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?’
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’