Is Keith Richards About To Become Boring?

Last week a reader took a look at an article that I launched into cyberspace during the first month of this publication’s life. Which was April 2015. I know this happened because WordPress, the genius company that provides the software for my and millions of other websites, gives statistical information to bloggers, letting them know, among other things, which stories have been looked at and how often. The aforementioned reader was the first to have set eyes on the piece in many a moon.

Photo by Cameron Brown
Photo by Cameron Brown

Likewise, the Moon had slid around Planet Earth mucho times since last I’d thought about that story. Weighed down with a way too long title (Are We Just Boring As We Get Older? Jackson Browne And I Say It Ain’t Necessarily So. Click here to read the article), it’s a short contemplation on aging that I was inspired to write after listening to a conversation that Jackson Browne had with a radio host a few months earlier. The interviewer, David Dye, and Jackson are well into their 60s. That sobering fact must have been the reason for David’s asking Jackson “are we just boring as we get older?” Jackson, an amazingly thoughtful and insightful guy, gave some reassuring comments in response to the query. To sum them up, what he said is that being absorbed in music, as a listener or performer, is a swell way to slow down Father Time’s advances.

Well, maybe that’s true in general. But in my case Father Time has been gaining on me, despite my being a music lover, faster than a speeding motherf***er bullet. I was powerfully reminded of this the other day when I forgot not to swallow the pits of the 15 prunes that I down daily to keep my engine lubricated. I should listen to my wife Sandy when she tells me that I need to buy pitted prunes. Next time I’m at the store I’ll pick up the no-pits variety. If I remember.

Anyway, being reintroduced to my April 2015 story made me take a good, hard look at myself.  My physical and mental declines were, alas, a given. But how was I, on the cusp of the big 7-0, measuring up in the boring department? Was the meager supply of coolness that I’d been lugging around all my life on the decline? Just thinking about the possibility that this might be the case started to bring me down. That’s when my phone began to ring.

Photo: Ruven Afanador
Photo: Ruven Afanador

“Matey, how’s life been treatin’ ya?” my longtime friend Keith Richards asked. “Haven’t spoken to ya in ages. I’ve been on the contemplative side lately and figured my chum Neil is who I should talk with. How’s Sandy? How’s your blog comin’ along?”

“Sandy’s fine, Keith. Thanks for asking. And my blog? Man, it’s a struggle. The writing’s going OK, but finding people to read the stories is a battle and a half. Speaking of which, Keith, how come I get the feeling you never take a look at anything I write?”

There was a moment of silence on the other end. Then Keith, who is 73, spoke. Somehow his voice was even lower in pitch and growlier than usual. “Sorry about that, pardner. It’s true. But that’ll be changin’, along with a lot of things. Neil, I’m gonna start cuttin’ back soon. Downsizin’. Once I get my life all nice and streamlined I’ll have time to read your stories. Don’t ya worry about that, bro.”

“Downsizing? You, Keith-o? What are you talking about? You’re ageless, man. You’re the guy the rules don’t apply to. Keith, what’s going on?”

Is this where Keith plans to move?
Is this where Keith plans to move?

“Neil, I gotta tell ya I wouldn’t have believed any of this even a month ago. But I’m gettin’ tired. I don’t feel like makin’ records no more. Don’t feel like tourin’ with The Stones no more. Don’t feel like stayin’ up all night partyin’ and gettin’ stoned, for the love of Mike! Yeah, I’ve had enough of fun and games and complications. I’ve got houses all over the world and I’m gonna sell ’em. Too much upkeep and bother . . . who needs it? Patti [Keith’s wife] and me, we’ve given this a lot of thought. We’re gonna move into a 55-and-over retirement community in Connecticut. Not sure which one yet. Life’ll be easier. A lot easier. That’ll be good for me, and it’s what I want.”

“Holy crap, amigo. Are you kidding? This is ridiculous. The world needs heroes and idols, Keith. You’ll be letting millions of people down.”

“My mind’s made up, chum. My perspectives have changed. Neil, I wanna live simply and quietly, just like you do. Describe one of your typical days for me. I’m takin’ notes.”

I heard the sounds of pen upon paper as I did what my pal had asked. By the way, I went into the genesis of our friendship in a previous article that you can read by clicking here. “Well, I get up around 7. In the morning, needless to say. I tidy up in the bathroom, put on some clothes and go outside to pick up the newspaper from the front lawn. Then I drink juice and coffee, eat 15 prunes, read the paper, do the crossword puzzle, take a nap on the couch. Keith, before I know it it’s one o’clock and time for lunch. After lunch I turn on the tube to watch The Bold And The Beautiful and General Hospital. Wouldn’t miss them. Then another nap and before I know it it’s dinner time. After dinner I lay out my clothes for the next day, play a few rounds of Go Fish with Sandy and work for a while organizing my collection of empty cereal boxes. By then it’s 8 PM and I’m ready to turn in. I’m busy, Keith. But simply and quietly, as you mentioned.”

“My man! Neil, you’re livin’ the dream and I’m gonna join ya in it. People will laugh, but I won’t care. ‘Booring!’ they’ll say, but screw ’em. You and I know better, don’t we, pal?”

