55 minus/plus 00: 20,088 days

Posted: 17 August 2019 in 55 minus, birthday
Tags: ,

It’s my fifty-fifth birthday today. Which should, and will, I suspect, come as no surprise to anyone reading this.

I’ve absolutely no intention of blogging about anything serious, nor on subjects profound.

I’ll merely a relate a tale I’ve previously told on Twitter… but since it is my birthday and I’m now well into my mid-fifties, I get to retell favourite anedotes occasionally. Or more than occasionally. Look, those are the rules; I didn’t make them up.

So this occurred the back end of 2018, after November’s Distraction Club. On the way back to Richmond, where I was crashing overnight, Mitch Benn and I stop off at an all night shop to pick up some shopping.

I pick up a few items and go outside to vape for a bit while I wait for Mitch to complete his shopping.

A car draws up, playing very loud music; a couple, both 20-somethings in the car. The woman jumps out, and as she exits the car, I catch the very end of the young fella saying “…well, I don’t know! Ask the old man…”

Whereupon she approaches me and is about to speak when the man shouts “NO! IN THE SHOP! ASK THE OLD MAN IN THE SHOP… not that, erm, er, er, young man.

The woman immediately stops short, mouth opening and shutting like a goldfish, struggles a moment on whether or not to apologise, then sort of mumbles a very quiet ‘sorry’ and scoots past me.

I look at the fella in the car.

He looks at me.

I… I… I… Sorry, mate…

“No problem,” says I, hugely and genuinely amused at his embarrassment.

He puts his head in his hands. “Young man. YOUNG man…”

“It’s fine, I say.

We chat for a moment, then Mitch comes out and we leave, while I’m struggling not to double up with laughter.

I just about make it to the car before doing so.

So, from one old ‘young man’ to the rest of you youngsters, here are some quotes about birthdays and aging.

“I remember when the candle shop burned down. Everyone stood around singing ‘Happy Birthday.’ ”
‪—‬ Steven Wright

“If you live to the age of a hundred, you have it made because very few people die past the age of a hundred.”
‪—‬ George Burns

“Wisdom doesn’t necessarily come with age. Sometimes age just shows up all by itself.”
‪—‬ Tom Wilson

“You’ve heard of the three ages of man – youth, age, and “you are looking wonderful.”
‪—‬ Francis Cardinal Spellman

“You are only young once, but you can stay immature indefinitely.”
‪—‬ Ogden Nash

“What we sell is the ability for a 43-year-old accountant to dress in black leather, ride through small towns and have people be afraid of him.”
Harley exec, quoted in Results-Based Leadership

“Never too late to learn some embarrassingly basic, stupidly obvious things about oneself.”
Alain de Botton

“The years between 50 and 70 are the hardest. You are always being asked to do things, and yet you are not decrepit enough to turn them down.”
T.S. Eliot

And, finally, from John Glenn:

“For all the advances in medicine, there is still no cure for the common birthday.” ‪

Have a good Saturday, all… and thanks for reading. You’ve made an old a young man very happy.

Not really part of the series of blog entries, counting down to my fifty-fifth birthday today, but if you want to read the series, you can see the posts in the run by clicking here.

  1. Morag says:

    It’s been a good read – all fifty-five of them. Happy birthday and thanks :)

  2. I would never presume to correct any of the people you’ve quoted! :-)

    Happier birthdays to you, my friend! Apologies for the belatedness of these wishes!

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