The guy in North Korea is apparently really still ticked off that people keep making fun of his haircut. Hurricane Irma is intent on showing up Harvey. And Congress is back in session. You would think those three things alone would be enough to worry about. But as I celebrate another birthday this week (always thankful for those), according to the items that show up in my email Inbox every day, I have many, many more pressing personal items to fret over in my advancing age. I really appreciate that many someones have taken the time to give me suggestions for improvement, but, really, can you stop now? I’m sure my friends and family will take up any slack if necessary.

For example, I seem to get daily offers for smooth-looking skin, plastic surgery (nothing specific, just overall stuff), new razors, glasses, weight loss beverages (including one involving wine, which I admit looked promising), hair retention, smart gum, holistic medicine, skin tag removal, toe fungus cure, free cannabis oil, dental implants, testosterone therapy, anti-aging regimens, clinical trials (featuring non-specific diseases), elimination of eye bags, and drug rehab, to mention just a few of the regulars.

I’m sure all those services are perfectly legitimate and that the senders have my best interest in mind. But I really don’t need the reminders that I’m getting a bit older. My little finger on my left hand already lets me know when rain is coming. I often make a slight grunting noise when I arise from my favorite newspaper-reading/television-watching easy chair. And I might as well order Tums on my pepperoni pizza.

As if look-better and feel-better propositions aren’t enough, I’m also getting offers for things I never thought much about before. A variety of options for funeral and burial expenses pop up frequently. Attorneys for Xarelto claims are casting a wide net. Ads for walk-in tubs, Lasik eye procedures, horoscope readings, crockpot recipes, home meal delivery, back-support mattresses, snoring relief, cell phones for seniors, reverse mortgages, and even leather jackets for some unknown reason appear at least weekly if not daily.

Those in my age bracket must travel continuously. And I don’t mean little jaunts to see the kids and grandkids a couple of hours away. We’re talking cruises down European rivers, up close and personal contacts with Alaskan ice floes, beachcombing in the Dominican Republic, Grand Canyon mule-riding adventures, Hawaiian island puddle-jumping by plane and helicopter, African safaris, second-childhood Disney World getaways, and Broadway show tickets. I can also live the life of a high-roller in Las Vegas for next to nothing. All I have to do is spend just a few hours a day at a Blackjack table and my food and room will be complimentary.

For my home, I can get an above-ground swimming pool, pest control, patio furniture, an RV, and, most importantly, a tarp with which to completely cover that RV when it’s parked in my driveway and not out exploring America. And I never have to spend a penny on roof repairs ever again. To pay for all this, I have been offered jobs in Minnesota, a suggestion to try nursing school or at least a medical billing career, and Lyft and Uber driving. Penny stock investment is available, and it seems I’m a lucky winner in at least three sweepstakes a week.

There are one or two odd offers that come down my personal pike just a little too often for comfort. Breast implants, menopause treatments, and Plus size lingerie come to mind, although the site dedicated to sexy men’s underwear does balance that third one out a bit, I suppose. Japanese and other Asian women continually troll for dates, even though I’m happily married.

Oh, every once in a while, there is something really cool being offered. Like a spy camera. Always liked those James Bond gadgets or Napoleon Solo pulling a pen out of his pocket and telling the folks at U.N.C.L.E. to “Open Channel D.” Maybe all the people my age going to all those far away places have their own spy cameras now. Perhaps I’ll look into one more carefully. (That would make a great birthday gift from me to me.)

It’s interesting that, while I don’t often think of myself as getting on in years, apparently many others do. Perhaps that’s why I’ve noticed lately that, in addition to email messages, my favorite TV shows are sponsored by manufacturers of hearing aids, incontinence underwear, laxatives, and orthopedic inserts. Ah, well, at least it’s better than the alternative.

©MMXVII. William J. Lewis, III