They say people should grow old gracefully. What nonsense. I intend to grow old disgracefully and will probably die trying.
Why can't we behave as we like when we get older? Most of us have behaved properly and cared about what others think of us most of our lives. As we grow older, now's the time to venture into a little mischief and enjoy how others around us deal with it.
Men especially. They can get away with most mischief and people think they are cute because they are of a "certain age". They can be eccentric in the way they behave, or in what they wear, and no one seems to mind.
An old acquaintance of mine, for instance, wears his trousers pulled up all the way to his nipples. They are held there by braces and a wide belt pulled tightly round his chest. With a white checkered shirt and brown woollen pullover, both tucked in inside the trousers, and covered by a tweed jacket, and he's good to go. He's the fashion icon of today's older society. He has teeth like the Ten Commandments, all broken. He's a sex symbol for women who don't care.
This eccentric old gentleman put a collar on his cat, attached it to a lead, and took the cat out for a walk. Unfortunately he fell off the roof.
He is either forgetful, or pretends to be. He sometimes goes upstairs to the bathroom only to discover he lives in a bungalow.
In order to prove that he is "with it" he buys new gadgets even though he does not know how to use them. Like cell-phones for instance. Every time his cell-phone rings he presses the wrong button and takes a photo of his ear. He bought a new sound-activated bedside lamp. Whenever he wakes up in the night all he has to do is tap his hands once or twice and the light comes on. He told me the other day that when he breaks wind whilst asleep the lights come on as if to reprimand him.
The other day I took him shopping at the supermarket. As we were at the check-out, a woman standing behind us as we were paying for our goods, seeing a bag of "Woof Woof" dog food, asked him: "Do you have a dog?"
I know he has a small dog, but he replied: "No ... this is for me. I am on a dog diet. I probably should stop because the last time I did it I ended in Intensive Care in Hospital."
I was puzzled at his response, and she was intrigued and asked him to explain.
He said that essentially dog food is the perfect diet which is nutritionally complete. He puts some "Woof Woof" pellets in his pocket and whenever he is hungry he eats a few.
By this time everyone in the queue was listening attentively.
Horrified, she asked him if he ended up in Intensive Care because the dog food had poisoned him.
"No ..." he replied, "I just stepped off the curb to sniff a poodle's butt and a car hit me!"
I thought the guy behind her was going to have a heart attack he was laughing so hard.
Talking of hospitals reminds me of the time I had to visit this same eccentric old man in hospital. It was about a year ago. He told me that there was this nurse which drove him crazy with her patronising tone of voice: "How are we today? Are we ready for a bath? Are we hungry?" she would say.
To get back at her one morning he took some apple juice off the breakfast tray and hid it in his bedside stand.
Later on that day he was asked by this same nurse to give a urine sample in a bottle. So he put the apple juice in the bottle instead.
When she returned later to collect the bottle, the nurse looked at it and said: "My, my, it seems we are a little cloudy today!"
So he took the bottle from her hand and gulped it down saying: "Well, I'll run it through the system again. Maybe I can filter it better this time!"
The nurse nearly fainted at what she'd seen.
Women, as they grow older, can of course be elegant and demure and full of wisdom. You think? Not the ones I know. I visit an elderly lady every now and then to see if she is OK and if she wants some shopping done. Despite her age, she still is keen on cooking and eager to get me to sample her latest delicacies. Like carrot cake for instance. Who ever thought of using a root vegetable to make a cake? Or chocolate cake made with beetroot. Or elderberry wine. Or rhubarb wine would you believe? I always take a small piece of cake which I wrap in my paper-handkerchief and say politely that I'll eat it later. Our dog seems to like it and has never complained.
She said the other day that nostalgia isn't as it used to be. Back in the day nostalgia was thinking about the good older days when she was young and life was great. Today nostalgia is remembering the last model of cell-phone or tablet you had.
Now she's older she goes to keep fit classes to meet folks her own age. It's good therapy, she says, to see old people much worse off in fitness than she is. And it's a good place to meet men too ...
She told me an interesting story she heard from a friend of hers.
Apparently an old lady and an old gentleman were peering through the shop window of a Travel Agent. The agent had a good season and was feeling a bit generous perhaps, because he called them both in the shop and started discussing where they'd like to go on holiday. They chatted about this and that, but made it clear they could not afford to go anywhere. So, perhaps inspired from above, the agent decided to send them both for a week in Paris at his expense.
A fortnight later the old lady returned to the travel agent to thank him again. He asked her how she enjoyed the holiday.
"The flight was exciting," she said, "and the luxurious hotel was excellent. But one thing puzzled me. Who was that old man I had to share the room with?"
I guess a number of my readers may well be asking that question every morning!