The Fantastic Mr. Fox

The desert was swarming with foxes last weekend. My short getaway was pockmarked by good-looking old guys who kept my female swimming companion’s (FSC) head spinning like a dreidel. The majority of those head spins were performed in jest simply to keep me uncomfortably self-conscious, as the strata of wanna-be fox found poolside in the desert does little to excite like the real thing.

You will enjoy your woman admiring me.

Nonetheless, as we sat poolside, I was on guard not for the buff twenty-something rich kid, but for the weathered graying magnate-in-his-own-mind who swims with his Rolex on and conveniently keeps his Tommy Bahama shades in place with a neckband. Experienced foxes can get away with this usually rookie move, especially when spotted in their natural habitat, a vintage Mercedes convertible, top always down.

With Sam Waterson more my lady’s cup of tea than Robert Pattinson, you’d think I’d sleep well at night. While most ladies swoon over Don Draper while watching Mad Men, my gal much prefers his boss, the acerbic fifty-something Roger Sterling.

The problem is the silver-haired fox is everywhere. Youth and looks fade, but money and distinguished company cultivate armies of dapper aged (two syllables) men poised to steal my prized hen from my cold dead hands.

This particular species of resort-loving fox exhibits some peculiar traits. His hair gets darker and more youthful when wet, a shimmering chlorine-drenched testament to my inferiority. He can even wear the FDNY cap with impunity; the best silver-haired fox (SHF) can make the most gauche apparel downright irresistible.

My only respite was the utter lack of Foximus Maximus, the regal European version of the SHF—the real deal, and my FSC’s strong preference to the poser SHFs trotting around the pool like ancient peacocks. Thankfully, our locale was not frequented by this date-ruining exemplar, most prominently and hilariously caricatured by the elegant dude in the Dos Equis commercials.

These gentlemen might actually dig ditches for a living, but a little salt-and-pepper mixed with leathery skin and a French accent is enough to convince any American gal in her thirties that she’s in the presence of a billionaire count on the cusp of rescuing her from the unbearable tedium of her current extended relationship.

Thankfully, my competition last weekend was far less sophisticated, epitomized by a smoothie-swilling insurance tycoon (or something) with a serious case of wandering eyes. I have seen the enemy, and his name is Gary (probably).

The good news: I get older every day.

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