I've reached that age where I have these fears of what will eventually do me in. My mind seems as sharp as ever, although the other day I went to unlock my front door and instead of reaching into my wallet for a key I found myself taking out my American Express card and trying to figure out where to insert the card so that the door would spring open. It was only a few seconds, but I took it as a sign.
It seems to me the only things to do about living longer center around exercise, giving up alcohol, or eating tasteless food. These are alternatives that I won't consider for even a minute. Death seems so much better than jogging.
So the only thing left for me is to try to avoid getting run over by a bicycle. Yes, this is my greatest fear. Let me tell you why.
To begin with, along with millions of baby boomers, I've reached that point where my bones have the consistency of Rice Krispies.
And a broken hip at my age is the beginning of the end.
And whom do I feel will break my hip and send me to meet my maker?
It's going to be one of those tens of thousands of Chinese deliverymen, wearing baseball caps, who pedal their broken-down bikes around New York City every Sunday night. Yes, they ride in the Bloomberg-now-de Blasio bike lanes, but always in the wrong direction.
On Sunday nights in New York City, thousands of people who are too lazy to cook call for food from hundreds of restaurants. The food, ranging from Roast Pork Chow Fun and Beef Young Sing Lo Mein to pizza with pepperoni, is put in the hands of these Chinese gentlemen, who will go through fire to make sure the food will reach its final destination – your stomach.
Tons of food seems to be delivered by tens of thousands of Chinese deliverymen who speak no English and seem to only pedal their bikes against traffic. They don't swerve to avoid taxicabs. Instead, they fix their "Night of the Living Dead" stares and aim their bikes at the grilles of taxis traveling at them at 50 miles an hour on narrow streets. Taxicabs, I might add, that are being driven by people, many of whom have never driven on a paved street, and like their Chinese counterparts speak no English.
It's scary. These are nice, hard-working Chinese deliverymen who have been smuggled into the country to be "The Deliverymen from Hell." In the end, they unwittingly will kill more Americans than their countrymen from the Chinese mainland who for years were sending us slightly poisoned food and lead toys.
The other night I got out of a cab after a ride by a cabdriver from Afghanistan who drove as if he had been commissioned by the Taliban to kill me. As I got out of the cab, I felt something brush against me. I jumped out of the way and thus missed by inches having my hip or leg broken by a zombie on a bike carrying bags of spareribs in one hand to some Park Avenue destination. He was riding his bike the wrong way on a one-way street that was covered with ice. He had a cigarette dangling from his lips. It was snowing, and for a minute I had this thought that perhaps in the Winter Olympics in Sochi they might add another category where deliverymen can race each other with bikes on ice. If the race does take place, bet on the Chinese team. They're naturals to come away with the gold medal.
I watched the deliveryman who almost did me in pedal his way into the night. He disappeared out of sight quickly, with no reflectors on his bike to give him a fighting chance against a car.
Then the advertising man in me came out and I borrowed a slogan for all Chinese deliverymen to chant:
"Neither rain nor snow nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds to deliver Moo Goo Gai Pan to the masses."
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