"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 5 June 1996. Updated every WEEKDAY.

A Touch of Gray


[Fake ID]

A whole new group of lemmings has

decided that being young is way

too much work. Tummy tucks,

collagen injections, minoxidil

treatments, and forehead lifts

are too expensive and too

unreliable. These young fogies

have decided to embrace the

trappings of the senior set

while they still have their

youth. Welcome to the premature

graying of America.



To say it's "hip to be square" is

way too easy. We lived through

that ten years ago when we

convulsed under the weight of

Ronnie and his Polo-clad army of

young Republicans. No, this time

it's much different. It's not

enough to look like your elders.

Now you've got to assume the

identity of a gray panther.

We're talking true assimilation.

It's not enough to just have an

ulcer - you've got to have

passed a gallstone by 35. And if

you can actually blow a coronary

and have a triple-bypass by 40,

well, let's just say the boys at

the club will be buying the

Dewars until you relapse, or

croak. On the hipness scale, the

jury is still out on the latter.



If you think the craze for all

things geriatric is simply a

play to expand the Time magazine

demographic, look no farther

than the links. No, HTML tags

are still the domain of the

young and feckless, but the

golfing green? That's the home

page of the intentionally



Yes, the saddest of all sports is

poised to be the next national

pastime. And why not? A round of

golf can get your heart beating

to a good 75 beats per minute,

provided that you keep to the


rule. And think how much you can

save on your wardrobe. Someday

you're going to stop wearing a

belt anyway.


[GNC Med]

We read somewhere that "[g]olf is

as big as rock and roll." But if

this statement alone instigates

intestinal unpleasantness,

consider this: golf is rock and



Since the last ten years have

ripped any sense of defiance and

challenge out of music, why not

replace it with a wheezing old

game? Better yet, why not

combine the two?


[Hootie Golf]

Indeed, no single entity has

contributed more to the

premature graying of America

than Hootie and the Blowfish.

Only a phenomenon like the

Hootsters could merge the

surreal mindlessness of

quasi-rock with the pleasant

disembodiment of golf. If you're

out trying to put a little ball

in a hole 300 yards away, you

probably aren't bright enough to

notice how these guys have

boiled down rock and roll to the

point where it's barely

recognizable. Hell, since

they're probably in the foursome

in front of you, they probably

aren't either.


[Who Sell]

Still, you can bet a smooth twenty

that as long as being gray is

in, these ten-handicap rockers

will score big when the next

Sound Scan reports roll out. The

'80s brought us heartless music

synched to the coke-frenzied

grinding of our teeth. The '90s

brings us the same groove, only

now we soak the choppers in a

glass. What's next? Hootie does

The Who: "Hope I get old before

I die."



And what better way to celebrate

your modern maturity than with a

fat stogie? Adding to the green

costs the expense of a cigar's

luscious brown, it becomes clear

that never before has acting so

old cost so much. Even as cigar

retailers mar their beautiful

humidor displays with pathetic

handwritten signs proclaiming,

"Limit five per customer. No

dealers," the wannabe

octogenarians claw away at the

glass, hungrier than an

apartment hunter in San

Francisco. The sight of some

young, uh, I mean old Turk

blazing away at a $12 Arturo

Fuente is an indicator of more

than just a fragile ego, it's

the early warning signs of an

industry way out of control. If

you thought the Netscape IPO

completely shattered the common

sense barrier, you've never been

asked to fork out double digits

for something you're gonna put a

match to. If this is supply and

demand, somewhere Keynes is

rolling over in his grave.



Of course, we haven't even gotten

into the financial aspects of

the aforementioned delirium.

That's because, from a financial

standpoint, it really sucks to

be old. If the thought of "fixed

income" is scary enough to make

you strap on an extra Depends,

wait another twenty years. By

then, the words "social" and

"security" will only exist next

to each other in history books.

So what the hell, let's blow a

wad on being old now. When we're

really old, we won't have enough

dough to enjoy it. Plus we'll,

uh, be old.

courtesy of Red Howard