We all know there’s and expiration date — a date when, like a jug of expired milk, our loved ones will unceremoniously pour our vital fluids down a mortician’s drain and toss our shell to the curb — but a warranty?
Mine expired the day I turned 49.
Until then, by body seemed to take care of itself. Dings mended. Squeaky wheels greased themselves. My engine refueled itself overnight. And I never left an oil stain on the garage floor.
That warranty ran out last month. Since then, my engine can never seem to catch up. My thermostat is either too high or too low. Dings now require a trip to the body shop, and my wife says I’ve developed a gas leak. I wouldn’t know because my ears are now defective and hair follicles clog my air intake valve.
At one year short of half-a-century, my feet smell and my nose runs. If I fill up with anything but high-octane fuel, I belch foul-tasting fumes for hours.
My joints squeak. My hoses leak. My muscles are weak.
Locomotion is a chore. When I rise, I grunt almost as much as when I fall. My springs quiver. And I list to one side when I walk.
I have to warm up the engine in the morning. I start slower, and take longer to accelerate. I rattle at high speed, and I must coast to a stop, but like my old tuck outside — the one my wife wants me to sell — there’s still a little fire in the old spark plug.
And as with that old truck, trips to the mechanic are more frequent and more costly. So today, I’m headed to the shop to have my valves checked, my engine tuned, my joints greased. I just hope the mechanic trims his nails before he checks my oil.