Mem­oirs of a MAD­man*

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Uk&world Update -

Don’t start shov­ing a Zim­mer frame into peo­ple’s backs like a de­mented Dalek im­per­son­ator

tion if you so wish. For ex­am­ple if you want to get peo­ple’s at­ten­tion you don’t have to say ‘ex­cuse me’ - prod­ding peo­ple in the back with a walk­ing stick is suf­fi­cient to get their at­ten­tion.

Don’t start shov­ing a Zim­mer frame into peo­ple’s backs like some de­mented Dalek im­per­son­ator though.

In much the same way that peo­ple would ques­tion a bo­gus in­ca­pac­ity ben­e­fit claimant caught on cam­era break-danc­ing, on­look­ers will start rais­ing ques­tions about why you need a Zim­mer frame in the first place.

At this stage I feel it is per­ti­nent to point out that this tongue-in-cheek as­sess­ment of get­ting old is sim­ply a smoke­screen for my own angst and deep-seated, but not ir­ra­tional, fear of just that ....get­ting old.

Who am I kid­ding? To be per­fectly frank with you, get­ting old scares the liv­ing day­lights out of me. And so I re­act by mak­ing a joke out of it. Get­ting old is no fun and while I jest about the perks of se­nior cit­i­zen­ship, deep down read­ers I am brick­ing it, to use the ver­nac­u­lar.

And any­one of my age that says oth­er­wise is telling porkies. The poet Dylan Thomas wrote that we should, “Rage against the dy­ing of the light” and “...not go gen­tle into that good night”.

What Mr Thomas was try­ing to tell us was not to read­ily ac­cept the on­set of age and fight against it. And al­though I sub­scribe to this phi­los­o­phy, I’m just not sure I’ll have the en­ergy to rage against any­thing, let alone a dy­ing light. IN re­cent weeks I have been pon­tif­i­cat­ing at length on the var­i­ous but ad­mit­tedly rather con­tentious ad­van­tages of be­ing what I have termed po­litely and af­fec­tion­ately ‘truly old’. have weighed this against the du­bi­ous and fi­nite ad­van­tages of be­ing mid­dle aged.

Let’s get one thing straight here, I ac­cept that a mid­dle-aged man and woman boast bet­ter phys­i­cal mo­bil­ity, bet­ter hear­ing and bet­ter eye­sight. That’s pretty much a given. And we can still get a mort­gage and pay less for things like life as­sur­ance and med­i­cal in­surance.

But the ‘truly old’ get bet­ter rates on their car in­surance even though a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber would prob­a­bly fail their driv­ing tests and are an in­creased dan­ger to other road users, in my hum­ble opin­ion.

They also get re­duced rates on some grub, al­though I ac­cept that this is on the un­der­stand­ing that you will be prob­a­bly con­sum­ing squir­rel’s por­tions any­way.

In­ter­est­ingly, there are nu­mer­ous se­nior cit­i­zens ‘money off’ deals on fish and chips but not yet on cur­ries or Chi­nese take­aways as far as I‘m aware.

Ev­ery­thing has se­nior cit­i­zens’ dis­counts and, if it doesn’t, you can raise age dis­crim­i­na­tion hell un­til you fi­nally get one.

You can also le­git­i­mately ex­ploit your posi--

Peter Rook

*Mid­dle Aged



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