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Will you still need me, will you still feed me?

Posted on Wednesday, April 17, 2024 at 7:55 am

Tyrades! by Danny Tyree

During my career as a late-in-life columnist, I have been blessed with the opportunity to chronicle three birthdays ending in zero.

(My so-called “good” cholesterol has not exactly overperformed in helping me reach these milestones. It usually “phones in” its duties, and even then apologizes, “Sorry, driving into a dead zone here” an awful lot of the time.)

It’s six years until another “big” birthday; but as a Beatles fan, I have eagerly anticipated writing this essay about the fast-approaching day “when I’m sixty-four.”

(And as an Elton John fan, I’ve eagerly anticipated building up the nerve to tell my wife, “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting the Urge to Go Shoe Shopping.” But I digress.)

Paul McCartney composed the melody of the cabaret-style song when he was a mere lad of 14. A decade later, with the assistance of John Lennon, he fine-tuned the lyrics (including “Will you still need me, will you still feed me?”) for use in the iconic “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album.

Sure, maybe the upbeat song about growing old together naively glosses over the unforeseen obstacles that can intervene over the course of four or five decades. But it’s reassuring to imagine someone thinking beyond instant gratification. It does my heart good any time young people swim against the current and do some common sense long-range planning.

This foresight could involve relationships, diet-and-exercise regimens, retirement accounts, career path, backup career path, backup backup career path, best methods for disposing of the body of the ^&%$# who made your entire industry obsolete and so forth.

I try to be realistic when dispensing sage advice. It’s part of the human condition that recommendations go in one ear and out the other when you tell wrinkle-free people who feel 10-feet-tall and bullet-proof that old age sneaks up on you.

(Granted, it doesn’t sneak up on you as fast as that metastasizing kitchen junk drawer. Kids, don’t try this at home! Store your junk in a neighbor’s kitchen drawer instead!)

Commitment is commendable, but it should be based on a sober assessment of the facts at hand. Nothing against childhood sweethearts (“Hey, let’s tell the divorce lawyer about the time your dissected frog got stuck in my braces!”), but I’m glad my wife and I knew what we were looking for by the time we finally met. I’m glad we had a long engagement to get to know each other better.

Let’s face it: too many people lower their standards and rush into relationships. Exhibit A: the stereotypical Dear Abby letter.

“Dear Abby: My live-in boyfriend of 13 years, ‘Zach’ (not his real name — he won’t tell me his real name) has never spent a dime on food or utilties and in fact has me working a third job as an Eastern European mercenary to support his ex’s cousin’s air guitar lessons. I changed the locks after my pet ferret hit Zach with a paternity suit, but I relented when Zach got a paper cut from his porn collection. I’m starting to have doubts again since I learned that Zach has been harvesting my organs while I sleep. Shall I help him pack, or can I still change him before my systems shut down?”

I hope I can coast to sixty-four! My good cholesterol is breaking up like a fast-food drive-thru speaker. Mmmm…fast food…

©2024 Danny Tyree. Danny is a lifelong Middle Tennessean who has three books available on Amazon. He welcomes email at and visits to his X account @TyreeDanny.