It is Obvious

Chris Rick has got altogether too much to say

When I’m 64

Posted by chrisrick13 on April 19, 2011

It is obvious: I am very old

These last two weekends I have spent the time in the garden.  I am not a gardener.  I took out a tree stump, slaughtered a jungle, and dug a 30′ trench ready for a wall.  (Had a long battle with a robin over who owned the worms.)  I put my heart rate monitor on and burnt over 8,000 calories without paying a penny to the gym.  While I was in the front garden I could see all my neighbours in their gardens tending their billiard tables while I dealt with something like the battle of the Somme…the best it has been in many a year.

I wondered at what was going on and suddenly hit it.  All of my neighbours are retired or long shot of their children, whereas I have only recently got rid of mine.  They have time.  They do not have to shop for 3 extra gawping mouths.  They are no longer running a taxi service late into the night.  There are no ‘family days out’.  There is no need to be all over the country watching sports events.  The house never needs tidying and the top is always on the toothpaste.  The washing machine does not run twice a day and need emptying and then everything drying and ironing.  They have time and so do I.

There is a pattern.  It might take a little while but I soon will own a billiard table.  Keeping it like that will be trivial.  I don’t decorate my house much but when I do now, it will stay decorated.  I put things in places and when I go back they are still there.  My life has changed.

But I’ve become dangerous.  I walked down an alley last week where there were brambles and other stuff growing into it that had been catching me for months and making me wet over the winter.  I took secateurs with me and fixed the problem.  The owner was not happy, came out and threatened me with his cutters.  He threatened to come and prune my plants…I rather took the wind out of his sails when I gave him my address and asked if I could book him for next week.  He threatened me with ringing up the police but I said I had a better idea – I’d ring them.  That is only the surface though.

I don’t have a mortgage in common with a lot of people my age.  My food bills are less than a quarter of what they were.  I don’t have life insurance.  There is only one car out the front of my house and not four.  I’m still making pension payments even if I’m not sure why.  I am still part owner of a shoe mountain, the handbag foothills, the strategic perfume lake, and the jewellery mine.  However the t-shirt and jean savannah has gone and no longer needs upkeep.  When I go and buy a £1 ice-cream that is what it costs me – not £5 as it has for the last 20 years.  My phone bill is now miniscule.  I foolishly married a significant money earner and then took her out the job market for 20+ years…but she’s back now.

In short I am not as rich as I want to be…but I’m rich enough because I don’t spend anything.  I still need to work…I’d like a Ferrari and a serious drugs habit.  I’ve had time to go through my expenditure.  Time to wander the internet comparing tariffs for phones, broadband, tv, car insurance, electricity, gas, house insurance and a whole load of other stuff that in earlier times I just paid for.

I could get by without working again ever…but I want to do a little more than get by.  So I am still working…just.  I’m taking up a job that some 24 year-old ought really to have.  Indeed I want him to have it because it is his taxes and NICs that are going to pay for my pension and healthcare.  He’s also going to be driven by his genes to find a mate, procreate and buy my house off me for far more than its worth so that I can actually stop working at some point.

It is worse than that at work though.  Usually I’m quite useful.  I’m ahead of most people under 30: I can start a sentence with a capital letter and end it with a full stop, I know things like my 9-times table, I can spell more words correctly than incorrectly.  I can ask stupid questions because I don’t care what anyone thinks of me.  If asked my opinion I give it and not some politically correct version.  When I’m asked how long something will take I answer with an estimate and don’t echo back the answer that is wanted.  If I’m out of work for a month or sixty my finances will not collapse.  So in all my dealings I am consistently dealing in the truth.  I don’t know how to build software correctly every time but I have tried out a lot of the wrong ways so I know a lot of what not to do.  In short the managers around me grind their teeth and try to find ways to get rid of me, but only if that improves things.  So far so good.  There is a downside to this.  I’m not hungry anymore.  It is the famous story of bacon and eggs for breakfast: the hen is involved, the pig is committed.  The trouble is that we oldies are going to be around a lot longer.

I wonder how long it will be before there is compulsory retirement at 60 but pensions won’t start until 70.  Increasing the retirement age is not forcing people to work longer, it is forcing people to wait longer for their pension and then to take it for a shorter time.

It is obvious: I am very old and I’ll have my revenge by living forever.

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