Nationally syndicated comedy columnist Greg Schwem.
September 11, 2022, Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, USA: Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate Lt. Governor John Fetterman greets supporters before the start of the Women for Fetterman Rally. (Credit Image: © Sue Dorfman/ZUMA Press Wire)

by Greg Schwem

At last check, the time spenI recently turned 60, a milestone accompanied by physicians telling me my various aches and pains are most likely the result of…existing.
Pain in the top of my left foot recently sent me to a doctor who diagnosed a partial stress fracture.
“What caused that?” I asked, struggling to put my shoes on. “What did I do?”
“You don’t have to do anything” he replied, as if his last 20 patients had asked the same question. “These things can just happen to someone your age.”
Ouch. Literally and figuratively, ouch!
Sensing my confusion, he offered a partial explanation.
“Stress fractures are often the result of active lifestyles.”
Fellow sexagenerians, take note. Pain and suffering are your rewards for trying to stay healthy. Now go lay on the couch immediately and crack that fourth beer. Doctor’s orders.
I also am struggling with memory, an affliction that comes with age but one I will remedy with the help of Pennsylvania senate candidate John Fetterman.
One of the most hotly contested, and entertaining, races this November pits Fetterman, the Keystone State’s lieutenant governor, against (loudly clear throat) DOCTOR Mehmet Oz. The latter was hilariously mocked on social media recently after airing an ad blaming President Biden for the rising price of crudites (aka little carrots). Fetterman, meanwhile, suffered a stroke mid-campaign, raising questions about his health and fitness for the job.
Fetterman’s forearms also have become a source of scrutiny, specifically, his multiple tattoos. Fox windbag Tucker Carlson called them “silly” and “a costume” while former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, (R – Yeah, he’s still alive), seized on Fetterman’s no longer visible “I Will Make You Hurt” tattoo. Gingrich somehow equated the phrase to heroin and the notorious Crips street gang in another comical tweet.
Seeking to put his ink to rest, Fetterman explained the meaning behind his tattoos in various media outlets. Most, he said, are calendar dates marking the day someone died violently while Fetterman was mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania. Fetterman said the dates are reminders of the crime-ridden country he hopes to change if elected senator.
Thankfully, I don’t personally know of anyone who met a violent death. But I could use a permanent cheat sheet on my body. So, in the event I summon the nerve to visit a tattoo parlor, I am compiling a list of “reminders” I can refer to in moments of confusion:
My computer login password. True, I don’t have the body space to list ALL of my passwords. But this one at least gets me initial entry into the system that holds the rest of them.
11-27-93. I won’t divulge the exact meaning behind the date, but I was wearing a rented tux that day and a minister was involved. Also, my wife could become angry if I ever forget it.
24-12-36. It’s my first junior high locker combination and a reminder that, while I struggle to remember the date I was married, I still proudly recall inane information like this.
The name of my first pet. No longer will I get locked out of my online bank account after five failed attempts.
My bank’s phone number. You never know.
The warranty expiration dates on every major household appliance I own. When somebody points to it and says, “What does that one mean?” I can say, “It means it’s time to buy a new refrigerator!” Then I can easily log into my bank account and determine if I have the funds to afford one.
Finally, “Elton John, 1976,” a reminder of the first concert I ever attended. Considering the 75-year-old Rocket Man just performed at the White House and will continue packing stadiums until calling it quits later this year, it’s a testament to doing what you love for as long as you feel like it. I plan to do the same with my current career.
After that, maybe I’ll retire and continue to live an active, healthy lifestyle.
I had better leave some space on my arm for a crudite tattoo.
(Greg Schwem is a corporate stand-up comedian and author of two books: “Text Me If You’re Breathing: Observations, Frustrations and Life Lessons From a Low-Tech Dad” and the recently released “The Road To Success Goes Through the Salad Bar: A Pile of BS From a Corporate Comedian,” available at Visit Greg on the web at
You’ve enjoyed reading, and laughing at, Greg Schwem’s monthly humor columns in Senior Living News. But did you know Greg is also a nationally touring stand-up comedian? And he loves to make audiences laugh about the joys, and frustrations, of growing older. Watch the clip and, if you’d like Greg to perform at your senior center or senior event, contact him through his website at