Offering 5

Time is on our side

Remember that demographic time-bomb they called the Baby Bulge? How could
we educate them all and absorb them into the workforce? Haven't heard about it
lately.

What is increasing now is the old folk population. By 2020 two thirds of us
will be over fifty. The new demographic time-bomb is us, the Zimmer-frame
Brigade,.. we candidates for Age Concern. Soon we'll be in the huge majority.
Though looking like something out of the Dream of Gerontius we'll have the
power again. Time was when the old were either ignored or neglected,.. all
granny flats and 'Does she take sugar?.' But tempura mutantur,... times are
a-changing. And boy- oh- boy are we going to have our own back.

Old age is when the things you really want to do are the sensible ones,..
despite the inconveniences. I mean, I still jump as hard as I ever did. I just
don't get so far off the ground,.. or for quite as long. And it's not always true
that sixty five forgets what twenty five was like just because our dimples
become wrinkles and our only regular hobby is attending old friends'
funerals.

There'll still be sad bits,.. the man who struggles to the top of the ladder
then finds it was leaning against the wrong wall. Some will find that the
midnight oil is all burned up by 9p.m. But think of the consolations.
There won't be enough young people for the media to pander to so
nauseatingly. The young will need all their spare money for motor insurance
which will be much higher than ours,.. we’ll see to that.

There'll be lots more wide-fitting shoes, walking canes, Damart and
nostalgia. There'll be more melody. Airplane seats will be bigger.
We'll have smaller strawberries that really taste like strawberries. The Proms
will last all year. Advertisements will ignore shape and speed and emphasise
quality and function. There'll be far more delivery services. Bay-window bellies
and hips looking like a blancmange that has sagged in a loose mould will be the in
things. And there'll be more package tours to Lourdes.

Rap music will be totally abolished. There'll be no more itsy-bitsy
teeny-weeny see-through polka-dot bikinis worn by anorectic hoydens.
No pop concerts. No fast food joints. Magazines like '19' will fold.
Cosmopolitan will be replaced by Women’s Weekly for although
Cosmopolitan tells you how to achieve orgasm Women’s Weekly tells
you how to knit one. No rude shop assistants of take-it-or-leave-it types
will be tolerated. Littering will be a capital offence but murder of a lawyer
will no longer be a crime. Media obsession with sex and violence will
be replaced by quality acting. Chatty DJs will disappear mysteriously in
the night as will all DJs what don't talk proper.

London Airport goes back to Croydon. We'll have quiet, old-fashioned
pubs with absolutely no juke boxes, fruit machines, plastic glasses or
chemical beer. Things will have larger knobs, bigger print. We'll have
talking watches. Musak will be forbidden as will lunatic small coins like
the 5p piece. Discos will have short licensing hours, 10 until 12,.. AM only.

Sex will have to change a bit. The man of sixty who says he's still doing
what he was at twenty,.. wasn't doing much at twenty. Men will kiss the
cheeks of ladies whom, twenty years ago, we kissed elsewhere and
with rather greater purpose. Unfortunately nature will still decree that
with age women converge and start to look the same, and have the same
measurements,.. 49-49-49,.. while we chaps become endlessly more distinguished.

Cliff Richard will retire,.. at last,.. and let his hair go grey. There'll be lots
more records of Sinatra, Jolson and the Righteous Brothers. We'll have the say. The
execrable Madonna and Kylie Minogue and Kardassian and Mary Berry and all rappers will be dragged screaming from the stage
by cohorts of jack-booted octogenarians and sentenced to twenty years of unbroken
silence.

The young will be in wonderfully short supply,.. so rare we'll quite treasure them,.. occasionally.

More bungalows, more lifts, shallower stairs. No MacDonalds. Back to non-metrics
and lovely things like pints and gallons and inches and yards and shillings.
Back to the crispy bacon we used to have before the war. No-one below forty
can own a car or motor-bike. No children will be allowed in public places
unless on a lead. The voting age at once goes up to thirty. Henceforth hundred-weight bags
will weigh fourteen pounds.

So don’t worry if your wild oats have changed to muesli. Hold on. Our day
is coming.

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