Message to the Young (I)

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Message to the Young (I)

Old Man Duck by Dr Anthea

If you survive your impetuous youth, to reach my age, you'll have all of the following to look forward to and more (Old age doesn't come empty handed as they say in Scotland): Indigestion, heartburn, piles and a bladder that controls you – not you, it. You'll cut and bruise easily too. Your teeth will be sensitive to both hot and cold things equally. Chewing hard stuff? Just a memory of stamina you've no longer got. Your eyes will run at the least sign of cold weather, until you drown in your tears and your nose may follow suit. Oh yes, you cocky little barstewards – no more bare arms and t-shirts in the pouring rain or falling snow flakes. As Leonard Cohen sang 'You'll be aching in the places, where you used to play.' One day the wrinkled bag between your legs, will be caught up by the rest of your body and you'll be a dried and crinkly old prune all over.

I hate the lot of you, with your smooth skin and pimply faces. Your ability to run and play in a way now lost to me forever, gets right up my nose but one day I'll have my revenge, if you don't kill yourself first. Old age is the only prejudice that can be guaranteed to catch up with you. The shoe invariably and inevitably fits on the other foot. That cannot be said about race, sex, sexual persuasion or class. We all grow old and one day you'll be laughing on the other side of your face, when the insults you sent out to us, return to haunt you, 'grandpa!'

That poor lad shot in the head at point blank range in Salford recently and that boy stabbed through the heart, crossing a bridge in London a few years back – total strangers, killed for no good reason. They could have grown up to be worth something to society, murdered by jealous scum who were no good to anyone. All you lot talk of is respect, yet you show us none and scant little to anyone else, including yourselves. When you reach my age, who'll look after you because your kids won't. Like you abusing us in care homes now, this is also something for you to look forward to.

I wish you all the corns, callouses and ingrowing toenails I have. All the bad breath and rotten teeth too. The arthritis, the rheumatism, failing eyesight and all the other general aches and pains that come from getting older. The permanently gunged up eyes, ears and nose. The dribbling at both ends (The erectile dysfunction especially, I wish you well with). The veins showing through your thinning and blotched skin – welcome to the real horror of old age! The juddering when drinking, the lack of stamina that leaves you leaning on a wall, on the way home. The deafness, the memory loss, the perpetual dry throat – the old person's smell that hits you, when you reach a certain age (Everything stinks in a different way from that point on). The shakes, the loss of balance as bodily rhythms throw you all over the place, where once you controlled them, right down to the smallest movement.

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