HomeOpinion & AnalysisThe Fiddler: Tell me the old, old story

The Fiddler: Tell me the old, old story

The Fiddler
Am I a grumpy and cantankerous old man? Of course I am. If you knew what I have to put up with every day, you would readily agree that I have every reason to be bad-tempered.

When you get old you can’t count on a lot of good days; when you get even older the good days rapidly become an endangered species. But little did I know that today was going to prove to be an exceptionally horrid day.

It started in the usual manner. As on every other day when I awoke, I was astounded to find that I was still lingering half-heartedly in the world of the almost living. I then noticed that I was not in my bed but instead I was lying on the hard floor. I assumed I was there because my wife had kicked me out of bed because she is averse to my snoring. I did a quick check to determine how many of my brittle bones had been broken as a result of my wife’s inconsiderate action. I summoned my wife to appear before me, but apparently, she had gone after carrying a cursory check to see if I was still alive, hoping all the time that she had finally been freed forever from the old bugger. Such is love.

Last night was particularly taxing. I vaguely recollect my wife, for the first time in ages, suggesting that we go upstairs and engage in a little hanky panky. I retorted that I would not have the stamina both to climb the stairs and engage in senile intimacy. This comment did not go down well and the cattle prod was immediately employed to galvanise me into action but even that was inadequate to make me enter into the peculiar world of elderly sexual conjoining. “Good for nothing” were the only words she uttered as she angrily stomped up the stairs,

Some time back my wife decided that I was in dire need of instruction on geriatric sex to correct my egregious shortcomings. She referred me to an article on the Mayo Clinic website entitled, Senior sex: Tips for older men. What you can do to maintain a healthy and enjoyable sex life as you grow older. This started off optimistically by observing, “Contrary to common myths, sex isn’t just for the young”. On a less optimistic note, Mayo went on to say that as men age, testosterone levels decline. Changes in sexual function are common and men may feel some anxiety about these changes, it said. Alas, despite assiduously following Mayo’s many “tips” on the restoration of sexual functionality, my wife’s damning verdict was there had been no improvement whatsoever.

After numerous failed attempts to stand up, I staggered to the bathroom in my pajamas. I had taken precautions to protect my mirror from being shattered from the shock of witnessing my horrid unshaven senile face first thing in the morning. I had covered the mirror over with a picture of myself when I was a young debonair man. It took me a long time to discover the whereabouts of my false teeth as they had somehow found their way into the urinal. Fortunately, this was before I had used the urinal. I combed the three remaining hairs on my head. When I started to brush my teeth I wondered why the toothpaste tasted like an antiseptic lotion. My attempts at eliminating my intractable facial stubble left me with some deep lacerations.

I gathered what few of my wits remained and put on some declining clothes on my declining body. It was only then that I realised, after seeing a curt reminder note from my beloved, that I had an appointment to see my doctor that day. I was already late for this appointment. My wife’s note ended with an unveiled threat of harmful action if I missed this appointment.

I made several fruitless attempts to call for a taxi using my wallet instead of my cellphone. I decided it was best to venture out on my trusty turbo-charged Mobility Scooter, top speed 15 kph with a strong wind behind. (In my younger days I had rather fancied myself as a Grand Prix racing driver.) When I sped down the highway at quite a lick, I heard behind me a police siren. Deciding that I could not outrun the interceptor vehicle I pulled over to the side of the road. Two troglodyte officers gleefully pointed out that I had contravened just about every traffic law in the book. Indignantly, I asked them if they had nothing better to do with their time than to harass elderly gentlemen. I pointed out that I was on my way to my doctor when they rudely intercepted me. This was a life and death matter as at my age I could kick the bucket at any time. It was imperative therefore that I get to my doctor as soon as possible. In any event, I had a constitutional right not to be discriminated against on account of my age. Further, I had been threatened with dreadful reprisals by my wife if I missed the appointment. This did not seem to impress these two obstinate law enforcers. My scooter and myself were summarily impounded. I did not spend much time in the disgusting police lockup. I used my one allowable phone call to let my friend, the Minister of Geriatric Affairs, and complain about the police abuses. The police were ordered to apologise and immediately release from unlawful detention. They were also to provide me with a police escort to my doctor.

I shouldn’t have bothered to make haste while the sun shone. As usual, my learned physician was running late with the appointments —so late that it was believed that a number of patients dropped dead whilst waiting. When I looked around the surgery, I saw that there were 20 or so impatient patients who had their appointments before me. I let out a loud cry, clutched at my heart and fell to the ground rolling around as if in agony. Thus I came to have an immediate appointment with my quack. Luckily, he has a good sense of amusement that however veers in the direction of very dark humour. He applauded me for my Oscar-winning performance in the role of a person having a heart attack, pronounced that I was as fit as a very well-worn fiddle and wrote out a note for me to go and see a specialist — a local archeologist. He told me to come back to see him only if I was dead.

My visit to the doctor had confirmed my particularly tenuous grip on that thing we call life or quote John Mortimer (note the inclusion in his name of the word “Mort” which is derived from the Latin word “mortuus” meaning death – mort u and us) I was simply clinging to the wreckage. So you can easily guess my next port of call — obviously my charming local mortician. Mr D. Cease.

 Forgetting that I was not yet in the land of the unliving, he offered me a drink of embalming fluid and a full facial makeover. When I declined as I had been doing for so long, he gave me a tour of his new range of coffins that were all the rage. They included a coffin shaped like a hypersonic missile with a Z marked on the side and a picture of Boris Johnson on top, one that had spikes pinned to commemorate persons who had died after their tyres had been spiked. One other coffin called “new dawn” It was shaped like a bird of paradise. It was for a discerning customer who believed in an afterlife (as if one life was not more than enough, thank you). I placed my order for a coffin fitted with an alarm system and an escape tunnel to be used if my death had been certified prematurely. It was in the 18th Century that the word “undertaker” transitioned from a person who undertakes anything to a person who undertakes to deal with corpses. (It would have been inappropriate to call the person in that business an overtaker.) “Overtaker” is the term now used to refer to a commuter bus driver. There is also a wrestle maniac character called “The Undertaker” who supposedly rose from the dead to destroy opponents and then returned to the underworld.

I then popped into the Happy Days Community Centre. This catered for decrepit oldies seeking diversion from their wretched existence. I liked to go there occasionally to try to find someone even more miserable than myself. As usual, I could discover no such person.

I then returned home. My dear wife had been back but had left again leaving behind this note. “I cannot stand to be with such an insufferable old fool a minute longer. I have eloped with my long-time lover. You will find your supper in the waste bin.”

The thought occurred to me that my departed wife may try to drain my bank account so I quickly went on to my computer to change the password for the account. This process proved to be somewhat difficult.

Windows: Please enter your new password.

Old git: moribund.

Windows: Sorry, your password must have at least 10 letters.

Old git: very moribund.

Windows: Sorry, your password must contain a least 1 numerical character.

OId git: very damn moribund5

Windows: Sorry, your password must contain not contain any blank spaces.

Old git: verydamnmoribund5.

Windows: Sorry, your password must contain at least 1 upper case character.

Old git: veryDAMNmoribund5.

Windows: Sorry, your password cannot contain more than 1 upper case character consecutively.

Old git: veryDamnmoribund5ShovedUpYourAssIfYouDon’tGiveMeAccessToMyAccountNow!

Windows: Sorry, your password cannot contain punctuation.

Old git: ReallyPissedOffveryDamnmoribund5ShovedUpYourAssIfYouDon’tGiveMeAccessToMyAccountNow!

Windows: Sorry, that password is already in use.

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