Aging has its advantages. When you're young and you do weird stuff, you're just weird. Like, here's one picture of a much younger me with disastrously long hair, and another even younger me wearing really really bright sox. Or a third where I am pretending to be the exact opposite of cool in winter clothing. Or a fourth and fifth that really need no description at all. Last pic includes a suede leather jacket. Of course it does.
Now, when you get older (not old, just … older), as I have now done, one of the advantages is that what used to be weird is now much more acceptable. Like, when you're young and you walk down the street mumbling to yourself, people cross the street to get away from you and very quickly duck into toy stores with their kids. Now, when you go out to get the paper wearing boxer shorts, black knee sox, and Crocs, the neighbors don't call either the fashion police or the real police, they just chuckle and say something like, what a nice old man kids why don't you go on back into the house? (Some of you just asked yourselves, "What's a 'paper'?" That's what old people read on the toilet instead of doing Sudoku or playing Grand Theft Auto or texting.)
When you're older, being weird isn't weird; it's sort of expected, a little charming, kinda eccentric but harmless.
This is clearly leading somewhere.
OK, so, I ride my bike for exercise. I do this in Colorado, which is where we live, and Colorado is full of hills. So when you ride your bike, you're either going up a hill or down a hill. Flat is not much of an option.
I don't like hills.
So I need to distract myself while I'm riding up hills. You know, to take my mind off the pain. I could do differential equations in my head. I could compose sonnets. I could write musicals.
So. What I do is, I count rabbits.
The first time I counted rabbits was several years ago. I counted like 20 rabbits, thought that was amazing.
So I started riding a bit slower. Ride too fast, you could miss one.
Then I got to 50. 60. 70. 80. 90. Then 100 rabbits on one bike ride. What a day that was. A memorable day.
I began to dream of greater things.
So then I started riding around the neighborhood onto different streets, more streets, when the conditions were right. Oh, I forgot to tell you. There are times when there are more bunnies out than other times. Earlier in the morning. Cooler, cloudier days. Humidity helps. Riding slower really helps. Bunnies are hard to see sometimes.
There are bunny counting rules, too. Dead, roadkill bunnies don't count. Duh. Has to be a bunny. Can't be a bird or a squirrel or a plant. Duh. Can't count the same bunny twice. Duh. The rules are easy for old guys to remember. I did get to count a bunny once that was in the process of being killed by a cat. It was ugly. But it wasn't dead yet.
Then I set a record. 199 bunnies on one ride. You know I'm telling the truth because if I were lying, it would be 200 bunnies.
The next year, I hit 127. Then 197. Twice.
Today was the day. I found myself in the Bunny Zone. I was on fire. I couldn't be stopped.
I blasted past 200. And kept on going.
223 bunnies, 20 July 2013. A day that will be long remembered in bunny counting lore. The small children will hear tales around the campfire for generations about the day that 223 bunnies were counted. Monuments will be raised, flags waved, medals and trophies awarded, parades, uh, paraded.
This is where you say, what a cute little old man, charming, eccentric, kids why don't you go on back into the house?
I'm dreaming of greater things. You gotta have a vision.
PS Thursday 22 August 2013. 232 bunnies. I'm beginning to wonder if I have a little problem.