} A LIFE, IN RETROSPECT:
} Age 0: You can't walk. You can't talk. You have no real say in what
} you do. Therefore, you make no decisions and are just thankful that
} you weren't born to cultist parents that believe in feeding babies
} nothing but watermelon.
} Age 2: You can walk. You can talk. By now, however, your parents are
} used to it and are beginning to wish you'd stop. You still can't make
} decisions, but are nonetheless vocal on the issue of whether or not you
} should get another cookie (you are in favor of the proposal).
} Age 6: You can walk. You can talk. Depending on your parents, you may
} even be able to go outside and make a few independent decisions.
} However, you still don't have a clue who Socrates is or what Feng Shui
} is all about. From watching Olympics on TV, you have minimal exposure
} to snowboarding and figure skating. You aspire to becoming one of
} these yourself, and have told your parents this. In response, they put
} you in preschool.
} Age 13: You can walk. You can talk. However, you try to refrain from
} doing either whenever possible. Your parents alternatively berate you
} from lying around all day and for lying to them about what you're
} doing, when you speak to them at all. Meanwhile, your school is
} requiring that you study Socrates and a friend is trying to show you
} the wonders of Feng Shui. You choose to boycott watching the Olympics
} in a patriotic display of unilateralism, and thus forget all about your
} desire to participate in either snowboarding or figure skating.
} Age 18: You can walk. You can talk. Your parents observe this and
} suggest you walk over to your counselor and talk about college. Due to
} fiscal restraints, you don't get to make a decision about where to
} attend and end up in the college nearest to you.
} Age 21: You can walk. You can talk (in Greek too, now). You are
} pursuing a degree in Classical Antiquity with a major in the writings
} of Socrates. In your spare time, you are clashing with the
} administration over your proposal to knock out one of the walls in your
} dorm in order to improve the flow of positive energy.
} Age 24: You can walk. You can talk. But you're told not to do either
} except when indicated as you prepare for your graduation ceremony.
} It's been an arduous path, but you've now got a Masters from the
} Classics department.
} Age 26: You can walk. You can talk. You're back living with your
} parents after finding that your two main marketable skills
} (interpreting Socrates and Feng Shui) aren't as marketable as you would
} have hoped. You complain bitterly that this all happened because your
} parents made you start preschool instead of snowboarding lessons.
} Age 32: During designated break times, you're allowed to walk and to
} talk. The rest of the time you're stuck working on an assembly line
} building snowboards. Due to your study of Sophocles, the irony is not
} lost on you.
} Age 40: You run off with some girl and sweet talk her. You also buy a
} fancy car. In other words, a standard mid-life crisis. After leaving
} your old job, you buy some figure skates and decide to take the world
} by storm.
} Age 41: You give up trying to find an instructor willing to take a
} forty year old on as a serious figure skating student. As you walk
} around, you talk to anyone nearby about how unfair life is.
} Age 50: You get a tenure track position back at your old university.
} You become one of the best professors in the Classics department, due
} to your impassioned lectures in which you walk around madly and talk
} with fervor. You begin to realize that learning to walk and talk were
} the two most important achievements of your life. You reject Feng Shui
} as a false science.
} Age 72: You spend most of your day walking around the mall with a cane
} and talking at young people about the virtue of choosing what you do in
} your life. They ignore you and instead get pushed into things by their
} parents until it's too late to change. And thus the cycle repeats.