Old Folks need a crutch

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 13, 2000

When you reach, or pass, middle-age, the entire world starts working against you.

If you have attained that station in life, your top priority for salvation likely lies in the purchase of a magnifying glass.

As a matter of fact, it wouldn't be a bad idea to buy several of themone for the bathroom, one for the medicine chest, one to carry in your pocket, and a fourth one for the office.

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Ever notice how, after you pass a certain age, everything you're mainly interested in is printed in agateor smallertype? It's what some people call fine print. U-n-f-f-f.

The type is so small that a common house ant can cover a whole word at one sitting. Most older persons just can't read it with the naked eye.

Anyhow, for a case in point, a case that may illustrate this numero uno hazard of the aging process, read on.

This 60-ish man was rousted from a deep sleep about 2 o'clock one morning recently, was jerked bolt upright up bed, suffering untold agonies of indigestion, nausea and etceteras.

What he did was to blunder into the kitchen, fumble the light on and snatch open the medicine chest.

He sorted out the bottles, those with labels in decent-size type, and eventually found one that said: For instant relief of nausea, vomiting and indigestion.

"Aha," quoth he, "this is just what the doctor ordered."

The he turned the bottle sideways to read the DOSAGE, which, you guessed it, was in microscopic print.

He took it to say: take three to four tablespoonsful, followed by a swallow of water.

Naturally he took the larger measure, four tablespoonsful, followed by a fifth one for the roadthen the water.

The results were almost instantaneous, and nearly disastrous.

You have never heard such moaning and groaning and begging for mercy.

Apparently, then, the medicine must have been poisonous, or at best too old for use.

Wrong, and wrong.

The deficiency lies in the eye of the readerthe sufferer.

Upon inspection later with the aid of a magnifying glass, it was discovered the dosage should have been three to four teaspoonsful, rather than the larger tablespoon regimen that was ingested.

Happily, the stringent dose was not fatal, but it cleared the system as it had never been cleared before and in the process presumably removed all toxic and infectious matter along with it.

Such a rigorous experience!

A simple magnifying glass would have forestalled all that business and probably would have done a far gentler job in getting the desired results.

Multiple uses for the magnifying glasses: reading sports results in particular, including baseball line scores, football statistics, golf scores, basketball results ad infinitum. In the realm of social events, it would be a life saver when attempting to read daily paper obituaries, wedding accounts (sometimes) and all the legal ads that go the gamut in all newspapers. (This is why you should have the magnifying glass in the bathroom and at the office.)

We at The Advocate do not hide behind fine point, nor do we seek to dissemble or becloud our objectives in any such manner. Quite the contrary, we function in bold-face type with everything straight up and on the table.