Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Six Tens are Sixty

At some point in the small hours of Monday, I passed from being the oldest version of Middle-Aged Me to becoming the youngest version of Old Me, like a ship at night crossing the Equator; as I snored, I embarked on my seventh decade.  Although I confess I didn't feel much difference on waking up.

Saying it out loud, though, does the trick.  "I am sixty years old..."  Suddenly, the "old" in that formula has more weight than it did previously.  Damned if I'm going to start saying "sixty years young", though, and the next person to say "Never mind, sixty is the new forty!" will feel my wrath.

So, I am going to permit myself a little self-indulgence, and put up a little gallery that clearly demonstrates that I really haven't changed a bit, and that the passage of time is a conspiratorial illusion of Late Capitalism.


Ten...


 Eighteen...


 Twenty-five...



 Thirty-five...



 Forty-five...



 Sixty...

See?  The hair may be whiter, but the song remains the same.  Well, sort of.

My thanks to those who sent tributes of varying degrees of costliness and irony.  To those who forgot (and you know who you are), my grudging forgiveness.  My long-suffering staff presented me with a beer glass and a crate of bottles of beer of various denominations (Flack's Double, Hampshire Rose, Old Dick, Crop Circle, Palmer's 200, Piddle Premium, and Pressed Rat and Warthog -- I honestly haven't invented any of those names*).  I suspect they have mistaken the cause of my girth.  Which is, of course, the Celtic Curse: you will start your adult life as a slight, elf-like thing, and slowly thicken into something that would come in handy to keep a barn door open in a strong wind (cf. Van Morrison, John Martyn, et al.).  Waist 28 to 38 in 40 years...

Forever young... Inside my head, it will always be 1974.


* Call for the Zythophile!

21 comments:

Martin Hodges said...

Argh! I had May stuck in my mind. Now I've remembered that tunnels Tom, Dick and Harry have been constructed for that other significant 'moment'. Belated birthday wishes, Mike. I am, of course, a younger man than you...until November, that is.

By the way, Piddle Premium? Whatever next, Prostate Peculiar?

Mike C. said...

No worries, Martin, I'm looking much closer to home, on the forgetting front!

"Prostate Peculiar"! Love it...

Mike

Zouk Delors said...

60 is the new 59!
Happy Birthday, Mike.

PS Who knew you hunted stag at 10?!

Mike C. said...

Zouk,

Thanks!

Well, in the mountains north of Stevenage, wild beasts of all kinds roam free, and a boy needs something to do in the summer holidays.

Mike

Rob Fuke said...

Many happy returns Mike. The end of the beginning isn't so bad, although I've just got back from my doc re prostate, nothing too serious it seems. The only problem is that I thought 60 might make me feel wiser; so far idiocy still prevails. Maybe 70.

Mike C. said...

Thanks, Rob -- stick with idiocy, it'll see you through.

Mike

Struan said...

Happy Birthday Mike. You don't look a day over 59 1/4.

Dave Leeke said...

Many happy returns, Mike. I turned a mere 58 on Sunday but I must confess, unlike you, I certainly didn't look younger in my thirties than in my teens or twenties!

Enjoy the beer. Cheers.

Dave

Mike C. said...

Thanks, Struan, I don't feel it, either. I can recommend the health-giving properties of Lindt Excellence 70% Cocoa dark chocolate.

Mike

Mike C. said...

Thanks, Dave, and back atcha, fellow Aquarium.

Re. 30s -- well, I had shaved that morning... Again, I refer you to the properties of Lindt 70% Cocoa.

Mike

David Brookes said...

Many happy returns, Mike. All you need to do now is retire, to enable you to enjoy your decade. I was pleased to read that increasing girth is a Celtic thing - I can now blame my Scottish genes for what I thought was simply the result of self-indulgence.

Mike C. said...

Thanks, David. Of course, the other Celtic Curse is a fondness for unsuitable foods and strong drink, but what connection with the other Curse could there possibly be?

Mike

Bronislaus Janulis / Framewright said...

Mike, happy birthday old dude! Personally, I sort of gave up birthdays at 49, though family and friends continue to tick them off for me. The nasty little teenage types infesting the house relish in disputing my self-professed age; even the 38 yr. old makes exaggerated facial expressions at my age pronouncements. Humph!

As to the girth issue, if you have good tools, you should put a roof over them.

Mike C. said...

Thanks, Bron! I may have a badge made with your last sentence on it.

Mike

Andrew Sharp said...

1 x 60
2 x 30
4 x 15
5 x 12
6 x 10

Put things in piles of 60 and any group with fewer than 7 members can easily share it out.

It's also 74 in base 8 (which is what I think it should be on The Simpsons), 114 in base 7, 140 in base 6, 220 in base 5, 330 in base 4, 2020 in base 3 and 111100 in base 2.

That will have to count as a late present.

Andy

Mike C. said...

Thanks, Andy, you sentimental fool, I'll treasure it!

Mike

Kent Wiley said...

H.B. Mike! No changes that I can see. Well, maybe a bit since 10. Naturally I wouldn't do it either, but we could probably appear to shave ten years by removing the whiskers. I know: too much trouble.

Mike C. said...

Thanks, Kent -- I am sometimes tempted to see what the years have wrought beneath the beard (I last shaved in 1997) but ... What would be the point? There are already more than enough devilishly handsome guys in the world, after all. Why add to their number?

Mike

Martyn Cornell said...

Good selection of beers. Pressed Rat and Warthog, for younger readers, is the title of about the worst track on Cream's Wheels of Fire double LP, featuring some particularly tedious lyrics by Ginger Baker. Never understood why anybody would want to name a beer after it.

Age, as I think I've said here before, often seems like a telescope: when I'm looking at young people, I'm looking at them from the end of the telescope that makes them appear much closer, so I never feel more than about five to eight years older than them: when I'm looking at people older than me, I feel I'm now looking through the other end of the telescope, so they seem much further away - somebody aged 70, although lonly nine years older than I am, still feels ancient to me.

Mike C. said...

Martyn,

Thanks, must try a couple this evening. The naming of these "new" beers is very odd -- there's a definite tendency towards the grotesque, as if drinking expensive beers turned you into a violent axe-wielding troll... (No, that would be cider). Maybe they see the market as ageing Heavy Metal fans?

Mike

Martyn Cornell said...

I'm not sure about "ageing" - Trooper, the collaborative beer between Iron Maiden and Robinson's brewery in Stockport, sold two million pints in its first five months last year http://www.ironmaidenbeer.com/news/millionexport/#