Two Old Codgers

How the World strikes us

WHAT'S IT LIKE . . . . . .?
"Chewing gum for the eyes" That phrase came to my mind as I watched daytime television the other day. Obviously the programme planners ensure the most interesting programmes are available after about 7pm so the channels I searched were all full of "Chewing gum for the eyes"

I couldn't tell you the name of the programme I watched, it was some sort of talent show for the kind of acts you might see in a working mans club. The presenter was a 'Celebrity' stand-up comedian who I should have recognised but I am sure I had never seen before in my life.

The whole thing was a grey blur, perhaps I was dozing in the chair but I stirred myself as the 'celebrity' said "Let's give a big welcome to Walter Whippet. Walter comes from Clayton le Moors and is going to play a most unusual version of 'Tommy Make Room for Your Uncle'. Walter is going to play this on the spoons, using four table spoons on his head, knees, elbows and other parts of his body but before you start, Walter, tell our lovely audience, how old you are".

Walter stood there silent, looking slightly bewildered and with a sheepish grin on his face. The star of the show stepped in and said "Walter is eighty-two! What do you think about that folks?" At this point someone, out of sight of the TV cameras must have held up a card saying 'Applause'.

Another of my digressions. I can remember when applause consisted of clapping your hands together. If the performance was particularly good there may have been a smattering of 'Bravos' or even 'Encore'. At one Halle Orchestra Concert the audience actually stamped their feet in appreciation of a stirring
rendition of the '1812 Overture'.

But back to Albert, what sort of a reception did the audience give 'Eight-two'? The nearest approximation I can think of is a pack of demented baboons. Shouts, whistles, screams, yelps and other assorted noises - the sort of sounds which make up modern applause.

Why the hell would you applaud someone for being eighty-two, or twelve; or a
OM Acrobat
hundred-and-one? If poor old Walter had done a balancing act, OK but the fact that he has lived for eighty-two years is down to his genes and is an accident of birth, I'm afraid he can't claim any credit at all.

I didn't actually watch him bashing himself with spoons but it started me thinking. How would I describe what it's like being ninety-one? For me it is normal. I am very lucky. I don't play the spoons but I apart from being a grumpy old sod I lead a fairly comfortable life. To some, it may seem remarkable but to me it is just life.

In the moment it is no different to any other time in my life. When we talk about "In the moment" I suppose in simple terms we are referring to this second. I've just done a quick calculation and I have had just short of three billion seconds - Phew!

I can't pretend to be able to recall them individually but it is a sobering thought that they have all gone into the memory banks. We have talked of this before and came to the conclusion that they are
all there. We may claim to have forgotten things but if only we had a way of pressing the right button on the mental keyboard, up they would come.

Pressing the button is like jogging the memory. The keys on the mental keyboard are covered in cobwebs and have a coating of stale crumbs of
Dirty Keyboard
recollections. If someone shows you a photograph, plays a tune or tells you a story the dust is often cleared away and the filing cabinet of memories can be opened up. If only we could bottle 'Mental Keyboard Cleaner' memory would be improved and we might ease the pain of dementia.

The other question that gets me is "How do you explain your great age?" It's quite simple really - nothing to do with diet, drinking or not drinking, exercising or being a couch potato - you just have to avoid dying.

Clean living

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