BEING A WINNER

It’s good to be a winner, and, despite what people who shared space with me in newsrooms might think, I am a winner and can prove it. Just the other day, there were all these signs of my winning ways when I opened my computer:

“Walmart Winner You have won an Ultimate Nonstick Cookware

“Lowe’s You have won an Dewalt Power Station

“Lowe’s Golf Cart You have won an Club Car Golf Cart

“170 Piece Stanley You have won an 170 Piece Stanley Tool Set

“Tumi You have won an Tumi Leather Backpack

“Congratulations! You have won an Ryobi Lawn Mower.”

And there were others. So there you have it — -Larry McCoy is an winner. Why do I get the feeling that whoever or whatever wrote the above notes didn’t learn English as a first language? Other questions: If you turn on the Dewalt Power Station and put the Ultimate Nonstick Cookware on top of it, does the cookware become sticky? And what happens to the Tumi Leather Backpack if you run over it with the Ryobi Lawn Mower?

I’m writing this as my 85th birthday approaches. 85. That means I’m older than Neil Diamond, Elliott Gould and Coco Laboy — individually not all together.

For those hoping to live into their 80s, make sure you have some fun along the way. I offer a few suggestions.

When you and your partner go into a restaurant — just the two of you — tell the host or hostess, “There are 17 of us.” You might want to have your phone ready to snap a quick reaction picture.

When there’s a new young lady working at your morning coffee place alongside Barney, who’s been there for years, wait a couple of weeks before you ask her, “Have you told your folks yet about you and Barney?” (If the next time you see the young lady, she rushes to fill your order and get you out of the place, you’ll know why.)

If someone old enough to be one of your kids — that is mid 50s or early 60s — tells you, she has never been to a White Castle, make sure she knows you’re disappointed that she has apparently never been out on an all-night drinking binge and/or never developed the urge to consume, in one sitting, all the salt needed for an entire calendar year.

If your life buddy doesn’t use his or her cellphone much, grab it when they aren’t looking and call the number with your cellphone. Next, hold both cellphones to your ears and chat away like the dickens. If he or she asks, “What are you doing?”, reply “I’m talking to your phone. It’s lonely.”

If you know a history buff or someone who teaches history, ask if they know of any civilization that survived when half the drivers backed their cars into their driveways rather than merely pulling straight in like normal human beings.

Yes, Irene, I plan to go to the gym before breakfast on my birthday, and yes, every time someone asks, “How are you?” I plan to keep saying, “I’m vertical.” Which, so far, is the damn truth.

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Larry McCoy

Retired newsman, author of “Grandma Told Me to Never Believe Anything Grandpa Says” published by Covenant Books. It’s his third book. He’s yet to be sued.