If you hold the view that the best-forgotten years of your life follow quickly after the best years, you'll relish Max's funny poems about the trials and tribulations of middle age. Less midlife crises, more midlife angst, insecurity and self-loathing.
I don't look super-sonic or bionic or laconic,
And I walk with quite a limp in my right foot,
And I'm grumpy, rather mumpy, and recently quite lumpy,
A bona fide cantankerous old coot.
And I'm tetchy, quite unstretchy, and just a little retchy,
And my eyesight's getting dim and fading fast,
Plus I'm groany, bloomin' moany, let's face it, brittle bony,
And I'm really not quite sure how long I'll last.
I'm going to buy myself a bike, and to be forthright, not contrite, I'm going to clad my arse in clingy nylon.
I'm getting one trimmed with chrome, with a seat of jelly-foam, and you'll hear the static crackle under pylons.
But I'll be deaf to all the jeers, of the rudest of my peers, who'll call out, are you fucking serious, fatty?
I'll just cock them all a snook, and without a second look, I'll pedal off and not get mad or ratty.
For I'll be the fit new me, when a cyclist I will be, and very soon the muscles will arrive,
For who needs a Ford Fiesta, a Vauxhall or a Vespa, when you've got two wheels that buzz round like a hive.
So I've bought a flashy helmet, it came with a free pelmet, and a lycra suit in shiny neon green,
And in my wrap-around sun glasses, I'll be fighting off the passes, of those women who are shouting, you're obscene!
It might be a young man's game, but can't we oldies stake our claim, even though we have a few more lumps and bumps,
There is a bit more belly, from years before the telly, but we're good if you don't look too closely at our rumps.
For we're old but we're still trying, not sitting down and crying, so don't write us off or cut us from the race,
'Cause though we may be fifty, we think that we're still nifty, and we're trying hard to keep up with your pace.
And though cardiac arrest, may be our final test, at least we'll clock out feeling young and raunchy,
So, please whistle as I pass by, I'm a perspiring older guy, but please let me think I'm no longer bald and paunchy.
I went out jogging on Monday night,
I must have looked an awful fright,
So I went to the gym on Tuesday morn,
It made me wish I’d never been born.
So Wednesday night I tried Tai Chi,
It might work for you but it didn’t work for me,
Thursday I took a course in judo,
It wasn’t too bad but I much prefer ludo.
So Friday found me at the pool,
I bought new Speedos, I looked pretty cool,
But they chucked me out for being too slow,
And Saturday I had no place to go.
So I went jogging again on the night of Sunday,
I didn’t do any better than I did on Monday,
So I’m going home and I’m going to watch telly,
I no longer care that I have a belly,
I’m old and I’m fat but plenty wealthy,
It’s two out of three, I’ll pass on healthy.
My feet and legs are aching and hands seem further from the ground,
And the phone book is being printed smaller, I have found,
I’m now taller than my hair and of course I’m dying it grey,
And I’m really young and sprightly still, not the bloke you see today.
I’ve now past my first half century, am I empty or half full,
When I sit and watch my DVDs when the lads are on the pull?
I wear specs with pebble lenses and my hearing’s getting dim,
And people point at me and say, god, how bloody old is him?
I can’t wear Bowie on my tee-shirt and not ever Let It Be,
And when young girls point and giggle they haven’t noticed me,
Policemen all look young to me, and students look like babies,
Though I suppose to them I look like a mangy dog with rabies.
But don’t sign me up to Axa for their budget funeral plan,
Just put me in the bloody box and I’ll pay you when I can.
Copyright © Max Scratchamann