Three score and ??? by Trevor Plumbly
I’m staring down the barrel of 78; old age has arrived and I’ve been collecting wisdom to compensate.
There’s lots of theories around; for example, someone said (I don’t know who), “The thing about old age is that you can see the good in people more easily.” My research suggests that that’s a load of bollocks! That sort of sanctimonious crap belongs in Christmas cracker mottoes, or to old fogies wanting to clock up a few brownie points before the bloke with the scythe visits. It’s a bloody mysterious caper this age thing; I might need more than one blog to explore it, so please bear with me.
Extreme old age
The bible’s supposed to be the fount of all knowledge, but it doesn’t help much: it likes to have a few bob each way on the human race, using age like a balance sheet to decide whether you’re in credit or not. It’s a contradictory book to consult for positive answers. Take ‘begetting’: these days it’s a perfectly normal function, but, back then, when it suited, it was miraculous. Get this: “After Noah was 500 years old, he became the father of Ham, Shem and Japheth.” Amazing! And in a way humbling: here I am moaning about the odd bladder problem, God alone knows what that poor old sod suffered in his dotage.
There’s lots of those elderly blokes in the good book, it’s like a ‘Who’s Who’ for death dodgers, which in itself raises a question: given the amount of aggravation going round at the time, you’d think they’d want to scoot upstairs ASAP for a bit of peace, instead of defying the odds down here. Another wimp (not biblical) said, “Reading more when you get older is just preparing for the final exam.” See what I mean? Some folks get so internally focused on this stuff, they run the risk of disappearing up their own whatsits; a kinder soul should point out that there’s bugger all point sitting an exam if you’re not going to be around to hear the result.
Despite biblical myths, it’s clear that some blokes are getting away with it to this day: look at the Rolling Stones. Mick Jagger mightn’t ‘get no satisfaction’, but lack of it hasn’t hampered his mobility; the old geezer’s still got ants in his pants (musically speaking of course). Keith Richards, the erstwhile human pharmacy, now oozes quiet philosophy, whilst giving the finger to the natural consequences of self-harm. Then there’s Charlie Watts, Mr Calm, the thinking man’s answer to Ringo Starr, still wearing the same wrinkles he had in 1970. Look at Donald Trump, I know it’s hard to do, but he’s over 70 and there’s still a line-up of nubile and ex-nubile totties claiming he wiped his paw-prints over their private bits at one time or another. Going back to the bible, “God allowed Solomon to have 1,000 wives,” which in all essence should have kept the old boy occupied, but no! There was a temple to build and loads of wisdom to impart. They expected him to come up with all sorts of nifty stuff: not having DNA testing at the time, he discovered that threatening to chop up a baby was a good way to settle a custody dispute. It’s possible that being busy might be some sort of anti-ageing stimulant. I bet there’s heaps of that stuff I’ll need to collate before I publish in full.
Go forth and multiply
Do you know Rod Stewart’s got eight kids? Eight! Therefore the question arises, does that keep him young? If so, since I’ve only got one, does it also mean that I should have croaked years ago? But applying that logic suggests that celibates shouldn’t make it out of their teens. Great thinkers have wearied in age, whilst waiting for death to draw its sable curtain around them (crikey, did I really write that? I must be getting old). Getting back to the scriptures, I note that senile sexuality seems to be largely restricted to blokes, along with a three figure lifespan. This is patently sexist and unfair, yet another reason to skip reading the Old Testament until they bring it up to date. If it was okay then to record Noah, Solomon and company bonking beyond their years, why not grant immunity from ageing to the cream of today’s women in the new version: the likes of Dolly Parton and Theresa May should be worth a double ton each at least and dear Mrs Thatcher would still be here to offer guidance. There’s a lot to this ageing business and I’ll probably need another blog or two to crystallise my thoughts. Please regard the above as random thoughts, don’t ask me to explain any of it, I just write the crap.