Everybody keeps reminding me of my age.
Even I remind myself of my age by doing stupid things.
While I am quite content to be over fifty, there are times when I want to slap people who feel the need to constantly remind me that I am not getting any younger – and that includes myself.
For example, an insurance company (which shall remain nameless) has employed a much-loved British national treasure to try to sell insurance to over fifties. I am, of course, talking about Michael Parkinson, a man who has interviewed many famous people and has a place in the hearts of many older people who look back on his shows with fondness.
In the advert, he uses his past triumphs as an introduction into the most patronising and guilt-inducing pile of verbal diarrhoea that it has been my misfortune to hear, in order to get you to buy insurance – to leave money for your loved ones after you have popped your clogs. His condescending blurb goes something like this:
“I’ve met a gazillion truly remarkable and fantastic people in my lifetime,” he says, “and my brain is full of unbelievably magnificent memories.“
At this point you think, “Bloody show off!”
“But if you, a mere peasant, want to leave your family much more than just happy memories of your existence on this rock that circles the sun, perhaps you can buy this insurance policy. It doesn’t ask for a medical so even if you are a decrepit old walrus on your last legs, you will be accepted. It will enable you, a mere pauper compared to me, the guaranteed lump sum so that your equally poor family can pay for YOUR funeral – or possibly even swell their pathetic bank accounts because you will almost certainly not have saved enough money.”
And the final insult?
“You will get a free welcome gift.”
The gifts are a little telly, a tiny camcorder, the cheapest Satnav on the market or £50 to spend in a famous chain of shops specialising in clothes and gizmos for old people.
Actually, that’s not quite the final insult:
“You get a FREE Parker Pen – just for enquiring.”
And the last kick in the teeth? This plan is aimed at ME – because it is the OVER 50 PLAN.
Such adverts are shown during daytime TV right alongside other adverts offering to get me compensation for being a clumsy great oaf.
Other similar adverts suggest that being over 50 means that I have to go on holidays with old aged pensioners being ferried around a weird country in a coach.
Or I can get over 50’s fashion. I may not be the most fashion conscious person in the world, but at my age, don’t these people think that I don’t know what to wear?
Cheap car insurance – “because after driving around for so long, surely I must be a good driver by now!”
And at work, I am constantly reminded that “stepping on my soapbox and ranting” is a typical trait of an old man “because people get grumpier as they get older”.
I am my own worst enemy.
Having younger friends doesn’t help me. When I am asked to burn the candle at both ends and come out on a night out with youngsters, which involves consuming excessive amounts of alcohol or just plain stupid alcoholic concoctions with ridiculous names, I actually hear myself saying “Nah! I’m too old for that kind of shit!”
I mean who wants to drink a Jaeger Bomb? Don’t answer that question.
I am content with sitting in a pub for a couple of pints and then going home between 9 and 10, not staying out until 3am “downing shots” and drinking myself into a coma.
There might be the odd exception but generally I don’t do anything that is likely to hurt. Two nights out on the trot are a definite no no!
And then there is the forgetfulness. I used to have a great memory – I still do, but I find myself walking into a room with no idea what I walked in there for. I look around like a bewildered goon and actually speak the words: “Now what did I come in here for?”
My failing memory let me down again today, this time at the supermarket. In the past I have chastised Mrs PM for forgetting important stuff like a bunch of bananas. Now to you, a bunch of bananas may not be important but to me, a banana for breakfast is the law.
So please, dear reader, help me to understand why today, I forgot to buy bananas. I have never forgotten to buy bananas.
And tell me why I actually remembered that I had forgotten my bananas (if that makes sense!) when I was almost home?
Another thing a younger work colleague said to me today:
“People become more conservative when they get older, Dave, so by next election you will be voting for Boris Johnson; before long you will be goose-stepping up the office with a funny moustache saying ALL HAIL THE GREAT PLASTIC MANCUNIAN!”
That I don’t believe; I hate Boris Johnson.
But this is the nature of what I have to deal with from my work colleagues who constantly remind me of my age.
I was recently received a long service award – a lovely designer watch that I chose myself.
Was I congratulated? Well – yes – but then the banter started.
“You know, Dave, I was still at school when you started working here.”
“How long have you worked here? I wasn’t even born!”
Well, dear reader, enough is enough!
I am over fifty – so get over it. I am happy and I don’t need anybody to keep reminding me.
Michael Parkinson, you should be ashamed of yourself trying to make people feel guilty about kicking the bucket with insufficient funds get the nicest mahogany coffin that will only get chomped by worms anyway.
I don’t want a Parker pen “just for enquiring!”
And I’ll tell you something else (and I am talking to The Plastic Mancunian himself here!):
STOP TELLING PEOPLE YOU ARE A DECREPIT OLD GIT!
It’s bad enough without being your own worst enemy.
Now then, what did I come into this room for?