Friday, November 17, 2017

"The Upside Of 'The Stoop'"

I have a stoop when I get tired. 

Which is a step up.  (Or is it a stoop down?)

“What is he talking about?”

Okay, I’ll tell you. 

I used to stoop all the time.  Even when I was a teenager.  My rationale was to simulate “Old Age” earlier so when that unwelcome “Life Passage” – and its inevitable symptoms – finally arrived, I would not feel so bad, because nothing, for me, had actually changed.  I would also, from maybe age 13, go “Oy” when I up from a chair.  (Can you imagine a teenager behaving that way?  Well, at least one teenager I know did.)

After regular bodywork treatments from the “Horse Doctor” – so named because he works three days a week on horses, though I have no idea what they call him – my habitual ”Stoop” has been essentially erased. 

Except when I’m tired.  And then, it comes back.  I like the “Straight” Me” better, of course, but, what are you going to do?  You get worn out from your extended exercise, your bolstering discipline erodes, and before you know it, you’re “Stooped Earl” again.  Except this time, it’s real.


As I have ad nauseumly asserted in this venue that, just as every upside has its inevitable downside – and I defy you to offer any reasonable exception – conversely, every downside has its compensatory upside. 

And that includes stooping. 

A fact I was reminded of during my most recent salt-water-adjacent excursion.

I am heading back home, forty-five or so minutes into an hour-long weekend walk by the Pacific.  I feel myself noticeably stooping, but now, nearing “Out of Gas”, I lack the will and residual “core strength” to stand straight.  It appears that one of my vertebra has decided, temporarily, to retire.  It’s in the middle of my back; ergo, “The Stoop.”

The “Stoop” is not ogreishly pronounced, and it doesn’t hurt.  It’s just a fatigued old guy, with a lifetime of bad postural habits, going for a walk.)

And now comes my “upsiding” advantage. 

Trudging doggedly along, my head facing decidedly downward, suddenly, I spot a dime on the ground, lying close to a parking meter.  Maybe it accidentally dropped out of the slot.  Maybe the parking meter snootily rejected it.

“We don’t need no stinkin’ dimes!

However it got there, it was never retrieved from the pavement.

So I retrieved it. 

Hey, it’s a dime. 

Plus, I hate litter.

And unretrieved money is still litter.

Having congratulated myself on my good fortune – and my small but meaningful contribution to cleaning up our streets – I press ahead on my journey.  I take two steps and, not six feet away…

There’s a penny, lying on the sidewalk!

Was this the discarded residue of same inconsiderate person, I wondered, one with no gift for inserting coinage into a vertical slot?  Or had the machine coughed out the penny, haughtily asserting,

“If we are not taking dimes, how do you come back here with pennies?  Empty your wallet of small change, if you will.  But not on my stanchion.”

What kind of a person scatters money all over the street and then strolls casually away?  It’s unlikely, the coins being suspiciously proximate, but maybe it two different “coin droppers”, the second profligate change-waster thinking, “Hey, if that person can throw away a dime, I can easily walk away from a penny.”  Unless the penny was dropped first, in which case it was the “Dime Dropper” thinking, “I see your discarded penny, and I raise you nine cents!”

I know we are discussing “miniscule currency” here.  And I am not pretending to be
Mary Poppins’s George Banks, tutoring his offspring concerning the accumulated “compound interest” value of “tuppence.”  It’s just…

It’s money!

“It’s just pocket change.”

Not anymore.

“I would not stoop to pick that up.”

I would, and I did.  And not because I am already in “Stoop Mode.”  I’d have retrieved it standing straight up.  (If I’d have seen it, which was unlikely.  There, see? – the downside of impeccable posture.) 

I reach down – a diminished distance because of the “Stoop”, and I retrieve the penny, thinking, among other things, “Who knows?  Maybe the dime would like company.”

Having enriched myself with more than, as the cowboy “Snake Oil” salesmen would call it, “one ‘tenth part’ of a dollar”, plus having momentarily rested, contemplating people  literally throwing their money around, and then don’t even bother picking it up, augmented by the rejuvenating benefits of the “Lucky Me” mentality, I have regained my energy, and with it, my previous “Optimum Posture.”  I stride with revitalized vigor back to the house, the “gift” dime and penny, tucked tightly in my appreciative clenched fist.

The “Stoop” is no longer in evidence.  I walk straight and tall as a guard at Buckingham Palace, only wearing a baseball cap, instead of that tall furry thing with the chinstrap.

Feeling no need to be greedy (and now unable to scavenge the sidewalk), I leave the remaining discarded coinage to subsequent walkers, following in my stoop-ravaged footsteps.

No reason not to share the wealth.

(Although how much could actually be left?)
Great News!  My most recent “Major Dad” Financial Report indicates that the show’s “Recouped Losses” since the last Financial Report have been reduced from $4,237,462 to $4,136,289.  That means that, at this rate, “Major Dad” reaches profitability – and my contractual profit participation kicks in – in forty-one years.

Somebody please tell my great grandchildren.

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