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Point of View: The Downside to Keeping Up

Thu, 01/27/2022 - 13:21

A couple of weeks ago things were so garbled on the sports page that Mary thought some readers might think I was senile.

“Don’t worry,” Russell Bennett said, when I relayed her fears to him. “People have been saying that for years.”

Evidently so, for, aside from my own anguish, the “production glitch,” as it was euphemistically referred to, went, as far as I know, unremarked upon in public.

Senility, while not my only one, is a worry these days. I try to keep sharp with crossword puzzles, though it is interesting that while I’m clueless when I begin them, I feel no more clued in when done. Trying to recall names that Mary, who’s a face person, has forgotten provides an apt test. If I don’t think too much, they usually come to me. “Wait, wait, don’t tell me,” I said on entering the house following a walk with O’en the other night. “It was Paul LYNDE who played Templeton in the original ‘Charlotte’s Web.’ ” Which reminds me of the time a friend, a Lyme disease sufferer, said, “We’d love to come,” on being tendered an open invitation to dinner, “if only we could remember your names.”

One wants to keep up, but to do so nowadays is so taxing that periodically you yearn to take flight. But to where? Hurricanes, flooding, tornadoes, wildfires, and drought are omnipresent, or so it seemed when we scanned an ecological disaster map in The Times the other day. “This doesn’t seem such a bad place to be, all things considered,” I said.

And while climate change often is on our minds, we try not to get obsessed. . . .

“They say that sea levels are going to rise by 20 to 30  feet. . . .”

“We’ll be dead by then,” I say reassuringly.

“If nothing’s done about air pollution, we’ll need oxygen kits to breathe. . . .”

“We’ll be dead by then.”

“Lightning-ignited wildfires will increase by 30 percent by 2060. . . .”

“We’ll be dead by then.”

And then, of course, there’s the dire political climate.

“They say our democratic republic may be doomed. . . .”

“Don’t want to be a party-pooper, but we may not be dead by then.”

“Well, you can’t have everything.”


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