Tick Tick Tick

If you had something absolutely critical you needed to tell me while I was still 39, now is the time to say it.

84 Comments on “Tick Tick Tick”

  1. Yeah – watch out when the rollover hits. You may or may not feel anything, but trust me, it’s never gonna be the same again.

  2. Once you pass 40 you won’t be able to remember how old you are without thinking about it. That bit of data refuses to stay in your head.

    Whenever I’m asked I have to think about it, hmmm 67 to 09, 42, no wait, 41, I’ll be 42 in September…

    Happy Birthday, I hope Athena makes you a cake.

  3. Yes. I have some critical information for you:

    Ignore the blinking crystal. Do not report to the Carousel. You will not Renew.

  4. Ignore Marko, of course you will Renew … not. Everything starts to fall apart after forty. It happens slowly, oh so slowly, but it happens. Until some friendly nanotechnologist comes along… hopefully.


    I am so glad you reminded me; I would have forgotten to send this (VITAL) message!

  6. Well now that you’re joining the club, we can let you in on a secret. Every birthday up to #40 inspires the thought, “Ooh, look how mature I’m getting”. From #40 on, it becomes, “Damn, I’ gettin’ old.” (“Where did I leave my hip?” kicks in at different ages for different people.)

    P.S. Don’t be alarmed if someone with a shotgun confronts you in the near future. He just wants to teach you the secret handshake.

    (Happy Birthday.)

  7. Hey, wait: So last weekend…you were A Pirate.Looking At Forty. >If desired, insert Buffett snark here<. (Sorry about that. Hope it doesn’t cause an earwig. That would be unfortunate.) Happy birthday.

  8. The next person who tells you “forty is the new twenty”? Punch them in the mouth. I can’t do it, I’d lose my license.

  9. One , Happy Almost Birthday, two, I will be forty later this year as well so I will know through you how that is, and three, this came from a friend that once you reach forty you are more likely to die of old age now than anything else. And P.S. as I have always thought why try to say you are not as old as you are, it does not make you stop aging so get over it and get a life.

  10. Well, most of this is in the handbook you’ll get in the mail, but off the top of my head:

    Rosebud wasn’t a sled
    Professional wrestling is real. Pro football is fake
    Atlantis is nice enough but doesn’t live up to its reputation
    The capital of Ohio is Zanesville

    See you at the meetings.


    Well don’t, actually – you’re getting to the point where you can’t handle too much fat :p

    Anyways, happy birthday man

  12. As someone who just turned 40 apparently the key thing to remember once you’re 40 is “Don’t trust anyone under 40”

    (Oh and eat bacon)

  13. R.W. Ridley – Richard W. Ridley is the author of 12 novels, for which he has received three Independent Publisher Book Awards and first place in a Writer's Digest International Publishing Competition. He has also earned semi-finalist honors in the Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting competition for the screenplay version of Never Living, and he has been fortunate to have the opportunity to develop the story for the stage through the help of South of Broadway Theatre’s Second Sunday at Seven (SS7) workshop for playwrights and the Writer’s Workshop sponsored by the Culture, Arts & Pride Commission of the Town of Mount Pleasant. His short play Nonstop to Charleston was performed at South of Broadway’s PlayFest 2015. The stage version of Never Living was a finalist in What if? Productions’ 2015 Playwrights Festival, and was chosen for 5th Wall Productions Rough Draft Readings program. In addition to his pursuit of fame and fortune on the stage and in print, he’s worked in television and advertising in various under-compensated, yet highly rewarding roles. In an attempt to stay relevant in the internet age, he is a paid bi-weekly contributor to the CreateSpace community blog, and his pieces on writing and indie publishing make the occasional appearance in the Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing Newsletter. He publishes his novels under the pseudonyms R.W. Ridley, C. Hoyt Caldwell, and Jackson Goddard.
    R.W. Ridley

    Don’t watch All in the Family once you hit 40. My wife and I made that mistake. Turns out Archie and Edith were supposed to be 43 or 44. We discovered this after we saw the episode where they go to their 25th high school reunion. Talk about feeling old. That was a very depressing and confusing day for us.

    Oh, yeah, Happy B-day!

  14. Remember that you’re ALMOST TEN YEARS younger than Xopher, who still maintains his boyish charm…albeit not in the boyish body any more.

    You are leaving a cool number age (39 == 3 * 13) for one less cool, but more easily divisible.

    Now begins the time when you will appear to be increasingly patient to those under 25. This is an illusion; what’s really going on is that time passes faster and faster for you, so waiting, say, a year for something to happen isn’t such a hardship any more.

    Practice shaking a cane in the air and yelling “you kids get offa my lawn!” Just holding the cane up is surprisingly athletic.

    When actually walking with a cane, remember that it goes on the OPPOSITE side from the bad leg (House does it wrong) and goes forward at the SAME time as the bad leg. Knowing this will save you lots and lots of pain when your joints start failing. Had I known this before my hip corroded, I’d’ve suffered much less.

  15. Happy Birthday John!!
    I turned 51 on April 10th. Just think, they say that 50 is the new 40, so 40 is the new 30!!! I hope your wife does something really special for you on your birthday. You are a lucky man!!!
    I hope you are having a great time at the book festival this weekend. I’m still recovering from Jazzfest from last weekend.

  16. Forty is when you begin to realize there’s a significant disconnect between what you *think* you can do and what you actually *can* do. I’m just sayin’.

  17. It’s just a number. Seriously.
    One of my cousins said to me just before my 40th – the 50s are SO much more fun; just wait until you get there!

    Happy pre-Birthday

  18. You’re not turning 40, you’re turning 28.

    In hex, but you just leave that part out.

    Doesn’t work so well past 41, though. Telling people, “I’m twenty-B” makes you sound too much the geek.

