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Don’t you wish you knew then what you know now?


According to Wikipedia, the idea behind Frisbee came about in 1937 when Walter Frederick Morrison and his future wife Lucile tossed a popcorn can lid after Thanksgiving dinner.

For most of my life, I thought my next-door neighbor Cameron and I invited the flying disk in 1964. Instead of a popcorn lid, we used the metal lid cut from a coffee can.

We had fun tossing the flying disk until, one day, I got distracted. That happens with Attention Deficit Disorder (Look! A duck!). Unlike the plastic Frisbee, a metal lid doesn’t just bounce off your head when you miss the catch. It leaves a scar above your left eyebrow.

If I only knew then what I know now.

I now know you should always have on your jockstrap before applying analgesic heat balm to your thigh. That was something I didn’t know when I was putting on my football uniform ahead of a game during my junior season.

That lesson was not only embarrassing, it was painful.

There’s never a good time to break your ankle, but I now know that if you must, avoid doing so during the holiday season.

I played five years of junior high and high school football without any serious injuries. But I broke my ankle in two places playing flag football four months after graduation in 1975.

The cast didn’t come off until Jan. 5. For more than a month, I sat on the couch and ate. And ate. And ate. After playing three sports in high school, where I ate and burned more than 3,000 calories daily, I went to just eating 3,000 calories daily. Apparently, a waist is a terrible thing to mind. But at least my ankle is all right.

I’m so happy I wasn’t accepted to any of the Ivy League schools. I knew it then; I know it now.

Did you know that it’s not safe to dump a gallon of gasoline on a fire ant mound and throw a match on it? It seemed like a good idea at the time, but the Ocoee Fire Department wasn’t as impressed.

I shudder every time I think about my buddy Rick and I going to Sebastian Inlet on the weekends to fish and collect oysters and clams in the inlet.

We found that the best way to reach the oyster and clam grounds in the Indian River was to embark in a big washtub that we held onto like a raft.

When we filled the tub with our bounty, we waited for the tide to change to float us back through the inlet. The current was dangerously strong, and we usually had to crash into the rocks on purpose to keep from being swept away into the shark-infested ocean.

We realized what we were doing was stupid when we saw a boat overwhelmed and sinking while trying to navigate against the current. To be young and dumb again.

I now know using a wooden candle holder in a treehouse isn’t intelligent. I came to know everyone at the Ocoee Fire Department.

Sally Kettering. That’s all I have to say about that.

But most of the time, I miss being young and naive. There are things I didn’t know then that I really wish I didn’t know now. Like property taxes. Cholesterol. Prostate exams. Hateful politics. “The View.” Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift.

It makes me want to tune everything off and have fun throwing a Frisbee – a real one, not a coffee can lid.