I was looking in the mirror one recent morning when I noticed something afflicting three people who have experienced major league aging – Yogi Berra, George Burns and, yours truly, Bill Hall.
Fortunately, I have yet to share death with them. But another experience of theirs was not one of my favorite accomplishments. I refer to ears and noses – large, overgrown, rubbery ears and noses.
I noticed with my own eyes that my ears appear to be an inch or more larger than I remember. Large ears are the standard of baseball’s Yogi Berra and of that clever vaudevillian George Burns, not to mention me and my supple hen scratches. We have ears and noses larger than when we were 40.
The last photos of the two celebrities revealed a larger helping of ear tissue. At the very least, their faces were shrinking, creating the illusion of enlarged ears and generous noses.
Nose and ears are not the only body parts that tend to change in size. Stature, for instance – height. First, you gradually grow up to what might be called your correct adult height. But then it goes the other way. Gravity eventually shortens us, tamping down our back bones – and thereby us. By the time you’re 60, you recognize that you are an inch or so shorter than you used to be.
That means nothing in the world of modern medicine because nurses are in a hurry, and they get what they want – your inaccurate official height. The harried nurse pressures you to have your height measured with your shoes on. It doesn’t matter whether you are wearing flats, cowboy boots, lady shoes on 4-inch heels or, on rare occasion, even cowboy boots with 4-inch heels.
Recording weight is also mostly an empty ritual. It’s a record of your official weight but not an accurate measurement. That’s because you don’t want your doctor to find out you have put on a few too many pounds.
Yes, I know: What harm do those little white (fat) lies do when it comes to a true record of your body weight?
The difference is that doctors and patients who don’t play those little games compile an accurate record. They are able to identify and alert the doctor to swings between chubby and slender.
The simplest way to go, of course, is to ask squeamish patients to strip naked in the examination cubicle before the nurse or doctor arrives. Then everybody can have their weight measured while wearing nothing but a flimsy college toga.
However, I have larger worries. How did these ears, these delicate and attractive little ears, become something resembling a television roof antenna made of flesh and cartilage? I can almost bring in Seahawks television signals on my large pink flesh flaps. Such ears are mostly a badge of honor, if the wind isn’t blowing too hard.
My nose has grown a bit, but in my case that is an unexpected bonus. Early in life, I had a nose pointy enough to make me consider a job picking up hotdog wrappers at the ballpark without using my hands or a pointed stick.
Now, as my nose widens a bit toward normal, the pointed proboscis is gone and my baseball days are over.
Today, a few well-intentioned family members suggest I get a pair of hearing aids. I have already grown a pair of hearing aids. But they may be correct.
However, first I feel we should take advantage of my ear size and electrify them as natural hearing aids. Then I will have my own set of natural Yogis.
Contact Bill Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 1012 Prospect Ave., Lewiston, ID 83501.