The evolution of an old man

One of the seldom mentioned benefits of getting old is that at some point you realize that all the indiscretions and vices of your youth have already come home to roost and there is not much else you can do to hurt your body further.

Oh, sure, you can forget to take your 16th pill of the day and go into a mild coma. But that pill probably would have interacted badly with one of the other medications and put you in a similar state anyway.

By and large, the damage is done — you can relax and enjoy your infirmities.

However, it is disturbing to see the younger generation not only repeating the mistakes of your past, but also throwing in a couple of new wrinkles of their own. One such young lad crossed our path.

As we were waiting for the stoplight at the corner of Kaahumanu Avenue and Dairy Road, a neon lime car of nondescript manufacture pulled up next to us. The young man driving was thoughtfully sharing the bass laydown of his favorite songs with the rest of the island and perhaps the eastern part of Lanai as well.

As the green car shook, we noticed that our car was shaking as well. A couple of fillings fell out of our teeth as we enjoyed the music along with the young man.

The disturbing part was that, while we certainly appreciated the generous sharing of the music, we wondered what might happen to human beings if everyone enjoyed bass at the levels this fellow did. If there be a whit of truth to evolution we could imagine two scenarios a couple of generations down the line:

1. Human beings with fleshy earplugs where plugless ears used to be; and 2. Human beings with gigantic ears straining to hear the melodic strains of something quiet like an air raid siren.

Surely this fellow doesn’t want to be responsible for any such Darwinian deviations. So, at the risk of sounding like an old fogey, we would offer the young man this piece of advice: Turn it down a little bit. TURN IT DOWN A LITTLE BIT!

(This editorial has appeared previously in The Maui News.)

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.

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