New Castle News

March 22, 2014

Josh Drespling: Great ... now I’m the one who’s old, bald and fat

Josh Drespling
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Many, many moons ago when I was but a wee lad, my friends and I made fun of some people. This mostly happened at church, of all places.

I guess it was because of the mix of all the age groups in that setting. When we were at school, we were all similar ages and levels of development (except for the teachers, who also bore some of the brunt of our jokes.).

We were not vindictive or trying to be mean, we were just kids being kids. We were poking fun and having what we thought was a good laugh. It was not meant to hurt people’s feelings in any way, shape, or form, and if we felt it had done so, we most likely would have stopped immediately.

We made fun of people for their receding or lack-of-hair hairline. In retrospect, these balding men probably felt pretty self-conscious about their appearances already, but here we were pointing out a physical flaw that they really had no control over. Sure, they could have had toupees or Rogain, but they were being humble and living out the hand they were dealt.

We also poked at people who had waning eye sight and had to hold a piece of paper at arms length just to be able to read it. When we saw them slip their glasses out of their purses or pockets, it was time to point out their diminished abilities. We would ask them, “Do you want me to hold that over here for you?”

Once again, we were belittling these people for something they had nearly zero control over. What a bunch of jerks!

Another great point of ridicule was a person's age. It was fun for us to ask them what Jesus was like or how they survived the flood (reference the biblical story of Noah and the great flood). We thought we were original or genuinely funny.

Once again, we were just kids and had no understanding of the deeper impact these statements may have had on our unwitting subjects. Most of them laughed it off and joked with us. Some of them made fun of us right back. They poked at us for our late ’80s wanna-be-rock-star looks with our long hair, ripped or bleached jeans, and spandex.

Fast forward two decades ... well, almost three. I don't have much hair to speak of, my eyes are going, and I'm staring at my 42nd birthday this year. I am now a hybrid version off all those poor folks we made fun of all those years ago.  I suppose it is fate and karma teaming up on me for the nasty things I partook of as a kid.

I am now training my daughter to make fun of every successful, wealthy, and happy person she meets in an effort to beat karma at its own game. Maybe my plan will work, maybe not. Either way, my initial plan of not becoming old, blind, or bald has failed miserably.

Onto plan B.