Column Date 2007-10-06

My brain is shrinking. And itís fun!

Seriously. My brain is shrinking.

And so is yours, according to a new scientific report.

Neurobiologists have recently discovered that as you get older, the frontal lobes of your brain get smaller. (Not to worry – it’s a perfectly normal part of aging.)

Your frontal lobes, it turns out, act like a filter – stopping you from blurting out things you may not really want to say. (It’s like your brain having a built-in censor, so you don’t say things you’ll regret saying later on.)

Is this an great opportunity for all of us over 50, or what?

The shrinking of our frontal lobes gives us the perfect excuse to say things we’ve always hesitated saying before.

“Sorry I said that, sir or madam, but my frontal lobes have shrunk. There’s nothing I can do about it. It’s out of my control.” (Shrug.)

Just think of all the fun that lies ahead!

For instance, here are some things I used to say when I was younger (printed in ordinary type).

And here’s what I’m going to say now with my shrunken frontal lobes (in italic type).

* * * * *

“Sorry about the Mets losing.”

“It’s just a kid’s game played by multi-millionaires. Stop sulking around and get over it.”

* * * * *

“Well, you make an interesting argument about the 2nd Amendment.” 

“Is the next step a personal tactical nuclear weapon to defend your home?”

* * * * * 

“So you’re my state representative. Gotta be a tough job.”

“By the way, how can you afford to buy a $2 million dollar house on the salary we pay you?”

* * * * * 

“No, you haven’t put on a pound, Harriet. You look great!”

“I’m so glad there were eight restaurants on your cruise ship. Bet you’re not a size 12 any more!”

* * * * *

“Wow! A $750,000 bonus from your Wall St. firm. Wonderful!”

“How are your kids? You do remember them, don’t you?”

* * * * *

“Sorry, she’s not here right now.”

“My mother has been dead for six years. Do you think she really needs another credit card?”

* * * * *

And finally:

“A pleasure to meet you, Mr. President.”

“Veto a bi-partisan bill that would provide medical help to poor, sick children!? Do you know that your brain is shrinking?”

©2007 Peter Tannen