Two days ago my father set a world record for men 85 - 89 in the 200 meter breaststroke with a 4:10.7, breaking the old record by three seconds. He already holds the 80 - 84 record with a 3:47.8. He's the fastest 85 year old in history, but is also at an age when the rate of decline is fairly steep.

Two different women came up to me at the meet and said, "Your father is so cute." When I mentioned these comments to him, he grunted in a not entirely happy way.

When you get to a certain age, and you no longer appear threatening, you become "cute" again, sort of like a newborn baby.

I knew my father when he was younger, and trust me, he was far from "cute." Stern, autocratic, formidable, headstrong, and forbidding are the adjectives that come to mind.

So even if he starts to look like a one year old, I will never see him as cute.

I suppose I'm only about 25 years away from that status myself.

Can't say I'm looking forward to it.