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The Eccentricity of old age

By Mr Grumpy - Fri 27th Jul 2012

When I were a nipper, growing up in a cardboard box underneath the railway bridge on the outskirts of town etc... there were many things that annoyed me intensely – more often than not “old” people (Which, as a seven year old, meant anyone over the age of 23).

Looking back, I suppose it was the inexplicable idiosyncrasies that these “old” people used to have – things that simply made no sense to a snot-and-marmite smeared ankle-biter.

The problem is that that as I have got older (and am now probably classed by more than 60% of the population as an “old”person myself) nobody seems to possess these idiosyncrasies or quirks of character anymore.

Over the years they seem to have disappeared totally and I find myself missing them - at best I feel a dewey eyed tear of nostalgia welling, at worst I feel like writing to my local Euro-MP (whoever that may be) to tell him that my Human Rights have been infringed – let’s face it - people have complained over worse.

Just a small selection of the character quirks I miss that seem to have died out post-Arthur Scargill seem to be :

* Why can’t old people tell the time properly any more ? When I was a nipper it used to drive me mad that upon asking a geriatric the time you would be told “Five-and twenty-past nine”. Not Twenty-Five past nine – Five AND Twenty Past... Madness !! – These days you wouldn’t even get a “Twenty Five Past Nine”, but a “Nine Twenty Five”. Who can I blame for this ?

*Why doesn’t anybody drive a Motorbike and Sidecar anymore ? (Apart from on ‘Last of the Summer Wine’, which clearly doesn’t count).

* I haven’t seen a tartan-clad shopping trolley in decades : The type old ladies used to batter the ankles of unsuspecting pedestrians with.

* I Think it used to be written into the law or something, that after retirement old people had to get up at 5.30 am or something like that, and have done all their housework by 7.30 am whilst wearing a shirt and tie and neatly polished shoes etc... These days pensioners seem to be under the illusion that retirement is to be enjoyed and that they have all earned a lie in bed every once in a while.

*Whatever happened to board games ? They seem to have been superseded by some kind of electronic gadgetry. When I was a nipper old people used to spend 95% of their time playing some kind of card game. I shudder at the thought of a group of Grannies at the Budleigh Salterton Twighlight rest home in 20 years time fracturing a hip whilst playing Wii Tennis.

*When was the last time you saw an old guy smoking a pipe and stinking the whole of the Pub / Working Men’s Club out ?

* Does anybody actually Polish their shoes anymore ? – And I mean Polish, as opposed to using that Roller-ball painty/waxy stuff – the type of polish that took hours to do and your needed 2 different brushes and an acre of newspaper spread on the floor for ? The Manufacturers of Cherry B must be shitting themselves.

*What happened to the famous Blue-Rinse Bubble perm haircut ? – I used to enjoy overhearing the hypocrisy of old ladies with Blue or Pink hair complaining about their teenage Punk grandchildren for dyeing their hair purple.

*Meat and two veg – three veg and a Yorkshire pudding on Sundays if you are lucky, rice pudding for afters. It was the law. Twenty Five years go no self-respecting pensioner would so much as consider eating anything that had been produced from across the channel (apart from the odd Banana to regale their grandkids about wartime rationing with, and the obligatory Orange for the old ‘all I ever used to get for Christmas’ yarn... (Hang on, Rice isn’t even grown in the UK is it ? - More hypocrisy.

I yearn to see a return to the ways and inexplicable customs of the old people I remember from my youth. Old People : You couldn’t beat them ! (Age concern put a stop to that...)

Comment on this Blog

Do old people in the UK still do 'the pools' ? I haven't heard of that phrase in yonks - i'm guessing the national lottery put an end to it ?
Mr Grumpy - Tue, 11th Sep 2012
And I fully intend to wear purple like in that poem that goes....when I am old I shall wear purple (see link) Actually, I´ve worn purple all my life!
Mo - Wed, 1st Aug 2012
I'm busy trying to decide if that's a compliment or not, either way I fully intend to be a cantakerous old Bastard who pretends to be deaf a lot when I retire.
Mr Grumpy - Tue, 31st Jul 2012
Ha ha, but old fogieness never goes out of fashion and you´re clearly suffering from it, so you should be happy! Hilarious post!
Mo - Tue, 31st Jul 2012
I've just realised that I haven't heard an old person tell me that "all this used to be green fields" whilst gesturing towards a new housing estate, for yonks...
Mr Grumpy - Mon, 30th Jul 2012
Funniest thing I've read for ages..thanks!
Christopher Gamble - Fri, 27th Jul 2012

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