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 Texas : Features : Columns : Letters From North America :

Lord help me
if Iíve ever got to live by myself

by Peary Perry
Peary Perry
Lord help me if Iíve ever got to live by myself.

Having spent a few days these past weeks with some of my bachelor friends I can safely say that this type of life is not good for them and Iím certain for me. I donít think I would survive for very long in that kind of an environment. I need help. I need help all of the time.

I might also suggest these bachelor friends of mine do as well.

First off, let me clarify that these are old guys, not youngsters waiting to be married; all of these guys have been married and married again at some time or another. Their wives either died or left them or perhaps both, Iím not sure. I donít really want to know either.

The first thing I notice is a lack of personal grooming skills. Most of these fellows have brillo pads growing from their noses and ears. This stuff really starts to move on you as the years go by. I can almost hear mine getting longer each night. I have several sets of industrial size clippers to weed eat that stuff back to a presentable stage, but it takes time and effort. You canít just let it grow or it will get away from you in a few short weeks. These men apparently never look at themselves very closely in the mirror.

Next is their clothing. They donít wear pressed stuff. Some of their shirts look like they have slept in them. Not one of them knows how to iron. Wash and wear seems to be the order of the day. Old wash and wear at that. The towels smell musty and I suspect my friend washes the same one time after time. My wife rotates these so they get cleaned on a regular basis. Bless her heart, I really do appreciate her. Especially after being around these guys for a day or two.

I spent the night with one of them and opened the refrigerator, this was a mistake. He had some cheese, two six packs of beer, a six pack of root beer, several carrots, a half eaten apple and several cartons of milk. There were also some take out food containers which Iíd suspect could be used for a mold growth experiment without any trouble at all. A couple of the milk cartons looked solid and might be in the process of making cheese, but I didnít ask. Oh, yes he had a roll of paper towels on the bottom shelf. Why? Who knows?

A big screen television in every room, with two or three remotes for each set. One for the TV, one for the DVD and last but not least Öone for the VHS. He probably has an eight track player in there somewhere. My friend is like Diogenes Öwalking around the house always looking for the correct remote. I suggested he buy a universal one that worked all of the units, but he avoids new technology as much as possible unless itís a new truck, then you can count him all in.

I went to dinner with the group. This is an experience you want to avoid if at all possible. First off, if you must goÖtry to get to the head of the line to place your order. By the time this group gets finished eliminating the salt, fat, carbs, red meat, sugar, gluten, peanuts, spices of any kind, or non decaffeinated coffee you are no longer hungry. They cannot place these orders without telling everyone within ten feet about their irritable bowel syndrome or recent colonoscopy. The waitresses and waiters run to the other side of the room when this group starts to sit down.

These guys can manage e-mail but donít do as good on texting their fingers are too stiff. Some still use film cameras and one guy the other night still had a pager on his belt. I bet that industry is dead and gone. The conversation started in the fifties and sixties and stayed there. It was like three hours of a History channel documentary. All we needed was Lawrence Welk and Ed Sullivan to top off the evening. I think I saw Elvis, but Iím not real sure.

Iím being cruel, these are really nice guys and Iím picking on them. I just hope I never fall into this trap and stay there. I like my life and I like having a wife. I suppose they did as well at one time or another, but those days are long gone. They are probably wishing they had someone to fuss at them for leaving the toilet seat up all the time.

I know Iíd miss my someone and I bet deep down they do as well.

© Peary Perry
Letters From North America
- April 28, 2010 column
Syndicated weekly in 80 newspapers
Comments go to pperry@austin.rr.com
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