Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Off the hook

“Vibrant, dynamic, gravitas, ambitious, hungry and 17 other words or phrases have been banned by one of Britain's top recruitment agencies for fear of falling foul of new anti-ageism laws” reports the Telegraph. Energetic, youthful, vibrant, quick-learner and self-starter are among the others to be blacklisted.

Thank God the pressure’s off! It’s been a decade since I could credibly apply any of those words to myself, and I’m still over twenty years from retirement. At least now I don’t have to lie so shamelessly on my job applications. That kind of sustained creativity is too much like hard work for my taste.

It’s also high time we saw the older generation doing something useful for a change, instead of sitting around whining and wearing beige. What have they done for us lately, after all? Time to stop living off that whole “Greatest Generation” thing and get back in the game.

They’re forever moaning about poverty and crime, but they bring it all upon themselves. When I see them tottering out of the Post Office on pension day fumbling with fistfuls of fivers even my fingers start to twitch. If they want a retirement free from fear, we should stop giving them so much money. And no-one can accuse Wal-Mart or B&Q of that, at least…

In the first wave to hit Omaha Beach? Then a little clean-up on aisle five will hold no terrors for you.


ply said...

Ivan, you say, "When I see them tottering out of the Post Office on pension day fumbling with fistfuls of fivers even my fingers start to twitch."

This sounds like a very typically English scene, even down to the 'fivers'.

But you live in the U.S, no?

Or does the U.S have a 'pension day' and 'fivers' as well? Do Americans pick their pensions up at the Post Office? And do American pensioners 'totter' off to their SUVs? I really don't know what to think.

gadabout said...

Is that a recent photo, Ivan? You've still got the Billy Idol hair, I see. Nice one.

PI said...

Now you're just trying to irritate me aren't you?

Ivan the Terrible said...

Hi Ply. I'm an ex-pat, as you've probably guessed, so sometimes my cultural references get a little mixed. But Pension Day in the UK truly was a sore temptation for me. And you only have to succumb once to find yourself leaving the country in a hurry, if you catch my drift.

Gadabout, I'll have you know that Billy stole his hairstyle from me, as a matter of fact. Discredit where it's due, now.

And my dear Pi - what can I say except "present company excepted, of course"?

You have to give my generation a break, tho' - by the time I'm too old to fill a cube, it's for damn sure that there'll be no such thing as state pensions or state health plans. To have been born at the very end of the boomer generation is to be condemned to spend your entire life arriving at the party just in time to be handed the mop and bucket and told to help clean up...

PI said...

I'm not unsympathetic. We have four sons in the same position. Every lifetime has its specific problems

Gorilla Bananas said...

I'd like to see more old humans in the movies. That John Gielgud was so funny as Dudley Moore's butler. It's much easier for oldies to get laughs but so few of them make the effort.

Ivan the Terrible said...

Every lifetime has its specific problems, Pi? Easy for you to say. We never got to do anything fun, like a World War. I didn't even get Vietnam. I had to make do with watching the Falklands on telly. Call that character-building? 'Cos I don't!

The nearest my age-group got to existential horror was "It's A Royal Knockout". How pants is that?
Where's my parade, man? Where's MY parade? *sob*

Sorry, GB - darling Johnny wasn't funny in "Arthur" for being old. He was funny for being foul-mouthed, which is a skill that can easily be acquired at any age. My two-year-old is coming along a treat, if only in Hungarian, which, as we've discussed, is a language singularly well-equipped for the purpose of profanity. Also, in that utter dog of a movie, anyone seemed funny next to Dudley. Poor man. Without Peter Cook he was just short - a celluloid Ronnie Corbett.

Funny how the short ones are always crap on their own. If only Hitler had had some tall bloke alongside him, he'd have us rolling in the aisles still...

R. Sherman said...

Ivan, I agree with Pat. I had to deal with Jimmy Carter, double digit student loan interest rates, and the first incarnation of Disco.

The horrors.

Anyway, thank goodness for your post. I was just about to leave for a hair transplant (with color) and a tummy tuck, when I popped in. You saved me a bunch of money. I shall remain indolent on my couch for the rest of the day.