THE OLD GOAT
Once an old goat nearly overdosed on ED pills. That it even felt the need of such pills baffled many who knew the old goat. It certainly didn’t have a history of difficulties that might have suggested such a remedy was called for. Quite the opposite, its reputation for energetic and unflagging performance was well known, legendary in fact. Ironically, the old goat’s reputation may have been the very source of its troubles. It hadn’t really given much thought to the matter in the past. “Either you’ve got what it takes or you don’t” might have summed up the extent of the concern the old goat had shown for what seemed so much a part of its nature as scarcely to deserve mention. But that was before it started hearing stories around the office water cooler about “red-hot nooners,” involving most of the staff and the rest of the building, apparently. Then a mid-level associate abandoned a marriage of twenty-five years to “find myself again” in the back seat of roving taxis. What was going on? Maybe it was time to take the question of its reputation more seriously. There was something demeaning, though, about having to prove your status as “numero uno” when there should have been no question about it. The goat didn’t really know where to begin or how to proceed, so little thought had it given the matter in the past. Increasingly, its attention wandered during conferences with important clients to a muddle of shopping plans for gaudy shirts, gold-plated neck chains, and spice-scented breath sprays instead, along with various strategies for rubbing up against comely new hires in the elevator. When it caught itself one day trying to read the small print on packages of hair restorer and whisker dye, the old goat realized how far and how fast it was spiraling out of control. This couldn’t go on. Deciding a bold step was in order, the goat made an appointment with a doctor. “I see cases like yours all the time,” the doctor said reassuringly. “You do, doc?” the goat asked in alarm. Had it actually underestimated the number of younger goats preparing to push it aside, then? “Yes, although there wasn’t much to be done about the condition until recently. Fortunately, it now has a medical designation: OGS, or Old Goat Syndrome. And once there’s a name for a condition, there’s a pill. Count on our friends in the pharmaceutical industry for that. Simply take one pill from this sample bottle and call me in the morning if you experience a sudden loss in vision or hearing, as these may be signs of a side effect called RYEOAYEO, otherwise known as ‘rutting your eyes out and your ears off.’ To avoid long-term injury, seek immediate medical assistance for an erection lasting more than four hours.” “Are you out of your mind, doc? Medical assistance is about the last thing I’ll be seeking for a four-hour erection, believe me!” The goat did have one last question, though: “I guess I should ask you, doc, are these pills right for me?” “They’re right for everybody. Emerging research suggests Old Goat Syndrome doesn’t discriminate when it strikes. Political leaders, sports and entertainment idols, movers and shakers of commerce, right down to the guy next door, you name it. Soon much of the country may be relying on these pills.” This information did nothing to calm the old goat’s anxiety. Precisely the opposite was true. The entirety of its self-image was now at stake, it feared. With these pills, half the planet could soon be laying claim to the old goat’s long-standing reputation, strutting about like Priapus Unchained. To retain its supremacy, then, would it have to make an extra effort? Better leave nothing to chance in that case. Scarcely out of the doctor’s office, the old goat gulped down the entire bottle of pills. When the doctor’s telephone rang the next morning, it wasn’t the old goat calling but rather the police. They had a few questions they needed to ask about a suspect they were holding in a string of indecent exposure complaints at locations ranging from daycare centers to assisted living facilities.
Copyright © 2020 by Geoffrey Grosshans