Truth is, I rarely worried about getting old. For 45 of my 53 years, I looked like a just-post-puberty teen—uncombed hair, dirty Converse sneakers, crumbled Van Halen shirt dripping off my scarecrow torso.
Sure, there were snaps, creaks and some early ear hair, but I looked young and savored it every time a store clerk carded me.
These days, I think about age constantly. I am a pretty healthy schlub, yet I am always on the lookout for the next bodily surprise to urp up and frighten small children.
The biggest reminders that I should immediately check myself into a nursing home are emails. I routinely get a ton of alarming health emails and they mysteriously mirror that week’s aches and audibles; it’s as if the snake oil salesmen are generating content after observing me earlier that morning.
The following are actual subject lines from emails clogging my inbox (Warning: These are not for the squeamish or the hungry or the breathing.):
- Dental Implants. Killer Bacteria in Your Gums. Doctors Were Shocked When They Saw This
- Endoscope Camera. Secure your Smartsnake HD now
- uSmile. The toothbrush of the future is here
- Why You Should Put Garlic in Your Ear Before Going to Sleep
- Listerine For Your Feet?
- Deteriorating Brain.
- Can’t Empty Your Bowels Easily? Check Your Bowel Type. (NOTE: This is one of several emails I got about my bowel health. Another email reads: Your Gut Has 17lbs of Rotting Food Bloating It.)
- Spray on Your Head and Never Go Bald
- Going Blind: Purple Fruit Restores 20/20 Vision
- Normal Farts. Everybody farts but do you know if yours are normal? Is the smell of yours a sign of deadly disease?
- Hack Your Brain (This email includes a “quote” from Bill Gates, proclaiming he never leaves home without this Brain Hacking miracle.)
- Memory Theft Bacteria
- Bacteria Causes Memory Fog
- Sheesh! Your Back Went Out … AGAIN?
- Ear-cleaning Endoscope Tool for Cleaning Earwax Away
- Your Butt. Best Butt Exercise
All of these emails are verbatim, and all arrived within a two-week span. This is just a sample of my cyber traffic, and the older I get, the grosser they get.
Every year or so, I have an internet-savvy friend work some voodoo to reduce my volume of spam. It sticks for several months and then the trolls monitoring my earwax and cranial toothpaste figure a way around the cybersecurity doodads.
Speaking of cybersecurity, I offer a serious note on junk emails: Do not engage with them. Do not reply. Do not open links inside junk emails. And teach your more vulnerable friends and family to recognize scams and spam.
That said, my apologies for ruining any meal you had planned to eat within the next 48 hours. But when you return to a normal diet, be sure to include purple fruits and ear garlic to avoid Smartsnakes.