Sunday, May 10, 2015

So I run across Paul Newman in a bar

No, not that Paul Newman.

And not to be confused with my uncle Paul Neumann of Darmstadt, who is no longer in the best of health but could formerly be found in a bar from time to time.

I'm talking about my old pal Paul who showed up in my high school class picture in the GCVI yearbook, a fact neither of us discovered till we were well into middle age.

I typically run into Paul Newman about once every ten years or so.

Paul is apparently well into his old age now. He's getting those monthly cheques from the Canada Pension Plan. That makes him an official senior citizen in my book. And since I have yet to receive one of those, I guess this makes him old and me young.

One thing we had in common is me and Paul were both going to be millionaires by the time we were thirty.

Ha ha ha!

Who knows... without divorces and alimony and child support, one or the other of us might have made it.

So I'm taking Junior for lunch for his birthday at the Stampede Ranch yesterday, and I'm not there for five minutes before I hear "I seen you walk in and I only know one person that ugly; it can only be Dieter Neumann."

Shit... that can only be Paul...

We did the usual reminiscing about who's done what and who has died.

The older you get, the more you know who died. Funny how that works.

I've been exceptionally lucky in the death department. I know Paul's dad Dennis must have passed away a good twenty years ago, whereas mine is still going strong. But those ageing relatives are none of them gonna live forever, and right now mine are stacking up over their final destination like airliners over O'Hare in a blizzard.

Paul and I once shared a car ride from Calgary to Guelph. That's a trip both of us made many times. If things fell the right way you could do it in under thirty hours, which we did. As I recall it, I drove the whole way and he slept the whole way, except when he was briefly awakened by the G-forces as I was doing some dramatic manoeuvres weaving around abandoned gas stations in northern Ontario in a desperate attempt to lose an OPP cruiser.

Ya, it was a blast from the past, and I hope there was a lesson in it for Junior.

All you young folks out there who think the future is gonna stretch out forever, it ain't.

Make your time count.

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