#Theatrical(and throwback)Thursday finds us reading from my own motorscooter diary. Perhaps as a subconscious response to this scathing review of my book, “Telomere Timebombs: Defusing the terror of aging”, I have decided to open the throttle on my tedious and narcissistic writing. One of my one-star reviewers writes:
The narcissism that I had to endure in order to find anything useful was tedious. This is not good writing. And, what I learned was little more than what is easily available on the author’s and others’ web sites. I have been taking three capsules a day for four months and have found no positive effects.
Recently, with the nostalgia of the back to school season upon me, the empty nest feeling of sending my eldest son to boarding school, and the $400 a month fuel bill for my ailing 130,000-mile sedan egging me on, I resolved to return to the past and reclaim the romance of my old Vespa from college. It once looked like this:
I loved that blue machine, even though I occasionally had to push it to start, add oil to the two stroke engine, adjust the clutch with a wrench, choke it on cold days, and couldn’t safely pass traffic with the 200cc motor.
But thirty years later, none of those machines run anymore without some serious work needed or without paying the cost of a new one.
So I looked at the modern, four-stroke fuel injected versions and discovered that baby boomer affluence has not only sustained the Vespa brand but brought it to new heights of engineering and style. There is even a $10,000 designer version that premiered last year called the 946:
That was a bit outrageous but instead of going with the nostalgia and the high-maintenance, I reluctantly bought a newer model:
After riding a few days, I realize that things I thought I would miss, I am actually grateful for: the right brake pedal is gone (now where the clutch lever used to be). The thrill of the manual transmission has been replaced by an effortless ride where I can’t even HEAR, let alone FEEL the gear changes. And the extra 100 cc of engine displacement has me leaving any car in the dust from the moment the green flashes until she tops out at 85mph.
But I still had to grapple with the fear and loathing associated with the motorcycle certification test and the hassel of a frustrating day spent at the infamous California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). After all, a visit to the DMV has been the fodder of many stand-up comic and traumatized many a Californian for generations untold. But to my pleasant surprise, the infamous slow speed motorcycle test can be supplanted by a useful two day motorcycle safety course and the DMV now gives appointments.
So with my training completed and appointment scheduled, the entire DMV “ordeal”, including checking in, taking a vision test, getting photographed, taking both the driver’s AND the motorcyclist’s written exams took me… (wait for it) … 68 minutes!
Elated, I decided to take a selfie in front of the DMV. When I returned to my virtual darkroom, I noted the patrons standing in that long queue seemed either amused by me or a bit frustrated from the line. And who can blame them? Many of those folks were still in the same line throughout the time it took for me to get it all done.
So what does this have to do with my blog? Well, my point is that even though we think things were better in the past, they can actually be better now: from Vespas to the dreaded DMV.
Ironically, there is even a sign that these frustrated people waited in front of for over an hour suggesting a better way:
This mindset reminds me of my daily challenges with promoting anti-aging and wellness. People assume that there is no solutions to certain problems, otherwise why would all these other people be waiting in a DMV line or getting old and sick? In this queue, there may have been some with emergency issues but for most of those folks, heeding the appointment sign next time will save them a couple of hours and much frustration.
I suppose this extremely narcissistic writing is trying to convey that things do change and sometimes, they are better than we remember them. I have the privilege of hearing many such anecdotes from my many patients; it seems that when you take adaptogens like the ones in RECHARGE or a telomerase activator like TA-65, you actually “look forward to going back” as my Recharge Biomedical tagline suggests. It’s life’s existential U-turn and it feels great!
So in conclusion, at 47 years of age, my new Vespa is much cooler than the old one and now I appreciate it more. Likewise, 75-yo Karl was voted MVP for pitching two winning games and hitting .597 at the Cincinnati Reds’ Fantasy Baseball camp appreciates his performance more. And it’s not just physical! 58-yo Greg, an venture capitalist, had to share this testimonial of adult education after starting our RECHARGE supplement:
BTW, I finished summer school in an advanced law program I’m doing to update my licenses…it was an extremely difficult program and I was certain I was going to receive B’s or worse for the first time in my college life…I scored straight A’s :))) The stress was immense and I barely made it through my last final exams, but somehow I did without collapsing. I’m very surprised and very happy with my performance in college after such a long academic absence.
Greg also had a 14-year old problem severe cardiac arrhythmia disappear after two months of taking RECHARGE, but that will be a topic for another blog about attribution. In the meantime, enjoy this little bit of nostalgia which is the exception that proves the rule that we only remember things as being better. ROMAN HOLIDAY (1953) by William Wyler and starring Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn isn’t likely to be topped by a remake by Richard Bey, starring Robert Pattinson and Myley Cyrus even with all the CGI and green screen magic Hollywood can muster.