Getting older


A distraught senior citizen
phoned her doctor’s office.
“Is it true,” she wanted to know,
“that the medication
you prescribed has to be taken
for the rest of my life?”
“‘Yes, I’m afraid so,”‘ the doctor told her.
There was a moment of silence
before the senior lady replied,
“I’m wondering, then,
just how serious is my condition
because this prescription is marked

An older gentleman was
on the operating table
awaiting surgery
and he insisted that his son,
a renowned surgeon,
perform the operation.
As he was about to get the anaesthesia,
he asked to speak to his son.
“Yes, Dad , what is it?”
“Don’t be nervous, son;
do your best,
and just remember,
if it doesn’t go well,
if something happens to me,
your mother
is going to come and
live with you and your wife….”

I offer the above as a break from one kind of catastrophe (a cosmic catastrophe) to (possibly) another kind of catastrophe – BEING old. My young Pakistani-Australian medico keeps telling me that any health problems I present to him are “because you are very old.” That is not what I expected to hear from a fellow Oriental sharing life in a Western nation.

Here, about 30% of senior citizens (old people) live alone, and family links and responsibilities are attenuated (weak). As a nation (apart from the immigrants from Asia),we know not about the extended family and its internal supportive bonds. We rely upon the impersonal care of State employees and the private sector for succour.

There is therefore a great need to find some humour in a potentially vegetative life.