By Tony Deyal
It is said that age is a question of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter. If you mind, you mutter like the comedian George Burns who said: “Sex at age 90 is like trying to shoot pool with a rope.” Like him, I look to the future because that is where I’m already spending the rest of my life. While we know from schooldays that everything which goes up must come down, what we find out and experience later are the real ups and downs. For all of us, there comes a time when not everything that’s down can come up. That is when you end up down in the dumps.
Worse is when you find out that there are men of your age and older who are still full to capacity. A young woman who had what she thought was a casual relationship with an older man went to her doctor for a physical, only to discover that she was pregnant. She called him on the phone and as soon as he picked it up she blasted him, “You old goat, how could you let this happen? You are a stupid, irresponsible man who should know better. You went and got me pregnant! What do you have to say for yourself?” For a moment there was nothing but dead silence on the phone. The woman got even more hostile and shouted, “Did you hear me?” And then the man replied very, very quietly, “Who is this?”
Even more incredible was Nanu Ram Jogi from India who, at 90, was hailed as the world’s oldest father because he had just produced his twenty-first child! He was like another 90-year-old who announced to his doctor that he needed a quick checkup because he had the hots for a 19-year-old stripper and she insisted on marriage and not just a “one-and-done”. His doctor was aghast and begged him to reconsider. “At your age,” the doctor explained, “prolonged sex with a girl that young could be fatal.” The old man shrugged and replied, “So if she dies, she dies.”
By this time all of you, my faithful readers, are wondering where the heck I’m going with this. I know many of you don’t care where, so long as the punchlines are rolling. The fact is that last week I felt sorry for all my Caribbean and even my British, US and Canadian fan club members because times were rough, tough and getting worse. I had already put together the ideas for a column about a Trinidad duck which damaged the front of a police car. The constable driving the vehicle is supposed to have been so frightened that he experienced a “sitting” duck with an “H”.
The next day there was an editorial in the Trinidad Express Newspaper “Sitting ducks.” All I can say is the “H” was again silent. This is why I figured I would do like Keats, the poet, and help you escape the weariness, the fever and the fret where men sit and hear each other groan.
What makes it even tougher is that older women have it much better than men of my age or older. An eighty-year-old couple decided to spend their summer holidays apart for the first time in their married life- the wife went to Barbados and the husband went to Tobago.
A few days after arriving in Barbados the wife got a terse e-mail from her husband that read, “Darling, Arrived safely in sunny Tobago. I met a 20-year-old young lady and am having a wonderful time. Love, Bob.” The woman replied to her husband with this e-mail, “Darling, I met this 20-year-old lifeguard and am having a wonderful time as well. Love, Susan.” Then she added, “P.S. Remember that twenty can go into eighty more times than eighty can go into twenty.” As some of my Trini and my other Caribbean friends would say, “Maths for days!”
If you think old men have it less hard than old women, there is a story about an elderly couple who were in bed in a downstairs room while their newly married son and daughter-in-law occupied the guest bedroom upstairs. The man was awakened by his wife, who whispered, “George, listen.” They could hear the bed upstairs creaking rhythmically. “Come on,” she urged. So he obliged and went back to sleep. He had just fallen back to sleep when his wife woke him up again, made him listen to the music of the bedsprings, and urged him to greater heights.
He wearily and grumblingly obliged. He was sound asleep when his wife woke him for the third time. “George listen,” she said. He leapt to his feet, grabbed a broom from the closet, and started to beat on the ceiling like a madman, shouting and complaining, “Cut it out! Cut it out! You’re killing your father.”
Of course, women don’t ever leave men with the last word. Talking back is man-datory. One old woman was asked by her doctor about her night vision, “When you want to make love, do you have a tough time finding your husband in the dark?” “No,” she responded truthfully, “it isn’t hard.” And it’s not just the women. An older man, accused of trying to force himself on a young woman, was arrested and taken before a magistrate. The case was dismissed because the evidence did not stand up in court.
Occasionally, the table turns but not necessarily in the right direction. Two travelling salesmen, Joe and Bob, ran into bad weather and had to seek shelter in a very well-kept farm owned by a widowed older woman. A few months later Joe called his buddy Bob and asked: “Remember that night when we were stuck in the storm and this widowed lady let us stay in her farmhouse?” Bob said that he remembered. Joe then asked his friend, “Did you sneak into her room in the middle of the night and make love to her?” Bob admitted that he did. Joe persisted: “Now, tell me the truth, did you give her my name instead of yours?” Bob sheepishly conceded that he did. Then Joe laughed gleefully, “Well thank you good buddy. I just got a letter from the lady’s lawyer. She died and left me her farm and ten million dollars.”
The one that most of my male colleagues like is the story of a very aggressive older woman, drinking with her friends at a beach bar and half-jokingly asking the handsome and muscular young waiter. “So tell me cutie, where have you been all my life?” “Actually, ma’am,” he replied: “For the first 50 years of it, I wasn’t even around.” Yet, this is still better than the old man who boasted that he was different, he and his wife made love almost every night-almost Monday, almost Tuesday…
*Tony Deyal, with his eyesight fading, was sure that a man is as old as the woman he feels he feels.