you blame Trudeau, Ford, or Trump personally for everything wrong). Plus, you can’t stand up from a seated position without emitting a loud groan.
  5. Leaving the house becomes unnecessary trouble. Restaurants are too loud. Theatres are too expensive. Even the movie theatres, with their endless commercials and decibel-busting sound systems have been sent to try you.
  6. You just don’t care as much any more. Age has put things in perspective. You realise you have lived longer than most of your ancestors, enjoyed better food, healthcare, and housing, more interesting travel and a prolonged period without a world war. You may even have attended, as I did, the last three Toronto Maple Leafs’ Stanley Cup parades.  It’s been so long now, as entertaining as the Leafs are, you cared for so long and now?

I just don’t understand how we got to these points in our evolution:

Survey says, “Cell phone addiction now challenges alcohol and drug addiction supremacy.”

Another survey says, “30 to 40 per cent of students in the USA are taking anti-anxiety medication.”

And finally a third survey says, “More people believe that happiness is more achievable through money rather than friendship or religion.” No wonder our society is in such a state.

A pet peeve of mine is tattoos. United States citizens spend $1.65 billion a year on tattoos. Demand for laser tattoo removal increased by 32 per cent last year and over $40 million was spent on removing tattoos. The United States has more than 20,000 tattoo parlours. This number grows by one every day.

Twenty-six per cent of tattooed folks report feeling regret over their tattoo and wanting to have it removed. The reason for regret given most often is: “It’s a name of another person”. Six to nine per cent of inked people have “cover up” tattoos.

The storm clouds of the next global financial crisis are gathering despite the world financial system being unprepared for another downturn, the deputy head of the International Monetary Fund has warned.

David Lipton, the first deputy managing director of the IMF, said, “crisis prevention is incomplete” more than a decade on from the last meltdown in the global banking system.  So there is something else to worry about.

Finally, if you Google the word “idiot” under images, a picture of Donald Trump comes up. How would that happen? How does search work so that this would occur? In an effort to understand how Google search algorithms work, a Democratic congresswoman asked the tech company’s chief executive that simple question. As it turns out, the image results for “idiot” does reveal a page of mostly Trump photos.

Strangely that fact gives me great delight even for a grumpy old man.

If you want to tattoo my name, I’m at bdeefox@rogers.com

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