We, the bewrinkled elderly and hard of hearing, the frail, decrepit and poorly sighted, having endured affliction by sundry pestilences visited upon us along the tortuous pathways of life, have resolved ourselves to be worthy and most deserving of certain considerations and courtesies from the Society of our creation.Not in the manner of Condescension, Grudging Privilege, or poorly disguised Patronage under sufferance, but as: -

‘Absolute Rights of Entitlement in Perpetuity.’

Therefore, Be it Known to All Men by These Presents, The following Rights and Privileges are hereby bestowed upon all, who, by effort and determination, crowned the fruits of their labours in achieving the alleged Golden Age of Five and Sixty Years, and are now enjoined to fully exercise those entitlements hereunder defined, but not restricted to:-

Reminisce without restraint or regard to accuracy.

Practice unbridled grumpiness whenever  ----

Deplore euro-desecration of Imperial Standards.

Not eat greens or prunes if they don’t want to.

Wave their sticks and yell at kids on skateboards,

Live lives of dignity and respect without ridicule.

Conserve their faculties by resting their eyes, frequently.

Be spared from using Cash Dispensers, Video Games, Computers, Mobile Phones and all other wicked temptations of the Devil.

Enjoy unrestricted peace and quiet whenever they damned well feel like it.

Watch Sunday Evening Hymn-Singing, even (and especially) if the Grandchildren do want to watch something else on TV.

Practice Creative Disruption by fumbling with change at every opportunity.

Free admission to any Formula One Zimmer Grand-Prix.

Have undeniable right of way with shopping carts.

Whinge about the price of everything – incessantly.

Lament disintegration of the Empire.

Drive slowly (or walk the dog) in the middle of the road if they want --- and dribble in restaurants.

And shall be at further liberty to exercise -

Calculated intolerance toward those perceived to be of the idiot persuasion,

Practice basic values of Truth, Honesty, and Morality only when to their specific advantage.

Assume temporary deafness and/or memory loss modes when convenient,

Cunning and absolute deviousness when dealing with young’uns who just might know something they don’t.

Random awkwardness in limitless diversity of form.

Dawdle on Crosswalks.

Distrust of some Double-Glazing Salesmen and all Politicians.

Belch in Church, Chapel, or Senior’s Club meetings.

Spontaneous flatulent expression wherever two or three      are gathered – in any suitably confined space.

And then, having quietly popped their clogs shall be fondly remembered for their personalities, the Love, the Joy, and Humour freely given along their way, as personal legacies to be enjoyed and shared by others throughout their years to come.

©Richard Mahony. 2001