Gerontophobia – Why You Should Show Your Deeply Offensive Elderly Relatives Some Sympathy And How You Might Become Like Them Yourself
The old folk. You’ve got to love them, haven’t you? They just say whatever they like and couldn’t give a monkey’s what anyone else thinks about it. Christmas is just around the corner and many of us will be playing host to that insane old Aunt. You know, the one your family take turns in putting up every yuletide. She had a bout of pneumonia around about February time, so you thought that might be an end to the ritual, but she rallied round and it’s definitely your turn this time. She’s usually called Mabel or Gladys or something like that.
You all love her, but she’s the product of a different era. You welcome her into your home and she’s full of smiles and hugs and heart-warming stories from the old days. Until Christmas Dinner starts in earnest. She eats and drinks with you and she’s all endearing and doddery. However, despite your strict rationing of her glasses of sherry, she manages to sneak a few more glasses while you’re not looking. Like she always does.
This is when the fun really begins. Even though everyone at the dining table has been schooled in “subjects not to mention in front of Aunty Mabel”, someone says something that sets her off and she starts to espouse her views as regards “poofs” and “darkies”. Everyone tries to ignore it, but she grabs more sherry. She’s not sneaky about it this time either and she just will not stop talking. All around the dining table, there’s a Mexican wave of skyward pointing eyeballs beneath novelty paper hats. The hostess smiles wanly and ushers Aunty Mabel off to the kitchen where stuffs the old lady’s face with coffee and mince pies until she shuts the fuck up.
The thing is, you can convince Aunt Mabel to stay quiet and eat her Christmas Pud at that point but you’ll never convince her that she is wrong. She doesn’t believe these things because she’s a dotty old woman whose marbles are rattling around a bit loosely in her attic. She wanders around Sainsbury’s in her nightgown because she’s a dotty old woman whose marbles are rattling around in her attic.
Aunt Mabel believes what she believes – that Poofs are an abomination who should be locked up and that Darkies can’t be trusted- because that’s what she was taught when she was young. She believed it when she was a teenager and she believed it when she was a twenty year old blushing bride. The insular society she lived reinforced it every day of her life. But slowly by degrees, as it does, society began to change. It changed with little daily victories until it became an unrecognisable thing that Aunt Mabel simply didn’t fit into any more.
I’m not trying to defend bigoted old gits here. Basic human decency is basic human decency, after all. I’m well aware that hateful young bastards have a tendency to grow into hateful old bastards. However, people like Aunt Mabel, loving and caring if a bit mental, tend to have only one or two bugbears. In her case “Poofs” and “Darkies”. So let’s try a little thought experiment.
Let’s fast forward a few decades and imagine that you are that elderly relative at the Christmas Dinner, an anachronistic relic of the age you grew up in. How might society have changed so that you don’t fit in anymore?
When societies move on, they usually move on for the better but that is not always the case. Personally I think we are on the brink of a “Sodom and Gomorrah” situation, if not already halfway there. When I stroll around my local supermarket, which is a perfectly ordinary supermarket, I can purchase all sorts of things. Tinned goods, fresh fruit and veg, pots and pans. I can also stroll down the “Health and Beauty” aisle and buy flavoured lube and a vibrating cock ring. No one bats an eyelid. If that’s not a sign of the times, I don’t know what is. When I was a teenager, you had to send off mail order to Amsterdam to get hold of that sort of thing.
So, a few decades down the line from now, let’s assume society has taken a bit of a turn for the worst. Your geriatric self is tucking into Turkey and Cream Sherry on Christmas Day when one of your younger relatives puts their foot in it and sets you off on a diatribe about your favourite two bugbears. Paedophiles and Politicians.
Yes, as society has lost its way, the nonces have successfully fought and won their own Stonewall battle and politicians have finally fooled all of the people all of the time. Paedophilia has been decriminalised and politicians are regarded as being vocational workers who do what they do with the best interests of the rest of humanity in mind.
When your great nephew announces that he is launching a career as a politician and everyone applauds him as if he’s volunteered for Doctors Without Borders, you just about manage to hold your tongue. But when everyone laughs as your young great niece drunkenly reveals that she experimented with paedophilia when she was in kindergarten, but it was just a phase, you are horrified and state your opinions on the both matters. Loudly.
Suddenly, you are the one being dragged into the kitchen and having coffee and mince pies shoved into your face until you shut the fuck up. Naturally, you are a bit bewildered as to what has happened to the world that has made you the bad guy for holding the opinions you hold about kiddy fiddlers and self-serving bureaucrats.
Fingers crossed, this will never happen. Hopefully, if there is a God, he’ll spot the vibrating cock rings in the supermarkets in time to do a spot of smiting well before we get to that stage. Maybe he’ll do it on Christmas Day, just before The Queen’s Speech.
© Copyright Michael Grimes 2013
Tags: abomination, Aunt Mabel, Aunty Mabel, Christmas, Christmas Dinner, Coffee, doctors without borders, Elderly, flavoured lube, gerontophobia, God, health and beauty, human decency, insane, mental, mexican wave, mince pies, offensive, old folk, Paedophiles, Politicians, sainsburys, sherry, smiting, Sodom and Gomorrah, supermarkets, The Queens Speech, vibrating cock rings, yuletide
About thedailygrimeAt that awkward age - too young to be a grumpy old man, but just acerbic and downtrodden enough to have an opinion. Read it here.
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