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Friday, October 17, 2014


4 stars out of 5

No matter how old you are, it's hard to read when your eyes are dripping tears from laughing so hard. Even after stopping to dry off every few minutes, this is a short (168 pages) book that can be finished in a couple of hours tops. And if you're anywhere north of 55 years of age, I'm pretty sure you'll be cracking up through the whole thing just as I did.

Dr. Richard Lederer has written more than 35 books, almost all related to the
use (and misuse) of the English language - one or two of which I read years ago. Now that I'm over the hill myself (he's somewhere around 76, just a couple of years older than I), the subject matter of this one is of special interest to me. And knowing firsthand how funny the guy can be - and learning that his honors include International Punster of the Year and a winner of Toastmasters International's Golden Gavel - I couldn't pass it up when it was offered free through my Kindle Unlimited membership.

As the title suggests, this little gem is loaded with mostly humorous tidbits relating to growing older - from bumper stickers to puns to inspiring quotes such as (from Leroy Satchell Paige), "How old would you be if you didn't know how old you are?")

Many, from oldsters we all know and love such as George Burns, Will Rogers, Bill Cosby and Joan Rivers, inspire giggles, if not outright chortles:

"You know you're getting old when you stoop to tie your shoelaces and wonder what else you can do while down there." 

"We could certainly slow the aging process if it had to work its way through Congress." 

"By the time you've lit the last candle of your birthday cake, the first one has burned out."

And my personal favorite:

"Going braless pulls all the wrinkles out of your face."

In all honesty, there are quite a few I've heard before, but that didn't mean I laughed any less; this is  a terrific collection of zingers on the aging process. I think I'll have to get a hard copy, in fact; reading it to my friends is sure to make me the hit of our Saturday afternoon golf cart posse to Walmart.  

The Gift of Age: Wit and Wisdom, Information and Inspiration for the Chronologically Endowed and Those Who Will Be By Richard Lederer (Marion Street Press LLC, April 2011); 168 pp.

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