The Magic Quarter and belly rings

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 14, 2005

As soon as the television is turned on, its viewers are bombarded with commercials and advertisements that exhibit the glamour and excitement of youth. In our relentless search for this so-called ‘fountain,’ many of us find ourselves reading ads for cosmetic surgery all the while avoiding the mirror.

I’ve often heard other people say that they don’t ‘feel’ their age, or that they keep forgetting just how old they are until someone reminds them. I had that wonderful experience just a few days ago.

I was at the doctor’s office, and I was told, &uot;Well, at your age, you can just begin to expect these things.&uot; That office chair really needed a seat belt because I almost fell out of it.

Of course, I realize that the doctor is telling the truth, much to my chagrin. Whenever I go shopping for clothes, I can’t seem to find anything with enough material in it to cover me completely. It reminds me of those hospital gowns you have to wear in the doctor’s office that leave half of you very vulnerable. Some of the styles of women’s clothing today not only leave a lot to be desired, but they also leave a lot to be covered. Show my stomach? I don’t contemplate my navel, so I’m not about to contemplate wearing a belly ring.

These changes that lean toward youth are all around. I was watching a movie with my nephew, Jim Grayson, and after it was over, I told him to ‘rewind that DVD.’ That’s right. I’m sure you have the same look on your face right now that he had on his.

With DVDs, Xbox, PlayStation, and all the new techno stuff available today, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with information and new innovations. Whatever happened to Pac Man?

Speaking of Pac Man, the Magic Quarter was a favorite place to go when I was in high school. The Magic Quarter was located on the Greenville Bypass, right down from where Moore’s is located now. It was full of pinball machines and the latest arcade games, and, of course, a jukebox. There was a pool table in the back, too. Joe Harville, who was also known as &uot;Tree,&uot; would walk around changing dollars for quarters from his little white apron he wore. People either pulled up a stool to watch you play an arcade game, or they leaned up against it to get a better look.

Of course, when Ms. Pac Man came out, that was even better because she was a whole lot faster than her male counterpart. The music was about an octave higher, too, and who can forget the ‘Pac Man’ tune?

With all of these changes and advances in technological entertainment, I bought my nephew a new Playstation game for his birthday. As he played the game, I was amazed at how fast he could operate it. I was that good at ‘Galaga,’ I thought to myself.

Then, I remembered that first video game of table tennis, where you watched the ball go back and forth across the screen.

After hitting the ball, it took about five minutes before you’d hear &uot;Bloop&uot; on the other side of the screen. It’s a scary thought to think we were so entertained by that twenty-something years ago.

After discussing the ups and downs of growing older and leaving youth behind, Samson, my 21-pound tomcat, went to check on his health insurance coverage. He’s decided he needs a tummy tuck.

Regina Grayson is a reporter with the Greenville Advocate.

She can be reached at 334-383-9302, ext. 126 or via e-mail at