Picks and Pans Review: Time Flies

updated 09/14/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/14/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Bill Cosby

"Like everyone else who makes the mistake of getting older," the author observes, "I begin each day with coffee and obituaries." Such jokes about growing old will probably appeal to those who chuckled along with Cosby's jokes about children in his last book, Fatherhood, which has more than 2.6 million copies in print. The genial star is 50, and people who are not yet that age probably will think this book is a lot funnier than those who have aged beyond that point. The complaints are familiar: midsection spread, trifocals for failing eyesight, fading memory, the doctor's dire warnings, dieting, exercise. Cosby manages to give each a special twist. According to him, a man's ego "cannot tolerate an increase in his Jockey short size; and so, you have a man with a brand-new 40-inch waist who is trying to get into size 36 Jockey shorts, a man who is now wearing a combination of supporter and tourniquet. Proud men...have gone to the brink of gangrene to maintain the interior fashion of their youth." He says he suffers from memory failure because his "train of thought is running on a holiday schedule." As for his diet, the doctor says, "Stop eating salt, sugar, egg yolks, red meat, whole milk, and almost everything else. Try to build your meals around parsley—but with no barbecue sauce, of course." The former athlete notes, "Americans have become so solemnly pious about running that every CPA in a sweatsuit expects to see God after dragging his flab down the road for a couple of miles." This Cosby is cool, laid-back and, despite the gloomy moments, pretty much content with life in the slower lane. For those who find that 30 minutes a week on TV doesn't provide enough of this kind of humor, Time Flies will fill the gaps. (Doubleday, $15.95)

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