The confession of a cunning old fart by Trevor Plumbly

Culpa! Mea?

This aging biz isn’t turning out to be the doddle I thought it would be; there’s lots of stuff to adjust to. The nights of six pints of lager and a curry have been replaced by a glass of wine, rabbit food and easy access to the toilets.

It does, however, have some compensations: the old standby ‘he’s getting on a bit’ allows me to avoid inconvenient disruptions to my routine by resigned martyrdom rather than open defiance and as a result I’ve mastered a strained patient grimace along with a sort of wistful sigh to ensure that folks are fully aware of the stoicism I need to cope with everyday life.

Security blankets

It’s astonishing really the amount of kit required to keep me cocooned until the old bloke with the scythe is ready to take over. For mobility I have a white cane, for stationary pursuits a designer recliner, hearing aids, headphones, a talking computer and, in case that lot fails, an alarm pendant. Then, of course, there are the drugs: a warehouse of curative wonders crammed into the bathroom cabinet, with names guaranteed to clobber all sorts of germs and long forgotten ailments. What of them I wonder when I conk it: down the toilet? Perhaps not, I doubt the local fishing stock suffers from high cholesterol, prostrate problems and the like. Meantime there are buckets of the stuff up there, just waiting for a virus to have a go at.

Mental exercises

There are loads of books about aging, but somewhat ironically most of the writers are dead which does cast a bit of doubt over their wisdom. The common advice is to keep your brain busy but I’ve watched some of these old curmudgeons in action and I’m a bit cynical about games, they’re a bit too Darwinian to be healthy. Closer study by someone braver than me will prove that Monopoly is for greedy buggers, Scrabble is verbal cannibalism disguised as fun and Bridge is a pseudo academic guessing game with foot-nudge clues. Should infirmity force me into one of the Reaper’s waiting rooms, I’ll flag the parlour games in favour of solitary pursuits, trashy books and good music, assisted perhaps by illicit Single Malt. Aging? Ha! Piece of bloody cake!

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