Yesterday I hit a milestone. It felt like a millstone but apparently it was a milestone. A half century. 49 years and 12 months old. five decades. Anything but that fi… no I cannot even force myself to see that number in print. I am no longer young. I am no longer youthful. I am in fact getting to the point where middle-aged is something I look back on.
How do I feel? well like many people I feel the same as the day before. I ache when I get out of bed, my knees crack and snap like old twigs and I start far too many conversations with the phrase “When I was their age..”. Getting old is something no-one can do about, even our best scientists are only able to theorise about time travel and until theory becomes practice I will have to accept that the chap with the scythe is starting to contemplate paying me a visit.
I can see the bright side to getting old. I read the papers and can remember the stories that start with “Thirty years ago today the ZX Spectrum was launched!”. Things that become collectible I now own and are in the attic. Of course, how valuable 8 tracks and betamax video recorders are is anybody`s guess.
I still say the dreadful thing that us oldies say, “The music was better in our day!” I still listen to the music I listened to when I was a spotty long-haired youth, Motorhead, AC/DC, Black Sabbath and The Scorpions. In the last three years I have seen all these bands performing on stage and can be found recanting to a rapidly diminishing crowd “Well yes but you really should have seen them in the “ace up your sleeve” tour of 1980″. At this point it will be pointed out that non of the people I am talking to were born then. Wife tends to lead me away as I start to sob at this point.
Of course the main consolation to arthritis, failing eyes, memory loss and….well I forget the other stuff, is that I am actually financially slightly solvent. I get Wife`s money from a cash machine and seldom check the balance. The mortgage is a mere slap on the bottom compared to the knee in the groin that it once was. We have actually traded in the last few cars as opposed to normally having them towed to a scrap yard. Going out for a meal is a pleasant experience now that we no longer have to sweat just in case service charge is added to the bill.
I suppose the main thing is that I am comfortable with my age. I am a happy chappy, provided I can grumble when I feel like it, and can hobble to the pub without too much whinging.When a pretty young lady smiles, approaches me and offers me her seat I think I will be rapidly looking over my shoulder for a sign of the Grim Reaper!
One of my favourite bands is AC/DC. A few years ago they announced that they would be doing a world tour and my heart gave a flutter. I want to see them. I want to see them a lot and I will buy tickets. The only problem with a band like AC/DC is that a lot of people want to see them. And I mean a lot! Now that we have the internet there is no need to take a tent and sleep on the pavement outside the ticket office. It is all such a much more civilised affair now. You need to set up an account and at the alloted time press the “buy” button and before you know it you are singing along to “Thunderstruck.” That is the theory. In practice the start time for selling tickets is mid-morning when non-office workers are getting their hands dirty rather than getting RSI and the closest we can get to the internet is passing by a telephone line. I was very fortunate and had a nice and handsome and helpful and attractive and kind boss who let me slope off to the office to borrow a computer. I logged on to my account with the ticket seller and at the appointed time hit “buy.” The trouble was I worked on an estate in the middle of nowhere so my electrons took longer than normal to get to the office. I got tickets, really good tickets, but had fifteen minutes to enter my details. The egg-timer turned over and over and the modem (I believe that is what it is, to me it is a box with lights that flicker and that is as much as I know or care ) flashed and made noises. Too late! Timed out! “Please start again.” I pressed the “buy” button to be told that there was no tickets left and I had wasted all my bosses good humour for nothing. I crept away and sent Wife a text message explaining my total failure to provide her with an evening’s entertainment.
I decided that evening to see if I could buy tickets on ebay. My jaw dropped when I saw how many tickets were up for grabs! Not just the odd ticket but hundreds of them. The only niggle was the price had now risen by four or five hundred per cent! I looked on an internet forum where I discovered that these people had hooked multiple computers up to the web-site and bought as many as they could so they could sell them on at a profit. They even claimed that they were doing me a favour as now I could buy a ticket from them and go to a concert that was sold out because they had bought tickets to sell on!
I refused to buy tickets at this inflated price. As much as I wanted to go I could not justify paying so much money to somebody who`s internet capability was beyond mine. If the tickets were sold by somebody who could no longer go I could understand it, but these tickets were purchased with the sole intention of making money.
Human nature is what it is. The tout makes money from people who are willing to pay and who can say he is doing wrong when somebody will pass over money to buy a ticket for a sold out gig? Me? too tight and too mean pay over the odds.There has been many attempts to outlaw touting in the past few years but the only way to realistically put an end to this practice is for Joe Public to stop buying from touts. Back to human nature again!
( I got tickets to AC/DC in then end via the fan website at face price….then saw them again when they headlined Download!)