I’ll Be Goofy Instead

I mean, look at that picture above.

Samson’s teacher asked them what they wanted to do when they are 100 years-old. You know, because it was the 100th day of school. Samson’s in the 1st grade.

My child came up with this. He wants to watch TV. And be grumpy. And will you look at that picture? A grumpy person watching TV.

Lord, have mercy.

I can’t disagree with the child. It does seem like old people watch lots of TV. And they are often grumpy about it.

But to be dreaming of such a future at the young age of 6?

Samson is a goofy child.


My mother was in a nursing home towards the end of her life. Lots of them actually. She almost burned one down. You can read more about her terrifying death wail in this best-selling memoir. And by best-selling I mean worst-selling.

I remember that, at the time, I was trying to persuade her to move into some of the different places we were looking at. I was teaching high school then. And directing a high school theatre program. And working on my PhD. I was a busy little guy. In my thirties.

“I’d kill to spend my time in a place like this, Mom,” I told her. “I’d just sit here and play video games all day.”

She looked at me skeptically, but I meant it. The freedom! To wake up with nothing to do but to fire up my XBox. Play some Skyrim. No responsibilities. Man, that sounded good to me in 2011. And I won’t deny that it sounds good to me now. My life is a little more balanced. Only a little. I’m a college professor in 2022. And I help run an improv theatre. And I have all sorts of research projects. And writing projects. And two small children. Who am I kidding? I’m still busy as all get out. And I’d still love the freedom old people have. To play video games. Stare at screens. To, as my son Samson put it, sit and watch TV.

I wouldn’t want to be grumpy, though. Not sure how to avoid it. Lots of old people I’ve met are, in fact, grumpy.


What a goofy thing for Samson to write. He’s a very goofy boy. In fact, his first-grade teacher sent us an email to let us know how much fun she has with Samson. How silly he is. How he makes her laugh.

I don’t know where Samson gets his goofiness. Certainly not from me. I’m serious. A serious scholar. A serious small business owner. A serious writer. Serious, serious, serious.

Just kidding. If you’ve read any of these blogs, you know I can’t help myself. I’m a mess of goofiness. Nothing I can do about it.

My mother was a mess. But she also had a good sense of humor. She was goofy. So was her mother. My grandmother. Both of them were alcoholics. And both of them had very dry wit. They were wacky. Goofy.

So I guess I’d rather be goofy than serious. Serious people, I worry, are more likely to turn into grumpy 100 year-olds. And I plan to avoid that. Gimme that sweet, sweet joy, instead. I plan on being a very goofy 100 year-old. In the same way that I’m a goofy 41 year-old.

So I’m with Samson on watching TV when I’m 100. But he can keep the grumpiness. I’ll be goofy instead.

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