“Keith, when you and Patti move into your new place, let me know. I’ll drive to Connecticut and we’ll hang. We haven’t done that in years, what with you flying all over the globe with The Stones. It’ll be nice. And maybe that’ll inspire me to write a story about you for my blog. The New Keith Richards is what I’ll call it.”

“Yeah, man, it’s a deal. Gotta go now, Neil. The laundry needs to be done and the trash needs takin’ out. Patti’s gettin’ me trained for my new way of life. Peace out, brother.”

Indeed, indeed.

 

(Don’t be shy about adding your comments or about sharing this story. Thanks.)

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33 thoughts on “Is Keith Richards About To Become Boring?

    • yeahanotherblogger February 22, 2017 / 10:39 am

      Hi, P.J.
      Glad you liked this piece. Maybe one of these days I’ll see how retirement is agreeing with KR.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Joyce February 22, 2017 / 9:56 am

    Funny! I like your daily routine!😁😃😄😅 getvthe pitted prunes!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. K E Garland February 22, 2017 / 1:21 pm

    Is this what I have to look forward to! And do your really have 15 dang prunes??? You know I always have to check because sometimes I miss the sarcasm.

    Liked by 1 person

      • K E Garland February 22, 2017 / 2:10 pm

        lol see I’m glad I asked because I was about to Google “what do I need to do today to avoid 15 prunes tomorrow” lol

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Alyson February 22, 2017 / 2:21 pm

    As a new follower I had to re-read this post just to make sure – Very funny indeed. I see it’s the prunes that are getting people most interested. Note to self, remember to buy prunes of the pitted variety when the time comes for that new daily ritual.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Alyson February 22, 2017 / 2:46 pm

        Actually just read it out to my husband now as well so that’s a third time! Yep, hangin’ out with Keith, Patti, you and Sandy at the 55 and overs retirement community sounds a blast – We too like livin’ on the edge.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. andrewcferguson February 22, 2017 / 5:02 pm

    Neil, you are a continuing inspiration to me. Apart from the prunes. Although that may come to me too. All things must pass, as another musician of the same era said.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. sniderjerry February 22, 2017 / 6:06 pm

    I was an original member of The Rolling Stones but they kicked me out for gathering moss…go figure. Jerry

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Cindy February 22, 2017 / 11:55 pm

    You may not eat prunes, but I bet you remember the Electric Prunes! You’re still cool, man. And funny!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. circumstance227 February 23, 2017 / 3:56 pm

    Things we have in common: our collections of cereal boxes and a love for Go Fish.
    Things we don’t have in common: Prunes – pitless or otherwise. And I have never once gotten 35 likes on a blog post.
    And that after three years – you, my man, are just a beginner and are already racing ahead.
    But I still love writing. And all of this. And connecting with your blog.
    I think Keith would understand.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yeahanotherblogger February 23, 2017 / 5:16 pm

      Hi. Thanks for stopping by. The next time I speak with KR I’ll ask him to check out your blog. He won’t be able to hit the Like button, since he isn’t a WordPress blogger, but maybe he’ll leave a comment!

      I’ll be seeing you – – –

      Liked by 1 person

  8. cincinnatibabyhead February 23, 2017 / 11:00 pm

    CB is without a doubt “The Worlds Most Boring Man” and he is real comfortable with that. That other stuff is just to much work.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Aunt Beulah February 25, 2017 / 10:46 pm

    What a compelling title you gave this piece, and then the content delivered the insights and humor I expect from you, as well as a fine-tuned imitation of Keith’s conversational style, which hard to do with only words. Mighty fine stuff, Neil.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Julie Yates March 9, 2017 / 10:13 pm

    Thanks so much for liking my Teton post – according to my stats – your eyes are the only one to view it in any moon at all! I enjoyed reading this post so much – I won’t even say anything about prunes, pitted or otherwise. Sounds like both you and Keith are ready for RV life or as they like to call it in the park we are staying in now “The Active Life”. (not so much actually).Keep on blogging, your posts are great!

    Liked by 1 person

    • yeahanotherblogger March 10, 2017 / 7:37 am

      Julie, thanks for adding your thoughts. RV-ing is a great way to see the USA. Have fun!

      Like

  11. RW Klarin March 13, 2017 / 1:56 pm

    very clever. Still don’t know how you met Keith Richards, even after checking the link. But I can relate to the challenge of getting others to read one’s musings. Keep it up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yeahanotherblogger March 13, 2017 / 2:03 pm

      Hi. Yeah, he and I met in 1978 at a Bingo parlor in Philadelphia (or so it says in the first story I wrote about him).
      Take care – – – –

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Martin March 19, 2017 / 9:08 am

    Another great piece, well done!
    My only criticism is that you skated over the most interesting bit i.e. your cereal box collection. How many have you got?

    Liked by 1 person

      • Martin March 20, 2017 / 3:29 am

        You have a special shed for them?
        You are a legend, an example to all!

        Liked by 1 person

  13. grimspound March 19, 2017 / 5:10 pm

    Loved this! Humor is one of the hardest things to write and you’re doing very well with it!

    Liked by 1 person

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