Mess with the old – they’ll mess with you.

I’m PC on age – three of my best friends are in their (early) 70s

There’s no going early into that good night with those three. And here’s a tale to stir the heart if you consider picturing your future self like ths, a little grim

PLSA Retirement living standards – call that living?

On Monday night I went to communion at St Bartholomew the Great. Afterwards there was a performance of St John’s Passion. You could follow the plot on a leaflet or the libretto (German and English) on your phone. I chose to follow on my phone.

There was one pew free, but for an elderly scotsman (Billy) – i was soon to find why Billy was sitting alone.  Half way through the second part, with Jesus in the hands of Caiaphas, the Scot slid over to me and started whispering obscenities in my ear about what he’d do if if I didn’t put my f***ing  phone away (they don’t bear repeating but suggested that the man was compos menti).

We got to the end and then Blly really went for me. Being up against the cellist and a viola de gamba, i had nowhere to go but to hear him out. “Sacrilege- Disrespecting the musicians – No business being in church” – all of that and a lot of f-bombs. i grimaced and bore it – penitentially.

Coming back the next day to check things out with Father Marcus, who is the vicar. Turns out , he hadn’t noticed – he’d been on his phone too.

i have no problem with my elders giving it me with both barrels, as Con, John and Andy know.

Which is why I enjoyed an evening with John Cooper Clarke last Friday.

There is a vocal faction of gainsayers to the softly softly engagement strategies put forward by the Pensions Minister and others. i suspect that Al is one of them

Well Al, having spent the Pension PlayPen coffee morning chairing a run through of such a gruesome advice/guidance proposition, I agree. Better Johnny.

Let’s put Dr Johnny Clarke in charge of this £1m ABI campaign to promote the Pension Statement Season. He could spice things up with a few of his observations (such as on ageing bikers – “tyres are knackered, knackers are tired“) or hs  recent research into the three upsides of having  Alzheimer’s.

The first is you get to meet new people every day.

The second is you get to hide your own Easter eggs.

The third is you get to meet new people every day

Rather like “Billy” who assaulted me in the church, Johnny is a necessary antidote to liberal sentimentality. So’s Al Rush (old before his time).


About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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1 Response to Mess with the old – they’ll mess with you.

  1. Tim Simpson says:

    Hello Henry,
    Mess with the old…!

    I am currently listening to the St Matthew Passion on Radio 3. I have to listen wearing headphones because I have quite bad tinnitus which makes digital sound difficult to listen to and, also makes it sound to me as though it’s being performed in the middle of a Force 10 gale. It also means that live performances of ballet/opera/theatre are out for the same reason, especially now that performances are mostly amplified. The fact that, sadly, little has been performed publically for the last 2/3 years has not spoiled things for me.

    While mobile phones are an important facility nowadays, I suggest there is still a time and a place but again, like Parliamentery standards, courtesy seems a dying culture; yes… I’m 77.

    At one time audiences were requested to turn their mobiles off at the beginning of performances. I don’t know if that happens now. I have had ballets spoiled by men (possibly dragged their by the partners) watching football on their mobiles. Youngsters, possibly bored, sitting there just scrolling or listening to music through headphones that don’t have sound cancellation. Others reading or sending emails/texts. Perhaps they see the auditorium as just an extension of their living room. The subject is seldom raised nowadays e.g. Radio 3 but the theatres presumably expect it to be tolerated because of losing customers otherwise. Then there is the photography…!

    So Billy gets my sympathy! I doubt that he would have said anything if you had been following the performance on the pamphlet. As to his gutteral comments, my Cousin’s daughter usually says in a loud whisper ‘Don’t you realise you are spoiling other people’s enjoyment?’ They offender quickly turns the mobile off.

    Kind regards,
    Tim Simpson

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