  19. Gah! Sorry about the double partial pre post. Don’t know how that happened…??? Hour glass just popped up. I ignored it and kept typing. Then that. sigh.

  20. I’ve resorted to telling people I’m 2, as in two score.

    Enjoy your last day in the 18-39 demographic — from this poiont forward, you will no longer be the target audience for anything except old-people products.

    Happy birthday, Scalzi!

  21. Happy B-day and here’s a birthday wish from the sentient: PLEASE, OH PLEASE be a better consultant for the new Stargate than whomever J.J. Abrams did not listen to for the new Star Trek movie. That’s the very first movie of my life that I wish I had never seen (out of? who knows? thousands). It’s got something for everyone to hate: all people who are the least bit literate in science, all previous Star Trek fans, all fans of science fiction. Oh, where are the Men in Black when you really need one.
    Oh, happy b-day again, but I just HAD to get that out, whew. You can now return to your regularly scheduled program.

  22. P.S. Don’t be alarmed if someone with a shotgun confronts you in the near future.

    Nathan, are you talking about me again? I only use that shotgun for moose, I swear… and the velociraptors.

    Welcome to the heartburn decade, Scalzi. All the stupid shit you did yourself over the years? Yeah, this is the decade when the bill comes due.

    But, you know, Happy Birthday. ;)

  23. I suggest you just *stay* 39, no matter what the calendar says. Jack Benny was right — it is so much easier to be 39. Really. I’ve gone back to it, myself.

  24. Tinker53 – Hill Country, Edwards Plateau, Williamson County, TX – Mission High School, Mission, TX 1971 Pan American University-UT PanAm, BBA-CIS, 1980

    As a wise man once said, “Its not one damn thing after another, its every damn thing all at once.” I wish I could remember WHO.

    Welcome to the Twilight Zone: hypertension, porous bones, diabetes, strokes, heart disease, dementia, Alzheimers. All that and depression, too, no extra charge! Woo hoo!

    Tomorrow is not the first day of the rest of your life, it is, in fact, the last day of the first of your life. Not the beginning of the end, but certainly the end of the beginning.

    This message is brought to you by the number 55, as a public service announcement.

  25. You know those Animal Style fries you adore? Trans-40 you’ll discover that the human digestive system begins to rebel against things like onions. And beans.

    You’ll eventually find yourself in an aisle of Walgreens surveying types of antacids. And a few years later, you’ll be reading labels of Beano.

    And you thought degrading telomeres was degrading.

    Dr. Phil

  26. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me

    Marko farted on your pillow at VP. Just sayin’.

  27. John, you’re gonna ROCK 40 and make it look good. With your fantastic wife and daughter (and cats), and the awesome work you get to do, what’s not to love about life right now?! Happy almost birthday, dude.

  28. Alisha has been wondering what to get a successful SCI FI author for his birthday – and has decided on a multitude of home-baked goodies.

    You were complaining about being thin and scrawny, right?

  29. The 40 Hour Creative – I'm here to help you be creative! I've written plays and created the web series THE CANADIANS (now on Amazon Prime), among other things. Seth Godin said 'start a blog,' so we'll see how long this lasts.

    People try to put you down!
    (talkin’ ’bout your gen-eration)…

  30. The 40 Hour Creative – I'm here to help you be creative! I've written plays and created the web series THE CANADIANS (now on Amazon Prime), among other things. Seth Godin said 'start a blog,' so we'll see how long this lasts.

    Uh, and a very happy birthday.

  31. You’ve still got a couple of years before that old man smell kicks in. But dude, frequent scrubbings will be your buddy by 43.

    And I’m not saying that because I just turned 43.

  32. My first thought when I read this was: the wrong person is drunk at the moment. Then I remembered that you don’t drink, which can only mean that my first thought was incorrect and my present state is subsequently justified (by itself in that I am not the wrong person).

    Oh to hell with it, have a good birthday and remember that you’ll be 280 in dog years (by the old rule of thumb), which means you would be a deity in the canine kingdom…

    if you were a dog.

    Alas, you are a man, but, on a happier note, not a minor one… It’s not the years. It’s what you’ve done with them.

  33. Well, I suppose the only critical thing would be “Happy Birthday, Dude.” Of course, this just proves I’m also a sheep… or maybe an alpaca. A mildly aggravated alpaca.


  34. If you had something absolutely critical you needed to tell me while I was still 39, now is the time to say it.

    i, It’s not gas; you really are getting fatter.

    ii, Yes, teenagers and twenty-somethings really are that annoying; you just didn’t notice it before.

    iii, What we may lack in stamina, we can make up for in guile and good cunnilingis skills.

  35. Hey Cool! Next year, you have a Prime Number birthday – prime numbers are the absolute best! And after midnight, you only have a year to wait!

  36. My advice…watch more Sesame Street. It’ll always make you smile and you, like me, are old enough to get the pop cultural references.

    Happy Birthday :-)

  37. Well, Jack …
    Tell Mary the violin is in the wash and tell Rochester the vault is sparkling. Thanks.

  38. Time to start donating to the practical nanotech research fund. Right now. If they hurry…

  39. The “under” and “over” crowds are both wrong. The proper quote is, “Don’t trust anybody who is *exactly* forty.”

    Now I’ll just wait over here for another hour and a half to start watching you. I WILL be watching you.

  40. Um… um…the pen of my aunt is in the garden! The rise of the urban proletariat! Don’t cut the red wire!

    I suck under pressure.

    Have a happy birthday! Don’t eat strange combinations on whim. No pickle juice, hear?

  41. But pickle juice is delicious, Mac! Almost as delicious as the pickles themselves. Admittedly drinking a jarful of pickle brine gives you a terrible bellyache, but it is so worth it.

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