The National Pensioners Convention has hit out against the popular portrayal of the elderly as dynamic, life-loving individuals with active sex lives, following a string of complaints from their members about being pressured into leading rich and full, action packed retirements.
According to the NPC, the number of injuries sustained going skydiving or running marathons by people old enough to know better is growing at an alarming rate. ‘We want to see out our final days in a big comfy armchair, not strapped to a parachutist,’ complained a spokesman. ‘If I want to help the aged I’ll organise a whist drive, not jump out of a bloody aeroplane!’
Mrs. Ida Chadwick, a vocal campaigner for the return of the ‘good old-fashioned doddering ageist stereotype’ concurs: ‘The media’s obsession with blue-rinse bungee jumping and wrinkly sex is not only patronising but downright intrusive. What me and my Sidney get up to in our own home is nobody’s business but our own – and Dr. Bradford’s, who looks after me downstairs plumbing.’
Former road sweeper Derek Chives, 77, is typical of the growing number of people who resent the modern preconception of the elderly as people who act as if they are still in their 20′s. ‘When I retired I was really looking forward to spending my twilight years pottering around the shed and maybe digging out my old train set, but no – the missus starts reading Cosmopolitan and the next thing you know I’m being dragged upstairs! I’m just not cut out for it any more – if I ever fancy a quick knee-trembler, five minutes alone with the Gratton’s catalogue will do me.’ ‘Stop living vicariously through us,’ concludes the NPC, ‘get your own sex lives and leave us dribble into our porridge in peace.’
(Written 24 Sep 2009)