I can’t still be dress­ing up as a squir­rel at 50

‘Do­ing my day job (dress­ing as a squir­rel, mas­querad­ing as a troll, be­ing the arse end of a pan­tomime horse) is tricky enough but you surely can’t be do­ing that sort of thing when you’re fifty?’

Cotswold Life - - NEWS - DOM JOLY

Fifty! How the hell did that hap­pen? I’m not talk­ing about this il­lus­tri­ous pub­li­ca­tion. As usual. I’m talk­ing about my­self. I’m go­ing to hit the big 50 in a month’s time and it’s rather snuck up on me. Ad­mit­tedly I had a fifti­eth birth­day party at the be­gin­ning of the sum­mer but that was more of a cun­ning plan to get some early presents and ex­tra at­ten­tion. It never ac­tu­ally oc­curred to me that I ac­tu­ally was go­ing to be fifty. Peo­ple who are fifty are old and grey and smell of wee and de­spair… and that’s not me… prom­ise.

I re­mem­ber turn­ing forty and ac­tu­ally be­ing quite happy with that land­mark. I’d al­ways been an old soul in an out of shape young body. Turn­ing forty just meant that my con­tem­po­raries started be­hav­ing the way I al­ways had – hav­ing din­ner par­ties, cut­ting off their dread­locks and fi­nally stop­ping talk­ing about where and who they went to school with.

On my for­ti­eth birth­day I re­al­ized that I needed to get or­gan­ised. I promised my­self that I would be sorted and to­gether by the time I was fifty. This, I’m sorry to re­port, has not hap­pened but I am now de­ter­mined that it will all be fine by the time I’m sixty.

I’m lucky enough to still have a fully head of mainly non-grey hair. Do­ing my day job (dress­ing as a squir­rel, mas­querad­ing as a troll, be­ing the arse end of a pan­tomime horse) is tricky enough but you surely can’t be do­ing that sort of thing when you’re fifty? Sadly I know lit­tle else and so, like the Rolling Stones but with less cash, I shall roll on with my cur­rent ca­reer.

To keep from seiz­ing up and fes­ter­ing I have made a list of the ex­tra-cur­ric­u­lar things that I in­tend to do in the next ten years. If this mag­a­zine and I sur­vive un­til 2027 then we can re­con­vene and we’ll see how I did.

1. I want to fly a bal­loon shaped like Don­ald Trump’s head across Amer­ica. I re­cently pur­chased a hot air bal­loon and hav­ing nearly com­pleted my pi­lot’s li­cense I am ready for an ad­ven­ture. There are ob­vi­ous prob­lems with this plan - be­ing shot down, Don­ald Trump leav­ing of­fice be­fore I can or­gan­ise it, be­ing shot down but plans are al­ready un­der­way.

2. Walk the Le­banon Moun­tain Trail. I grew up in The Le­banon, a beau­ti­ful coun­try that has pos­si­bly been avoided by many tourists due to the pre­pon­der­ance of war in the place. Re­cently The Le­banese Tourist Board mapped out a walk­ing route from the Syr­ian bor­der in the north, all along the spine of the coun­try to the Is­raeli bor­der in the south. I con­tacted some­one who had done the walk to ask his ad­vice. He said that it was mag­nif­i­cent and that he had only been shot at three times.

3. Ashes to Ashes. Reg­u­lar read­ers will know that I love cricket. It would be big-headed of me to tell you about the mag­nif­i­cent six that I hit in the re­cent 60th an­niver­sary Test Match Spe­cial game in Leeds… so I won’t. I in­tend to travel to Aus­tralia and fol­low an Ashes se­ries from city to city. I need to work out a way to mon­e­tise this as well as be­ing able to jus­tify it to my non-cricket lov­ing wife. I have a cun­ning plan.

4. Make a movie. The lat­est se­ries of all-new Trig­ger Happy is out very soon and I hope you all en­joy it. My sights are now set on loftier projects. Back when Trig­ger Happy TV was first out, I was of­fered sev­eral op­por­tu­ni­ties to make a movie ver­sion. I turned these down as they all felt like rather naff spin-offs that wouldn’t work. I now have a plan for how to make a non-naff movie. What could pos­si­bly go wrong?

5. Go to Hawaii. I don’t know why this is im­por­tant to me, but it is. Might be some­thing to do with a brief Mag­num PI fix­a­tion in the Eight­ies.

There are plenty more things on the agenda but if I have achieved these five by the time I’m sixty then things are on track.

Above: Dom Joly - ‘50 years young’

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