Saturday was my birthday. I’m 66. Not that the number of years means anything. There are a lot of ways to determine one’s real age.
For example, thanks to motorcycles, parachutes, tall places, explosions and irresponsible friends, I was already physically 60 by the time I was 27. Today, I’m physically 105. Everything hurts.
Then there’s emotional age. Emotionally, I haven’t reached 17 yet. Hell, I shouldn’t even be allowed to vote.
I deliberately stopped growing up when I discovered that maturity didn’t come all that highly recommended. All the people I knew who seemed proud of their maturity were no more interesting than dried mud.
There’s even a scripture concerning such a dubious accomplishment. “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain many years, and yet lose his sense of humor?” It’s in the Bible. Look it up.
Age is relative in another sense. It’s a deeply personal matter for some people. Ask how old they are, and they’ll react as if you tried to get their ATM code.
Them • “My age is a private matter.”
Me • “Why? Your wrinkles aren’t.”
Unless it concerns something like selling alcohol to minors, I fail to see the big deal about age. It’s completely relative.
In 10 days (June 14), President Donald Trump will be 73. Doesn’t matter that he’s physically older than me. I’m still far more mature than him, but then so is the average kindergartner.
If you’re anything like me, old age is something to be proud of. Nobody, including me, thought I would live this long. My father certainly didn’t think so.
Years ago — concerned for my safety after an incident that cost a lot of money — he got the idea that he could prolong my life by removing all the hazardous items my brothers and I had collected in the basement. It required a pickup truck, but even then he missed a lot.
Just to keep him happy, we made silent projectile throwers, including a contraption that would launch a dead (or live) rat into the parking lot of the Latter-day Saint meetinghouse near 2700 East and 4430 South in Holladay, 316 yards from our front porch.
How do we know the exact distance? Because the cops came when we narrowly missed someone either overly concerned about growing older or the flat rat on the windshield of her car.
Calm down. I don’t do stuff like that anymore. Not because I’ve grown up (and never intend to) but rather because I am married to a highly responsible woman who insists that I drive at least 10 miles into the middle of the desert before I act my true age.
All things considered, 66 isn’t a bad place to be in life. One more 6 and I’ll qualify for the job I’ve always wanted, which is to give satanic wedgies to the self-righteous and sanctimonious.
That, and to punish people for evil deeds — the worst of which is being overly mature.
Robert Kirby is The Salt Lake Tribune’s humor columnist. Follow Kirby on Facebook.