(In honor of “Of Mice and Men,” that begins April 19 at Shreveport Little Theatre, here’s a column from 2014 on (sort of) the same subject. Also, if you’ve never read “Of Mice and Men,” don’t let its being a classic scare you. Like “The Old Man and the Sea,” it’s only about 100-150 pages long. Wonderful and sad story, real-life story. This column is not quite so serious. At all.)

Favorite Old Guy Joke. Three old guys are out walking.

First one says, “Windy, ain’t it?”

Second one says, “No, it’s Thursday.”

Third one says, “So am I. Let’s go get a beer.”

Say what?

I love me an old dude.

They are on my mind today more than usual because of a Townhall Spotlight report forwarded to me citing a “landmark study that sounds like science fiction” in which “a professor at Harvard Medical School regenerated the brains of aging mice by turning on a switch inside their cells.”

This reads, beautifully:

“The mice, WHO ARE THE EQUIVALENT OF ELDERLY MEN (my favorite part), had all the classic signs of old age: Their brains were smaller… they were going blind… they stopped having sex… their hair was gray… and they couldn’t find their way through a maze or remember where their food was.”

But when this Harvard professor hit the switch in their cells, the tissues and organs in their body — including their brains — started to regenerate and grow back to normal size.

From the report: “Even a slight change in brain size would have been a miracle… but what happened was remarkable… The gray hair was gone. So was the poor eyesight and shrunken brains. In fact, there was nothing left that could distinguish them as ‘old.’” (Except the baby blue jumpsuits they wore?)

This “Age-Reversing Switch can be turned on in us too!,” states the report, through increased production of telomeres, “the enzyme that helps you rebuild the ‘biological clocks’ at the end of your DNA.” The report claims that once the mice had their telomerase turned on, shrunken organs grew (hello!), key organs functioned better, the mice got their sense of smell back and, my second favorite part, “the mice went on to live long healthy lives.”

Good for them! And if you wish to try telomeres, good for you. But I want to know if this improved for the mice:

Did they still have to use reading glasses?

If so, were they able to consistently FIND their reading glasses, and how many pair, within 10, did each have located at different strategic reading spots at whatever house or field or automobile or office they were infesting?

Did their butts grow back? (One day I looked back there and someone had stolen mine. It had followed me around for more than 40 years and then, poof!)

Did they become younger than their preacher and doctor again?

Did it still seem to them that Arnold Palmer should be in his 50s and were they still consistently surprised to recall, throughout the summer, that the Houston Astros were now in the American League?

Could they rip the “Only White Tees and Decaf” bumper stickers off their golf carts?

That’s what I’D like to know.

Meanwhile, we males who are getting older (and smaller) can at least appreciate, first-hand, old dude humor, something we couldn’t do back before we discovered the hauntings of ear hair.

For instance:

One old guy asked another how he was feeling. “Like a newborn baby,” he said. “No hair, no teeth, and I think I just wet my pants.”

And, an old guy was telling his neighbor he’d just bought a new state-of-the-art hearing aid that costs $4,000 but was perfect.

“Really,” the neighbor said. “What kind is it?”


And finally, the show-stopper that I shouldn’t even tell you:

The old man limps into the ice cream parlor, makes it to the stool and orders a banana split.

The waitress says, “Crushed nuts?”

“No,” he says. “Arthritis.”