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CHUCK LORRE PRODUCTIONS, #64

On October 18, 2000, I celebrated my forty-ninth birthday. I approached the day with a sense of mild dread. This was, after all, the last birthday before the Big Five-Oh, the age where juvenile behavior starts to look pretty pathetic (even in California). Anyway, the natal anniversary arrived and was warmly celebrated by friends and loved ones. I felt good. I felt - dare I say it - vaguely mature. Then my old friend and accountant Steve called to wish me well. We joked about getting old. Where have all the years gone? What about the music the kids listen to these days? How's your prostate? Etc. Then, thinking myself to be his elder, I inquired as to Steve's age. He replied that he'd be turning forty-eight in December. I quickly did the math and determined that since I graduated high school in 1970, he must have graduated in 1971. To my surprise, he said he graduated in 1970. I did some lightning fast re-calculations and asked if he skipped a grade. He said no. Then he asked a simple, penetrating question. He asked me what year I was born. I replied confidently, "1952." To which he, always the accountant, asked, "Well, then how on earth can you be forty-nine?" I started to protest, but then the impact of his question hit me like a wheelbarrow full of bricks falling on the head of a stupid person. Somewhere along the line, I don't know when, I had omitted a year of my life. But my friend, with his mysterious ability to add and subtract had returned it to me. I got some nice sweaters this year, but how often do you get the gift of life? I'm only forty-eight! Screw maturity! Neener, neener, neener!

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1st Aired: 21 Nov 2000

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