The wacky, wonderful effects of aging on our bodies

By Tammara Fogle | December 30, 2020

By Ted Blankenship
We old folks have enough problems what with getting shorter and losing most of our hair. But now we are told that our feet are getting bigger, too.
That may not seem fair, but bigger feet help to keep us upright. If we don’t have an ample base, we tend to lean forward when we walk (or stand still). Nature has a weird sense of humor.
While we grow shorter and our feet get bigger, our noses and ears keep growing, too.
No wonder we get testy when folks honk at us just because we’re going 35 in the passing lane.
That driver is probably thinking: “Anyone who drives like that probably has a nose as big as a turnip and I’ll bet his feet are growing, too.”
Not so fast. We don’t grow big noses on purpose.
Scientists say that cartilage, the plastic-like stuff in ears and noses, continues to grow as we age and that makes these parts bigger.
These scientists, who seem to have their growing noses into everything, say we are all living longer than we used to. They don’t say how long it will be before our ears are rubbing our drooping shoulders, and our noses will make social distancing a snap.
As I said earlier, big feet can be a problem. But these feet and the burgeoning toes that adorn them aren’t out there where people can see them like they can a pair of floppy ears.
Besides, big feet can be fashionable.
Wilt Chamberlain, the 7-foot-2 inch basketball player, wore a size 15, just a bit over a foot long, puny compared to the late Robert Wadlow, the world’s tallest man who wore size 37AA shoes, a little over a foot and a half in length. He could have water skied without skis.
It may have little to do with the present subject, but you ought to know that it takes about six months to grow an entirely new toenail, assuming you can think of a reason to. The current record holder for the longest toenails is Louise Hollis of Compton, Calif., who boasts (I don’t know why) of six-inch-long nails on each toe.
She wears open-toed shoes, of course.
Scientists say that cartilage growth is the cause of droopy ears. I think it’s more likely thanks to a loss of elasticity in the skin and the effects of gravity.
If sagging ears bother you, for about two grand you can get a “lobe job.” Noses can be worked on, too, but if you’re old enough to have a humongous nose and your shoes seem to be getting smaller, you probably have sagging ears, too, and plastic surgery isn’t cheap.
So, I have a few suggestions for you:
1. Wear your mask over your ears as well as your mouth and nose.
2. Wear helium-filled earrings.
3. Buy some really big ear phones and pretend you are listening to music.
As a reader of this column, feel free to use any or all of these ideas free of charge.
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