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Columnist Admits to 'Kabong' Moments
I had one of those Kabong Moments the other day, and as you might imagine, it wasn’t very much fun.
A Kabong Moment, for the uninitiated, is when a realization hits you so hard – Kabong! – that you could swear you hear the sound of a guitar being broken over the top of your head, like Quick Draw McGraw used to do to the bad guys when he was disguised as the one and only El Kabong.
Mine came when I was waiting for Cookie to come in from doing her business, and Cookie was, as usual, taking her sweet time about it, dinking around over here, sniffing over there, ambling around like she had all the time in the world. Which, I guess, she probably does. What’s time to a dog?
Anyway, I said what I have always said to Cookie when she does this:
“While we’re young, dog.”
And then – Kabong! – I realized that I can’t use that expression anymore, because neither Cookie (10 years old) nor I (more then 10) qualify.
And while we’re not exactly old, I can see that day coming. A good Kabong gives you a lot of clarity about these things.
It helped me to see the signs that are already there.
For example, I have about 17 different passwords and secret codes I use for various computer programs and such. I keep a cheat sheet close at hand because the chance of me remembering them is about as good as the chance of me walking to Hawaii.
However, I can remember every locker combination I ever had at Lakeland High School.
This is definitely old-guy stuff. Wait. There’s more.
I teach The History of American Popular music at a local university, and every year I find it a little harder to believe that not a single one of my students has ever heard of Bo Diddley. This causes me to do a great deal of fuming and grousing until it dawns upon me that teaching them about Bo Diddley is actually in my job description.
I can’t believe how much it costs to buy a pack of cigarettes. If I smoked, I’d never have money for drugs and alcohol. Don’t get excited. I mean prescription drugs and rubbing alcohol. Old guy, remember?
Such things as the price of cigarettes invariably lead me to the conversational gambit, “I remember when the price went up to 40 cents and we were outraged.” All I need to do is add “by cracky!” or “sure as shootin’” or “gol-durn it!” to the end of the sentence, and I’m ready to be shipped to the Old Ex-Smokers’ Home.
I learned last year that my students and I have a great deal of variance between their definition of “party line” and mine. Theirs sound a lot more fun than sharing the phone line with eight other families.
Frankly, I don’t know if I could handle being a young person these days. They’re under an awful lot of pressure that simply did not exist when I was their age. The technology alone is enough to drive you nuts (see above under Passwords.)
The world turns much faster now. Maybe Cookie has the right idea. And here comes another Kabong:
We’re not getting any younger. We’re moving the other direction.
There is no need to hurry.
© 2010 Mike Redmond. All Rights Reserved.
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