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Finding humor in the aging process



Published: Sat, June 25, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



From failing eyesight to failing marriages, thickening waistlines to thinning hair, middle age may not feel like the best time of your life. Experts predict that people born between 1946 and 1964, better known as the baby boomer generation, will experience age-related problems in epic proportions since some 76 million Americans were born during this period. The oldest boomers of this often-pampered and self-indulgent generation will turn 59 this year. By 2015, half of the boomer population will be 60.

Middle age can feel a lot better if you have a sense of humor. According to authors, publishers and clinical psychologists Sydney Altman and Zoe Lazar, there's plenty to laugh about, and that's why they founded BaBoom Press.

In their first book, "Mother Goose Tells the Truth About Middle Age" (BaBoom Press, 2001, $16.95), Jack and Jill are now over the hill and Mary has a lot of lamb and rushes to her diet support group. Exploring a multitude of middle-age issues, this book invites readers to revisit their childhoods by using well-known nursery rhymes as the vehicle for its irreverent and brazen brand of humor. Poems like "This Baby Boomer Plays the Market," "Oh Where, Oh Where Has My Estrogen Gone" and "What Are Aging Boys Made Of" turn a wry eye on middle age.

"Getting people to laugh at their struggles with aging, while appreciating the poignancy of those struggles, was why we wrote and published this book," said Altman. "If anyone reading this book is able to laugh out loud or smile with self-recognition, then we'll have accomplished what we set out to do."

Milestones of menopause

For their second publication, "Victoria's Rejects," Altman and Lazar used themselves and three other brave women as models and produced a full-color, hilarious spoof catalog filled with "essential but unavailable products" for women over 40.

"Victoria's Rejects" (BaBoom Press, 2002, $11.95) is for "women who have achieved middle age," and offers items that exist only in the twisted minds of its authors. These two fiftysomething women, best friends for more than 40 years, have come up with solutions for everything from excessive knee fat to finding where in the parking lot you left your car. Celebrate the milestones of menopause with their "Ovulation Farewell Party Kits" and "Menopause Announcement Cards." For sagging skin, they offer "Skin Clips," "Cellulite Compound Filler" and "Alpha-Epoxy Cream." These are only a few of the inventive remedies mentioned.

The back cover of the catalog cautions that "middle age can be hazardous to your health. 'Victoria's Rejects' products have been shown to alleviate the stress, pressure and general discomfort of this phase of your life."

Having laughed their way through many of life's hurdles, Altman and Lazar decided that the best way to approach the inevitability and undesirability of aging was to keep laughing and get others to join in. For more information, visit www.BaBoomPress.com.




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