The old man rattled off all his aches, pains and ailments.
He concluded with, “Ah, the joys of functioning like the minimally oiled Tin Man.”
His brother returned an insincere smile.
“Yes,” his younger brother thought. “The Tin Man who sits with his can of oil in his lap, yet never oils himself. Or, even worse, the sneaky Tin Man who secretly fills his oil can with water, then asks another to lubricate him since his joints are too stuck to be able to oil himself.”
“Isn’t it terrible getting old?” the elder sibling asked.
“Yes,” his brother said. “But it seems it’s much worse the more we allow it to happen.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well,” the younger one said. “It is true that the elements are prepared to attack us. It is true that the elements, like age, can be callous and unforgiving. But the elements are far worse when we enter the frigid winds of winter without a cap or coat or gloves. You see, in this case, the cause of our frostbite isn’t necessarily the frigid, unforgiving wind. In this case, it is our foolishness in forsaking our gloves, hat and coat while knowing the frigid conditions outdoors.”
He said this with his eyes on his elder brother who was staring at his own feet.
“What do you think?” the younger one asked.
“I think it’s terrible getting old. Don’t you agree?”
“I think being so foolish is far worse than being aged.”
“Foolish enough to blame everything on the frigid winds of winter instead of our own lack of preparation in confronting it.”
“You’re talking gibberish,” the elder brother said.
“As are you,” the younger one understood.