Saturday 16 July 2011

Stats and being wary of elderly people

While horses playing ping pong are moving steadily up the charts (as are Knickers and Naturists. Ts ts) "Beware of Elderly People" is close on the heels of "In Love with a Horse" (my all-time winner).

WHY, for goodness sake? What have elderly people done to deserve this kind of treatment? My original post was about that awful sign (you know the one; two bent figures hobbling along together), but presumably someone, somewhere, is trying to Google ways of avoiding the elderly.

And we do that anyway, don't we? We herd them together into institutions, we diminish and neglect them, we marginalise them, we ignore the huge contributions they have made. We hate the idea of them having sex (which they do; I have a nearly-80-year-old friend who has the kind of sex most people can only dream about). Avoiding elderly people is what we're good at. We don't need to search Google for advice.

I've just found an entire website devoted to (mostly offensive) "jokes" about the elderly. But to end on a lighter note (and because, being on the verge of elderly myself, I need to show that we elderly people can laugh at ourselves), I did rather like this one:

Two elderly couples were enjoying friendly conversation when one of the men asked the other, "Fred, how was the memory clinic you went to last month?"

"Outstanding," Fred replied. "They taught us all the latest psychological techiniques-visulization, association-it made a huge difference for me."

"That's great! What was the name of the clinic?"

Fred went blank He thought and thought, but couldn't remember.

Then a smile broke across his face and he asked, "What do you call that flower with the long stem and thorns?"

"You mean a rose?"

"Yes, that's it!" He turned to his wife. . ."Rose, what was the name of that clinic?"

(The image above was helpfully labeled "Upbeat smiling elderly couple". So that's all right then.)


  1. I'm allowed to add this one (I think) because my husband and I use it as a standing joke about ourselves.

    A husband asks his wife if she'd like something to eat.

    'Ooh yes please,' she says. 'Could I have a scone with jam, cream and butter and a cup of tea. Are you sure you can remember all that?'

    'Of course,' replies the husband.

    The husband leaves and a while later returns with a plate of bacon, eggs and sausages and a glass of water.

    'I knew you wouldn't remember,' says the wife. 'Where's my toast?'

  2. The joke is fabulous. I love it. As you say, completely stereotypical and therefore horribly unacceptable, but dead funny all the same. (Oops! Dead! Haw haw!)

  3. I love it, Bernadette!

    Thanks, Fran!

  4. That's a clever joke - like it. I believe Richard Ingrams got quite a bit of hate mail when he adopted that sign for his "Oldie" magazine.

  5. It's scandalous the way we treat the elderly. After all, we all end up being old eventually.
    If only we would follow the example of some other countries where the elderly are looked up to and treated with love and respect.
    I do love the joke though. :0)

  6. Hi, Jenny. I didn't know that about The Oldie. Oh well...

    Hi, Gail. I guess it would be really hard to reverse the trend, sad though it is. Meanwhile, I'm working on my kids looking up to me in my old age, but we're not quite there yet..

  7. Old people are fab. I aspire to be one one day and am currently well on my way to achieving it.

  8. Obviously we do things the wrong way around. Life should as it was for Benjamin Button, so all those young people already know what it's like to be old.

    Loved Bernadette's joke!

  9. Hi, Deborah. Years ago, I was visitng a (very old - even she didn't know how old she was) woman in an old people's home in my capacity as a nurse, and she said: "when you're new, eveyrone comes to see you. When you're old, nobody does". I've never forgotten that.

  10. Last Christmas, my brother reminded me that we are now the 'old farts' that we used to try and avoid at every opportunity. What goes around, comes around.

    Sorry to have lost you. Do drop by when you're next in this part of the blogosphere.

  11. I can still hear my father-in-law bellowing , "Nell , where are my socks? ", as he stood in front of a drawer full of them .
    And now , overnight it seems , his son is standing in front of the open kitchen cupboard , "Where's the pepper?" .
    I , of course , haven't changed a bit ... cough!
    ( Brilliant joke !)

  12. Martin, oops! I shall regain you at once!

    SAS - that sounds more like a man thing (dare I say?). Not finding their socks seems to be what men do.