Thursday, May 01, 2008

Zimmers and Zingers

There's been recent chatter in these parts about old people having babies, such as when is an 'older father' considered to be too selfishly old? When he can't remember the name of his kid or be physically able to pick them up?

On the other side of the age divide, one of my lovely neighbours is still grieving for her nineteen year old daughter who died suddenly and explicably from pnuemonia in Alice Springs.

Another friend spends three hours a day looking after her elderly mother-in-law who is now in a supported care facility due to suffering from Alzheimers. Jane considers that in reality it is the carers and family members of the Alzheimers sufferers who are the real victims because some things that are said can still be unspeakably cruel. She was told by the mother-in-law just yesterday that, "You know, I really thought my son would have done far better than you," whilst Jane was actually helping her get dressed before feeding her breakfast.

The only way I could cheer her up was to tell her a story that my Mum told me a few years back. Mum is a beautiful singer, and has participated in many a musical, church choir and singing group in her time. These days, in her Probus-Pub Lunching-Power Walking-CWA Victor Harbor Groovy Grannie days she's in a local singing group that regularly visits the retirement villages in the area.

At Christmas time, they were in the middle of a particularly tuneful version of 'O Come All Ye Faithful' when a white and whiskered female resident, sitting in the front row, grabbed her zimmer frame and loudly said, "F**k this S**t, I'm getting outta here before I bloody cark it from hearing any more f**ken' Christmas carols." What made her outburst even more dramatic was her exit - it took her a good five minutes to make her way across the stage and through the saloon doors to her room, cursing all the way.

Mum's eyes still crease with laughter when she recalls the event and we've both surmised that some of these dear little old grannies have had to spend their entire lives doing the right thing by their husbands, children, church groups, community and society that some spring must ping out of their brains and let loose the obscenities they'd never have dreamed of using in their younger days.

Not including the miseries of Alzheimers, I hope I get to be one of those crabby old ladies who lets rip with a few Eff words and gets automatically pardoned due to her advancing age. "Don't mind Kath, she's harmless."

Wouldn't it be nice to see a middle-class, white boy from the eastern suburbs with his jeans around his ankles and boxers on show and just say, "Pull yer f**king pants up, you useless drop-kick."

If you live to be one hundred and have to endure some bored cadet reporter shoving a camera in your face and patronisingly (and loudly) asking you how it feels, wouldn't you just love to be able to respond with something like, "How the f**k do you think I feel, foetus! Bloody ancient, so get the hell out of my way and stop wasting what precious time I have left!"

Why not end the wait in queues by simply croaking out, "You better bloody serve me now before my filled-up Depend undergarment soaks through to the floor." That'd clear the way forward to the front quick smart. Alternatively, try acting out the building site fantasies in reverse. "Whoo whee sonny boy, there'd be some lessons I could show you now that your eighteen year old girlie there won't find out for three more decades to come," or, "I'd give you a ride on my zimmer frame any day."

And no wearing homy ped shoes with painfully swelled up cankles, or skirts that cut into the waist or unflattering cardigans (~~
shudder~~) either. I want to wear fleecy track suits, slip on joggers and anything made of stretch lycra or elastic. Comfort all the way, baby. In fact it's not much different to what I wear now, and I'd like to think that I'm only half - no, a third - of the way through my life line.

We visited an old cemetery on Hindmarsh Island a couple of weekends ago because some of my great grandmother's family were buried there. The stone pictured on the left was there (but not one of my rellos) and the final line amused me: "Died Trusting In Jesus."

I doubt that very much. At only 42 years old, he might have uttered the word 'Jesus' in an agonised list of curse words but certainly not in blind trust. He would no sooner have willingly walked towards the bearded and robed one with trust in his heart and a spring in his step than I would have refused a handful of Haigh's during the Biggest Loser finale.

And why should we?


River said...

I plan on outliving my grandma who died aged 96, don't know that I'd be cantankerous though, I'm pretty patient about most things. I'm definitely not having a walking frame, I'm going to zip around on one of those gopher thingys. Maybe with a nice loud klaxon horn on it to get people out of my way.

Naomi said...

Re passing on the Haighs in the Biggest Loser finale, just spare a thought for all those women that passed on the dessert trolley on board the Titanic!!!

tomshideaway said...

Oh Kath you do see comedy everywhere..I for one am with you on the need to just let loose on those nitwits in their baggie assed pants...I once saw a Gravestone in Salem, Massachesetts that said .."Killed when wall fell on him.."

Where was Jesus then??

Jan said...

I've always wanted to be rich or old enough to be weirdly eccentric. I'm afraid it will never be the former, so I guess I'll have to settle on the latter.

Baino said...

Gawd I hate going into Castle Towers on pension day . . too many of those bloody motorised tricycles bashing through David Jones with their little orange warning flags! I'm getting myself a souped up motorised wheelchair so I can whizz around like a dalek! Exterminate . . exterminate!

Steph said...

I want to see an epitaph that says "Thanks for nothing, you limey gits."

When my grandpa died, my grandmother had these beautiful little cards made up with a sort of "remember me" speech on them, and I can't think of a more uncharacteristic thing to be alleged to my grandfather.

"When I'm gone, don't grieve for me. Know that I loved you and am watching over you. Etc, etc."

More appropriate would be one that said, "You better not f*cking touch my sh*t you greedy sons of b*tches."