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A man's age plays havoc with fantasy

| Thursday, July 24, 2008

There are momentous occasions in every man's life.

Special occasions like getting your driver's license, drinking your first beer on your 21st birthday, or breaking down and buying a recliner with a built-in snack tray help us guys mark important stages in our lives.

For me, the final acknowledgement of reaching middle age came not from purchasing said recliner or sending a kid off to college.

No, mine came in a racy, dark blue Chevy, driving along University Boulevard in Moon. The stretch between Stoup's Ferry and Robert Morris University often is used as a makeshift drag strip by students and some of the more-aggressive commuters.

It's not uncommon to see Moon police cruisers staging speed traps on this divided four-lane road where cars peel out at the stoplights and reach 90 mph or so before slowing at the top of the hill.

One of those very cars sat next to me at the stoplight recently, the passenger window dropping to reveal the face of a stunningly beautiful young woman.

"Are you pretty fast on that motorbike, boy?" she asked with the kind of sly smile that makes grown men rev their throttles like goofy teenagers. "See if you can catch me," she said as the light turned green and the little souped-out subcompact screeched away in a puff of smoke.

Now, if you follow the street racing scene, a challenge like that is not to be ignored. As mentioned in the unofficial rule book of People Who've Seen The Fast and The Furious too many times, a pretty young woman who asks that you try and catch her in a street race is probably implying at least a few minutes of high-octane flirting at the end of the road.

But as her car sped toward what I'm sure my lead-footed sweetie swore would be a clandestine rendezvous, I realized something. Sure, I could use the services of a pretty young woman around the house, but not in the manner she intended.

I'd race her anytime if winning meant she'd return to my place and clean out my gutters.

I have a large backyard shed that could use a paint job something awful, and a retaining wall that's on the verge of collapse. And don't even get me started on weeding my front lawn and walkway.

The whole incident reminded me of the joke about the long-married man who sits at a bar when a sexy woman walks over and whispers, "I'll make your dreams come true for $50." "Wow," he says, amazed at his good fortune. "That's the cheapest estimate for painting my house I've heard. You're hired!"

I'm finally old enough to understand that joke. And it gets funnier every time I hear it.

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