I’m 65, sure. But am I old?
We’ve all seen the adverts. The ones in which a grey-haired, radiantly healthy couple in their sixties laugh their heads off at the sheer joy of impending retirement. Released into the wild from mortgage and job, and with the last of the children flown the coop, they float above the world of utility payments and garage bills on the financial flying carpet of a pension-pot payout equivalent to the GDP of Switzerland.
Suddenly enriched, they are free to tick off the items on their bucket lists with the gold nibbed fountain pens gifted by their pension providers. Skydiving? I’ll get me goggles. Climbing Kilimanjaro? Where’s my walker? By dog-sled to the North Pole? Stand by while I pull on my thinsulate long-johns and my Gore-tex jacket and I’ll help you mush the pack over the ridge …
Reality check. Not all pension pots support la dolce vita. Consequently, most of us foot soldiers of the grey power generation have much less to laugh about than these adverts suggest — unless you consider a triple bypass a rib-tickling experience. Or find arthritis and dodgy knees amusing.
The $64,000 question is: ‘Are we really old?’ I don’t mean chronologically — you can check that on your birth certificate. I mean, are we showing signs of aging?
Answer the following questions. Count up the number of times you answered ‘yes’, then check your non-chronological quiz age below:
- (Males only) You have a prostate the size of a cricket ball
- (Females only) You have breasts that headed south for the winter shortly before your 50th birthday and they never came north again.
- You get up to pee so often during the night that you have taken to sleeping in the bath to cut down on journey time
- Your legs are so ravaged by varicose veins that they resemble a 3D map of the Amazon river basin and it’s numberless tributaries.
- You have to hire a U-Haul truck every Tuesday to schlep your medications from the pharmacy to your home
- You regularly appear in the kitchen, but have no idea why you are there. And you find yourself having to piece together the reason like Columbo cracking a case
- You know your urologist better than your next door neighbour
- Your repeat meds script comes with a Christmas card and an invitation to the surgery’s Christmas party
- You are pestered by cold callers from a host of medical research facilities offering a free biro and a Walmart gift voucher in return for donating your carcass to science when you pass
- You cannot see, hear or taste properly and can never find your car keys
- 9 You’d give Methuselah a run for his money. Quiz Age, 80-110
- 7-8 You’ve got more mileage on the clock than a ’65 Chevrolet. Quiz Age, 60-80
- 4-6 For you, 60 is the new 40, Quiz Age, 40-60
- 0-3 There’s been a mistake. Sack your physician, move out of the old folks complex, buy a motorboat and a condo on the Florida Keys
REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
Regardless of your Quiz Age, the good news is that we Oldies are still alive. We have grandchildren to spoil, duvet days whenever we like and chances aplenty to give something back to the community. The only reason we don’t get down on our knees and thank the Lord is that we’d not be able to get back up again without paramedic assistance.
But we are united in our wisdom and we have embraced the digital revolution, turning it to our own ends through sites such as this.
It’s good to share
Why don’t you come and join our global community of like-minded men and women who have survived the rat race and now have time to connect with fellow travellers and take a not-too-serious look at ourselves and the world through the half-fogged spyglass of old age.