Have you always imagined old age as a tedious place? Filled with boiled cabbage, giant knickers and bare gums? Always thought you’d be withering away in a faded floral armchair in the corner of some musty old folks’ home? Well…good for you. You can do that. When I’m old, I’ve decided, I’m not going to be like that. I’m going to be an old aged badass.
I initially was inspired never to go gentle into that goodnight at around nine years old, when I was about to cross a road on a green man (like the good, law abiding girl I was brought up to be) and I saw a bent, wrinkled, sweet old man crossing on the other side. As he put one food in the road, a bicycle started through the red light. Did the old man totter and fall? Flail backwards, shocked and shaken? NO! He lifted his walking stick defiantly and shoved it right through the spokes of the green-code breaking cyclists’ front wheel, sending him flying over his handlebars. I’d just witnessed my first everyday vigilante. And he was OLD!
There have been a long line of strong, funny and young-at-heart old people through the years, and I am here to celebrate them now. They never let age stand in their way, they did what they had to do, false teeth, knee replacements and bifocals never slowing them down.
Look at this darling old gent…
His name’s JL Hunter Rountree. Look at him! “OH BLESS” I bet you’re thinking. Well don’t! He doesn’t need you fawning over him! He’s the world’s oldest bank robber! Robbed banks to ‘get back at them’ for making him broke. Don’t want to push in front of him in the bus queue.
You don’t expect old people to have tattoos. Mostly they tut at even the most impressively detailed sleeve. But not Isobel Varley, oh no! She’s recognised as the most tattooed senior by the Guinness World Records. Hells yeah.
Free diving is known to be highly dangerous and is often fatal. Reserved for young thrill seekers, modern travellers and the foolhardy? Wrong. There’s a group of elderly Japanese women who free dive for shellfish and abalone. The oldest is 83 and as agile as a teenager, diving for hours and hours a day. Wrinkly and cackling merrily on land, graceful and serene in the sea.
Check out this cheeky chappy! Isn’t he sweet! He’d be the perfect granddad, ruffling your hair and giving you Foxes Glacier Fruits out of his ancient pockets. Easy target right? WROOOONG! Someone tried to mug him with a knife, but little did they know; he’s an ex-pro boxer. A good smack in the face from the 84-year-old knocked him for six. I bet they won’t be doing that again anytime soon!
Parkour! Throwing yourself around urban structures! Scaling walls! Jumping roof to roof! Brings to mind stupid teenage boys in baggy beanies. But there are now parkour groups popping up all over the place aimed solely at the over-60s. So don’t be shocked when you see an old lady hanging upside down outside your window when you’re having your morning tea.
And to wind up….this one doesn’t really need a backstory or caption. It pretty much speaks for itself.
So when I’m old, don’t expect to find me in a care home. I’ll be raving it up with the young-uns. Jetting off around the world. Get myself a toy boy. Whatever the hell I want, because what’s age but a number?