Curmudgeons, Grumps, Old Farts, call us what you will but we are a fact of life. A young man has an unshakable faith in his invincibility that only the ravishes of time, or perhaps self abuse, can erase. At twenty a young man is in the prime of his condition and is fast approaching the threshold of total maturity, and ultimately manhood. Some acquire that pinnacle in a rush, others with a slower and more considered approach.
Either way each of us, baring fatal accident or disease, will finally reach that point in time called middle age and from there the slide into old age is a fate non of us can escape. One would expect that, with the accumulated wisdom and experience of our years, we would mellow into a knowledgeable old guru who would sit and dispense his wisdom to any who are wise enough to listen. Not bloody likely. The onset of old age brings us reminders of the follies of our own youth in the form of arthritis, clogged arteries, unclassified pains, stiffness and a growing intolerance for the stupidities of mankind.
For some of us the bitter lessons of relationships gone wrong add further dissatisfaction to the journey of our life. Then there is the "I can still do it" syndrome which often manifests itself in middle age. For some it is black shirts worn unbuttoned over a protruding stomach and often coupled with a profusion of heavy golden jewelery worn like a yoke around the neck. Those of us unaffected by this syndrome sneer that "so and so is going through a second childhood" and laugh heartily at his childish antics. But we all suffer in one way or another from the mistaken belief that we still have what "it" takes. Significantly none of us are quite sure just what "it" is. I'm a retired pilot and for me the syndrome manifests itself in a passion for flying radio controlled model aircraft. I may not still be up there but my spirit is! - Yeah, right.
What ever the affliction it is inevitably accompanied by an increase in pain and stiffness that makes it difficult to get the body moving when we get out of bed. So by the time we creak our way to the breakfast table we have already started to build a head of steam. The toast burns or the coffee, which you forgot was there, is to damn cold. Then the morning paper is full of bad news and photos of lithe young bodies doing things with apparent effortless ease. We open the door and the cold blast of freezing morning air nearly blows us off our tottery old feet. Is it any wonder that the first person unfortunate enough to attempt a conversation gets blasted with a stream of vitriol and bad temper? Such is the life of an old curmudgeon.