Bill Cosby once wrote, "You can teach an old dog new tricks. You just don't want to see the dog doing them.''
That's partly because, as Phyllis Diller observed, ''Maybe it's true that life begins at 50, but everything else starts to wear out, fall out or spread out.''
Aging. It's the one thing we all hope for while simultaneously doing our best to avoid.
Our minds think we can jump the same heights, run the same track and lift the same weight. The message fails to reach our ankles, knees, back and shoulders.
A message did reach our midriffs. I don't know who sent it but I wish they'd take it back.
As Bob Hope said, ''Middle age is when your age starts to show around your middle.''
Funny. Forty used to be ancient. Now I fondly recall the days when I was a mere lad of 50 and still had a spring in my step. The spring rusted.
Cosby also said, ''I wear glasses primarily so I can look for the things that I keep losing.''
Naturally, one of those missing things are the glasses.
While I search for mine, here are a few more observations great philosophers have made on aging. ''A merry heart doeth good like a medicine,'' Proverbs 17:22 tells us. Maybe the laugh lines are just the tonic we need to make us all look a little younger today.
Will Rogers: "We could certainly slow the aging process down if it had to work its way through Congress."
Kurt Vonnegut: ''True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country.''
Lucille Ball: ''The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly and lie about your age.''
Robert Frost: ''A diplomat is a man who always remembers a woman's birthday but never remembers her age.''
Agatha Christie: ''An archaeologist is the best husband a woman can have. The older she gets the more interested he is in her.''
Bob Hope: ''You know you're getting old when the candles cost more than the cake.''
Anonymous: ''Middle age is when you choose your cereal for the fiber, not the toy.''
Nelson Rockefeller: ''There are three periods in life: youth, middle age, and 'how well you look.'''
Leon Trotsky: ''Old age is the most unexpected of all the things that happen to a man.''
E.B. White: ''In a man's middle years there is scarcely a part of the body he would hesitate to turn over to the proper authorities.''
Maurice Chevalier: ''I prefer old age to the alternative.''
Jean Rhys: ''Age seldom arrives smoothly or quickly. It's more often a succession of jerks.''
Satchel Paige: ''How old would you be if you didn't know how old you was?''
Kin Hubbard: ''Boys will be boys, and so will a lot of middle-aged men.''
Anonymous: ''We are young only once, after that we need some other excuse.''
Billy Crystal: "By the time a man is wise enough to watch his step, he's too old to go anywhere."
Bill Vaughan: ''Youth is when you're allowed to stay up late on New Year's Eve. Middle age is when you're forced to.''
Bob Hope: "I don't feel old. I don't feel anything until noon. Then it's time for my nap."
Bill Cosby: ''Gray hair is God's graffiti.''
Henry David Thoreau: ''None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm.''
George Burns: ''You can't help getting older, but you don't have to get old.''
---- Age gracefully with Cole at firstname.lastname@example.org or at the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook. Cole, author of "Bash and the Pirate Pig," will give an author talk at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Warren-Trumbull County Public Library, Warren.