Day 8 – Chastleton
A scorcher of a day for mid-September. A great walk with four loyal supporters so we were just about legal! Our walk muscles are hardening as day by day we squeeze out some of last year’s evil living.
The validity of Benyon’s rule of pain is proving itself yet again: that is, if you ignore muscle pain and simply walk through it, the pain quickly subsides, and after a short time you forget it.
Who Wants to Live Forever?!
I read recently, during the COVID era, of an aged man seeking permission by letter from a care home manageress to visit his wife, ending the missive with a P.S.:
“I used to be a spitfire pilot!”
It was Penny Hastings – Max Hastings’ wife – who said memorably: “none of us is going to get out of this alive”. This needs remembering. We are becoming so sentimental and unrealistic, perhaps we are coming to believe that if we throw even more money at our NHS, a doctor will soon cry: “Eureka! we have cracked it: we are all going to live forever.”
Speaking entirely for myself, I have no wish to do that.
So what do I want?
I want to see old age, yes – in fact, I am probably there already, but I am good at kidding myself that it’s at least 2 years down the road from where I am today!
But not extreme old age. Of course, there are always outliers (H.M. The Queen). Still, as a generality, it sounds a pretty miserable end-game for most of us.
No one dares mention this in our marshmallow age, but it’s sad that Flu, once rightly called: “The Old Man’s Friend” has largely been cured.
I hope my children will want to see me, not feeling they have to from a sense of duty.
I want my grandchildren to remember me as a sparky and intelligent and fun-loving sort of person: not, bald, demented, babbling incoherently, sitting on a rubber mat and being fed through a straw.
It was Kingsley Amis who wrote: “No pleasure is worth giving up for the sake of two more years in a geriatric home in Weston-super-Mare.”
So in a few years time, I may just take up point-to-point racing, or try to climb Mount Everest…oh! and what about sky jumping to add to my bucket list.
Sparks Will Fly
As readers will know, I only discuss money, sex, politics religion and death in my commentaries, but not all are given equal coverage. A reader recently complained that it’s getting a bit unbalanced – “a tad thin”, as he put it – on the sex front. So ever willing, allow me to put this right…
You’ll remember that a couple of walks back, the pulses of intrepid ZANE supporters were set racing by my introducing them to the dating apps Tindr (for heterosexuals) and Grindr (for the LGBT community). Both offer “sex made easy”: all a customer has to do is flick through photos on the relevant app, choose his or her fancy, and then take a peek at the actual person in the flesh in a nearby pub. If sufficient mutual lust is generated, then off the couple charge to commit the capital act: boom! Just like that. No romance, no letters or flowers, no hand-holding. For goodness’ sake, not even a box of Smarties changes hands!
If you prefer your sex delivered in the same way you order a hamburger, then this is the system for you.
HOT Off the Press
So what’s the next hot thing to boost a jaded marriage? You can rely on ZANE to do the research!
Is the wife spending too much time deadheading the roses? Is your hubbie addicted to scraping barnacles off the bottom of his boat? Yes? What can you do to recapture the sparks of the past?
Buy some electronic underwear, that’s what. For 25 bucks, ZANE donors can buy a pair of boxer shorts or knickers – both if you’re bisexual – and pop them on when the mood takes you. Both come in garish hot pink.
Now this is the clever bit. Each pair contains a microchip that slots into a small pocket at the back.
So the scene is set. You’re up for it. Now there is your loved one, say, sloping out the loo. To attract her attention, just creep within five metres. An alert automatically appears on her smartphone inviting her to enter “love mode”. Then follows a playlist of romantic music. We are told she is bound to hurl away the Harpic brush and swoon at once into your arms.
Apparently, 1,000 pairs of these amazing pants sell in a month. And sorry about this – for the resolute, only – second-hand pairs are available on Ebay.
The inventor, Wolfgang Kamphartold – yes, he was bound to be German – claims, “Whether at dinner or in the bedroom… this is the best way to start conversations.”
Well that’s for sure: much more interesting than the Times crossword! ZANE supporters, how will your marriage survive without these pants?
Remember! You heard about them from me first.