I guess the incidence of Alzheimer's has jumped ten percent in the last few years. And they're expecting it to leap exponentially as Boomers get older.
Personally, I think all the drugs
people did back in their twenties are not helping. A few years
ago, okay, more than a few years ago, a friend of mine said that the
biggest druggie in his group had brain fade. He was pretty much
turning into a vegetable in his forties.
The guys had begun to notice a
difference at their annual Turkey Bowl flag football game. Now he
couldn't even play anymore, But he would show up with his wife and
stand on the sidelines. He knew he wanted to be there but he
wasn't sure why.
I had a bunch of friends who played
a lot of beach volleyball in LA back in the seventies and eighties. I
used to fly in from Chicago with my suit on under my slacks and jacket and
we'd drive straight to a tournament at one of the Santa Monica beaches.
Lots of times I would see a guy
standing against a beach wall, wearing a dirty flannel shirt and jeans
in the ninety degree heat. He had long hair and a beard, but
underneath it all, you could see he was still young and handsome in a
blond, California way. Only now his eyes were strange and he kind of
swayed back and forth as he watched the players.
I finally asked who he was and I was told he used to be somebody, a
bigtime player. But he'd been on one too many drug trips and never came
back from the last one. All he could do now was stand on the sidelines.
So even though Alzheimer's may have a host of DNA issues and retro
virus issues, and maybe even aluminum in our deodorant issues, let's
not forget that there's a whole generation of people who not only
inhaled, but they sniffed, shot up, and swallowed enough mind altering
chemicals to rewire all the synapses of a small country.
I haven't known many people diagnosed with Alzheimer's, maybe four. But
the one common denominator they all shared, from where I sit, was that they smoked
Not that my abstinence guarantees any immunity -- I've eaten so much
canned tuna I can give you the temperature in three time zones.
[If anyone wants to know the other, not ready for primetime punchline I
wrote, just email your request.]