Monday, 2 July 2018
Good Advice for People of a Certain Age
As we all grow older our minds might wander and question what lies ahead and how we will cope. There is a saying I heard once about growing old gracefully. What nonsense. I am not that old myself, but I don't agree about this growing old as a nice person that everyone will like and remember ... blah ... blah ... blah.
If you're a lady you're supposed to sit in an old armchair knitting something or other that no one has asked for and no one wants. Like an old aunt of mine who used to spend her time knitting scarves, woollen hats and other useless stuff. One year for my birthday she knitted me a train set. What use is that? She hadn't even knitted the railway track.
Or if you're an old man you're supposed to sit in a chair smoking a pipe, or reading a newspaper, and be kind to your grand-children.
Total nonsense. If you are a person of a certain age you should behave in such a way that people will notice. Make a mark in life.
By all means draw back on your experiences and your childhood days. The other day for instance I was thinking back to my childhood and I thought, "Well, that was a total waste of time, wasn't it?"
We were very poor you know. So poor we could not even afford a toilet brush. We used to tie a dead hedgehog to a stick and use that instead. The toilet door did not even have a lock. I used to sit on the throne with my leg sticking out against the door. Pity it opened outwards.
Our house was so small that even the mice were hunch-backed. And I remember it was so damp that we had a permanent rainbow in the kitchen. We lived in such a poor area of town that the burglars used to donate some of their takings to us. When I was a baby my mom did not have a pram; she carried me in a plastic shopping bag.
At night I used to lie back in bed and think, "One day I'll be so rich I'll be able to buy a roof for this house!"
I don't think I was well-loved by my parents. They sent me to truant school and when I came back in the afternoon they had moved home. They pretended to play with me; I loved to play hide and seek. I'd lean against a dead tree and count to 100 and turn round and try to find them in Manchester, Oxford, Edinburgh ... and sometimes all over Europe. My father did try to teach me to swim. He used to take me out to sea in a boat and lower me gently in the water and teach me to swim to shore. I always got there before the sharks!
Anyway, as I was saying, regardless of your age, look back on your past but think young, act young, be peculiar, be remembered.
For example, the other day I had to go to the doctor for a routine regular check up. As I entered his insulting room he asked me nicely, "And how are you feeling these days?"
I replied, "What is it to you, you nosey beggar? Mind your own business!"
He was taken aback, but he sure will remember me next time I visit.
He asked me personal questions which I objected to. Like, "How is your libido?"
I said, "Oh ... it's all gone. I had enough of that Italian car. I now have a Japanese Toyota!"
He then enquired, "Do you have difficulty passing water?"
I replied, "I get a little dizzy crossing a river. Doesn't happen when the bridge is across a motorway or railway line; only a river!"
"Dizzy?" he said, "what are the symptoms?"
I said, "They are little yellow cartoon characters on TV. Homer Symptom, Bart Symptom and Madge ... what's this got to do with my medical you old fool?"
I'll say this for him, he was a very patient doctor. I was a very patient patient too. So all in all there were three patients in that room. So much for privacy these days.
He gave me a little bottle and asked me to go behind a screen and give him a urine sample. I asked him, "Do I really have to go behind the screen?" He insisted.
I went behind the screen. I had with me a similar bottle which I was given at a previous visit. I had cleaned it thoroughly and filled it with apple juice at home. So instead of giving a urine sample behind the screen, I put the empty bottle in my pocket and gave the doctor the bottle of apple juice.
He raised it to the light and said, "You are a little cloudy today!"
I took the bottle from his hand and said, "Let's filter it some more," and drank its content.
You should have seen his face!!! He will remember me all right. Not like all the other faceless patients he gets day in day out. From now on, I'll get special treatment when I come to this clinic.
So there you are folks! Whether you are young or old. Act peculiar. Be a fruit cake. Be eccentric. Be remembered.
Take a dog lead with you for a walk. Stop by a tree and ask passers-by to help you get your dog down from the tree.
Take an old newspaper to the library and tell the assistant you have read it, can you change it for a new one.
Put a suppository in your ear and ask people to help you search for your hearing-aid.
Wear a lamp shade on your head and tell people to lighten up.
Eat a banana on the bus and throw the skin in someone's shopping bag. They'll get a pleasant surprise when they get home. It works too with discarded sweet wrappers, or used paper handkerchiefs.
Go to the supermarket and ask to buy one of those dividers they have on the conveyor belt check-out to separate customers shopping.
Don't buy anything from the supermarket and stand in line at the check-out. When it is your turn tell the shop assistant you bought nothing.
Go to the baker and ask him, "Have you got any bread rolls left?" If he says Yes tell him, "serves you right for baking so many!"
If you're an elderly man, wear very large corduroy trousers, preferably beige or brown in colour. Raise them up to your nipples and tie them to your chest with a belt, and braces for extra security. Wear a scruffy shirt and hat and tell everyone you're a sex symbol for women who do not care.
If you're a woman of the same age wear those very tight fitting elasticated trousers, those showing the contours of your underpants; preferably those trousers that end just below the knee, hugging to your body tightly. Wear a loose T shirt with a provocative slogan like, "What are you looking at?" Have a cigarette hanging at the end of your mouth, even unlit if you don't smoke. Tell everyone you do not care!
If you're a Catholic, like me, go to your priest and ask him is it OK to go to Confession online, or via text on your cell phone. If he refuses tell him the church should modernise and get on with technology. (I noticed my priest keeps avoiding me these days!)
I am sure if you engage your brain you will come up with many varied ideas which will make you stand out in the crowd. People will take notice of you. They will remember you. And who knows ... you might even become a politician.