Arrow-right Camera
Subscribe now

This column reflects the opinion of the writer. Learn about the differences between a news story and an opinion column.

The Slice: Not that your age defines you or anything

Let’s talk about aging and labels.

“I favor ‘old fart,’ ” wrote Gregory Saue.

Chris Lang also weighed in.

“I don’t know whether you will allow me to comment as I am two weeks short of being aged 60, but I am fully prepared to embrace being called a ‘geezer,’ rather than ‘senior citizen’ or ‘elderly.’ I guess I have always sort of liked the sound of that word.”

Frank Werner would like to be called a “grown-up.”

“Nothing else will please me as much.”

Then there was this from Muriel Rubens.

“At 84, I manage to keep busy with activities appropriate for my age. I get very irritated when some well-meaning friend calls me ‘young lady.’ ”

Don’t blame you, Muriel. In her 90s, my mom used to get that from certain waiters and it always struck me as witless.

Never mind then: “In the pre-HIPAA days there was a guy that worked for the same company as I whose name was just one letter different than mine,” wrote Jim Clanton. “He was James C———-. Anyway, one day I picked up the phone and listened to a voice mail from a doctor’s office informing me that there were some negative results on the tests I had taken a couple of weeks prior and I needed to call right away.

“So, I called the number they left, told them my name and the doctor’s assistant started into this litany of maladies that may have been suggested by the test results. I was straining my brain trying to remember a visit to any doctor’s office and particularly this one. I was fearing early onset Alzheimer’s along with the other maladies that they were telling me about.

“Finally I told them that I did not remember any doctor visits or ever having been in their office. At that point they asked me to spell my name: James Clanton.

“Ooooops, they said. They had called for James C———- but apparently had chosen the wrong name from the voice mail menu.”

Another time, he was in a medical waiting room and the nurse came in and called “James.”

But another guy got up right away and went back to the exam room with her.

You guessed it. Ten minutes later they both returned and the nurse called “James Clanton.”

Today’s Slice question: Does the music you listen to tend to make you think about the future or the past?

Write The Slice at P. O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email Please name a song title that sums up your attitude about lawn care.

More from this author