Getting the legs out used to be a very simple decision. This will come as a shock, but I once had - my tears may short out the keyboard, so bear with me on this - a pretty decent pair of manly legs. They propelled me at surprising speeds around the rugby pitch, and were capable of pushing very heavy things (including me) rather effectively. They are probably still capable of very short bursts of similar activity until this day, but not without a nurse on standby to give my genitals a good massage afterwards. Oh, my apologies - that was a dream that crept in there. However, while they retain some vestigial usefulness, pretty they no longer are. Strange things have been happening to them, and this makes the decision to bare them all the more difficult.
I have always expected the muscle mass in the old pins to decrease somewhat - especially since my rugby-playing efforts are now zero - but what I didn't really expect to happen was for them to start to change in other ways. As I've mentioned before, almost all the hairs have leapt out, never to be seen again. I was never exactly a gorilla in the hairiness stakes (although many will testify that I share the temperament of a Silverback), but this is ridiculous. My wife has much hairier legs than I do, and frankly that's a little embarrassing. The lack of hairs also makes the other changes more noticeable...
To my horror, my veins seem to be making an enthusiastic bid for escape, pushing their way upwards in an apparent effort to break through my skin. Ew. This is both unsightly and unfair. I have done nothing to deserve this kind of treatment from my vascular system. I have never, for example, crossed my legs above the knee - mainly because I've never had thighs slender enough to manage it. I have never injected anything into them, or otherwise abused my legs (ahem - leaving aside the countless number of bruises from being stamped and kicked), and this is how they repay me? And what the HELL is the deal with the blue spots?
Yes, you read that right: blue spots. For Christ's sake.
Unfortunately, I know what's happening - I'm turning (from the knees down, anyway) into a version of my mother. She lives thousands of miles away and at the age of 86 shows no signs of slowing down very much. However, she has legs which, when exposed, make me want to dry retch. I won't show you photos (I haven't taken any, for one thing), but suffice to say if you imagine a false colour image of the Nile delta taken from the International Space Station, you'll have an idea of what the surface of her lower legs look like. And, I'm sorry to say, I seem to be heading the same way. It doesn't seem right - heading as I am into my final week as a fifty-year-old, to have the kind of legs that make me hesitate to show them in public.
I can take two different approaches to this issue. Either I cover up my hideous tent pegs (rhyming slang, folks) for ever (or until I become so old that they come in handy for keeping the flies off the meat or the grandchildren away from the fridge), or I can develop a more bloody-minded attitude to being the age that I am, and just go for it. Since my bloody-mindedness seems to be on the ascendant at the moment, I feel more drawn to the latter approach, and the nation's sensibilities be damned.
So, if you see someone resembling the above figure wandering down a road in BC with a pair of particularly hideous legs poking out from his shorts (if there's anything else poking out of his shorts, it's NOT me), please spare me a thought. if my legs disgust you, then my new-found belligerence will be casting you the following thought as you pass by to continue the rest of your day: fuck you...
Oh, and...sorry...(I'm still working on the bloody-mindedness thing, you see)