I’m not getting old, and I’ll prove it by doing something really stupid

Posted on March 10, 2012


Not 18 anymore

This one falls under the category Things You Can Expect From Your Parents.

Son, as you move along through puberty, your actions are controlled less and less by reason. Your brain is really busy trying to figure out what to do with all those weird new chemicals drowning your neurons. As a result, it needs to transfer the job of reasoning and critical thinking to any part of the body that’ll take it on. In your case, that’ll mostly be the groin, which you’ll find will always be happy to take on the responsibility.

Well, your parents also stop thinking rationally as we get older, but for different reasons.

The adult human brain is a fragile bit of equipment.  It can be seriously damaged by any kind of blow to the head. One of the most damaging blows to the head occurs when the grownup realizes they’re getting old.

Fortunately, the brain has a highly evolved system for protecting itself. This system is known as denial.  Denial forms a tight seal around the rational parts of the brain keeping thoughts like, “Gee, maybe I’m too old to play rugby against the Australian National team,” from entering our consciousness.

Denial works tremendously well, but there are a few unfortunate side effects. Most notable among them is what’s known (by me anyway) as Denial-induced Stupidity. Rather than bore you with long technical descriptions, I’ll just lay it out in this recent example on the ski hill:

Hey dad, watch me do this jump!

Cool, let me try-eeayayaaaaayaaaaaaaaaaaaayaaaaa!

That was funny dad! You were like totally sometimes up, sometimes down and you were like flying in the air and your skis are like 50 feet apart now! Awesome!


Pft Hmfl Glb Er…Ow.

Let’s do it again, Dad!

Uh…. Let me just… ak! I think I—

Hurry up Dad!

I, um, I, ugh. Can you get me my skis?  And my gloves? And poles? And, um, my goggles, do you see them anywhere? I think they’re over there near my helmet. Just to the left of my first and third lumbar vertebrae.

I wanna get it on video this time!

I can’t feel my legs.


The doctor recommends that I stay off the hill for the rest of the season.

What do you say we head up this weekend?