Monday, 19 December 2016

"DO YOU THINK I'VE GOT TOURETTES?" He shouted angrily

A friend of nine asked me this after confessing to an irrepressible desire to shout abuse at the complacent Michael Gove on TV decrying the value of experts. I told him that at our age we get everything. If I forget something it’s an early sign of dementia, a cough is lung cancer, breathlessness a heart attack. We are doomed. We are all going to die…sooner or later.

“Happy Christmas to you too” I hear you mutter.

But relax I’m as optimistic about the glorious comedy of life as I’ve ever been. The stuff that happens enthrals me. Like my increasing habit of self-debate walking down the street having an argument with my own stupidity. Don’t worry they think I’m on my mobile talking to someone rather nasty.

And recently the madness intensified. I was explaining to my wife as we drove in Brighton in that rather loud, patronising voice I adopt when talking about current affairs. I said Southern Rail management had an agenda in the current dispute vis a vis the RMT and Aslef which was to kill the Unions.

“Why - what have they got to do with this?” she asked
I was a bit irritated and said “well it’s mostly their fault”.
“What exactly have the Indians done wrong?”
“Indians … what Indians?”

Perhaps I had said “Indians” not “Unions”- perhaps I was going mad. But let’s face it being a man I was likely to get much more ill than my wife. Recent research proves man-flu is really serious and that viruses seek out men rather than women.

As I drink another glass of claret and metaphorically smoke a Cuban cigar I reflect on a misspent life of calories and carcinogenic substances and the rather depressing comment made by a friend:- “nowadays I spend most of my life crossing out those who’ve died in my address book.”

Come on. We’re living longer and healthier than ever. And this is going to get better as medical science develops faster and as new generations of young people drink less (not just less but massively less), scarcely smoke at all, or use drugs (it’s older people who are mumbling “peace” and falling into flower beds). Mind you there’s less sex going on too. People are too busy for nonsense like that.

Yet in this youthful world the “old” still own the “hot-seats.” In the USA 40% of Trump’s cabinet are at or over retirement age and 60% are over 60. They are also, with one exception, white which is really strange given the country they serve.

Tourettes? Well it may be our only defence in a breath-taking world where the latest gor-blimey has been Trump’s refusal to accept evidence of Russian hacking. Post-truth has now developed into post-evidence.

I was recently watching“Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium” on TV. Dustin Hoffman said this:
“Life’s an occasion - make sure you live up to it.”

I’ll try Dustin but it isn’t easy.

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