Preventing age and ageing? Better not, sez I!

Colliemum, Going Postal
NOT Colliemum
Photo by Johnny Cohen on Unsplash

I’m old. I should therefore welcome all news about the latest wonder drugs which are claimed to stop ageing or even reverse it. Allegedly. Well – they would if you’re a mouse. If you don’t like drugs, then heavy-duty work-outs, running and fasting ‘prevent ageing’. Or so the papers say. On top of which you should consider having a proper, full-industrial-strength face-lift which will work far better when you’re in your 40s. And I’ve not even mentioned all the lotions and potions on sale everywhere.

Being a contrarian with a congenital hatred of ‘doing sports’ on command, I started to wonder why we keep being told that ‘turning back the clock’ rather than just trying to ‘look young’ is now being promoted as the ultimate life goal for all over 50s.

Firstly, it’s obviously an opportunity for those inveterate runners and sportists to posture and preach: they’ve been doing it all their lives, they say, and willya just look at them: how slim, fit and young they are! So just run, go to the gym every day, and fast. “Do as I tell you, you fat slob”. This will save the NHS because those people never become ill …

The funny thing is: if sports is so brilliant at keeping people young, our top athletes ought to be paraded before our eyes as prime examples for youthfulness … but are they? I’ve searched my memory and can find no example … perhaps I need memory-enhancing drugs?

If you’d rather keep sitting on the sofa, you can take all those wonderful drugs which work in mice and which are not yet available on the market – perhaps in five years … or perhaps not, if ever. Side-effects? Wonder drugs never have side effects … until they do, and then it’s your fault for having taken them.

While you wait for those drugs, you get older. Something inevitably goes wrong with your body (“wear and tear, dearie”, sez the GP, “at your age, what do you expect?”) and you’re put on official drugs which won’t stop ageing but may make you ill (for which you are given more drugs) and make you feel older than you really are.

Next, let’s assume for a minute that you’re a) reasonably healthy, b) have time on your hands or and c) believe everything you read in the MSM. So you go on the internet or the Dark Web to find those drugs while also renewing your gym membership. You stop eating everything you like while you also stop drinking all those wines and spirits. Not even a healthy dose of daily Hooky is allowed.

This is what happens next: having spent your day working out (disregard those aching bones and muscles: it’ll all get better and meanwhile enjoy the endorphins!) while drugging yourself up to the eyebrows with ‘youth drugs’ (where’s the money coming from to pay for that?) you fall into bed at a disgustingly early time (your kids would rebel were you to make them go to bed at that time!) and you’ve had no time for doing anything you used to enjoy. You might be able to follow the news and shitpost on your mobile while on the run or on the treadmill, but that’s it. No long evenings, no netflix, and above all no books. Welcome to the way Generation Smartphone lives their life!

So now you live to be 100 and are fully fit to keep working. Rest assured, Labour will find work for you. You won’t need your pension – the Treasury likes it, that money is needed to pay others who don’t work. You also don’t need your house and most of your possessions – you don’t have time to use them, never mind enjoy them. Labour will be happy to help you let others enjoy them instead. Since you can now run to work, you don’t need your car. Greta will be happy about that. And since you’ve stopped eating for enjoyment, you won’t mind that such old-fashioned shops like butchers, bakers and greengrocers vanish from your local high street. There will be more shops selling youth drugs, potions and lotions, and more gyms. What’s not to like ..!

And then this happens: you get dementia or Alzheimers. You won’t notice because you’ve not used your brains in decades except for counting calories and staring at your smartphone screen. You’ve not been talking to others except through WhatsApp, so no great loss there. And since you’ve never remembered anything from further back than last Tuesday, you won’t notice that you’ve lost your memory.

But!!!! Your body is in perfect shape and you’ll now live as vegetable for another 20 years in a care home. Care home owners will bless you … Your family? Do you even have one? Aren’t they all doing what you’ve been doing? They won’t notice that you’re gone.

But wait: you’re blocking a bed! You’re now costing the state money – for longer than ordinary oldies used to. That’s definitely anti-social, so for you it’s the Liverpool pathway, accelerated. It’s only humane – you wouldn’t want to linger in your perfect body, would you!

Since death comes to us all, as a contrarian I say: the pox on all youth preachers, youth drug sellers, youth lotion-and-potion sellers, youth gym- and fitness gurus and youth diet gurus. Preach your stuff by all means but do not, ever, expect me to do as you tell me!

I want to go to hell in my own handcart, made up of nice food, of slobbing when I feel like it (not that the Princess would let me!), of binge-watching what I like when I like, and above all of reading books, from ‘The Unseen Path’ to biographies of the 1st Duke of Wellington, from Jane Austen to the latest Fantasy blockbuster. Throw any history books into the mix as well (sorry, no maffs …!). And between you and me, I prefer to sit on my sofa and exchange bantz and stuff with the likes of you who’ve (wo)manfully read this to the end, rather than drag my sorry carcass round the park, checking my smartphone to see what the latest inane politician has inanely said while following the latest ‘influencer’ to learn about the latest jogging shoes I need and the latest potions to smear on my face.

Three cheers to ageing properly, joyfully and ungracefully and giving the finger to all who want to make me do otherwise!

© Colliemum 2019

The Goodnight Vienna Audio file