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THE AL GILKES COLUMN – Playing the age game

Al Gilkes

THE AL GILKES COLUMN – Playing the age game

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I received a short, sweet and amusing BBM message from a certain female physician friend which left me in stitches. It simply read: “Joke of the day. When a woman gets 40, a man trades her in for two 20s.”
I normally am not amused when contacts use their BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) service to message me advertisements, pieces of gossip and so forth. But a one-liner like that you can send me anytime.
One day the little red alert on my BBM app indicated I had received a new message and when I checked it, guess what? It was one of my friends, who obviously forgot that I was on his list of contacts and had sent out a blast with a piece of gossip about me. Fortunately, it was good gossip and today he remains a friend and a contact.
The unsolicited messages that irk me most of all are those long, religious epistles whose content is often inspiring but which, after scrolling and scrolling and scrolling to reach the end, threaten that if you do not send them to X number of friends that some piece of bad luck will hit you like a bolt of lightning out of the blue.
Back to where I began about when a woman gets 40; that sounds like a contraction of one of those letters that Cupid reads on 92.9 FM in the afternoon and which attracts a lot of condemnation and sometimes lots of endorsements from listeners.
After reading it I started delving into my memory to see if I could recall ever having “traded in” a 40 for two 20s but without any success.
The problem with such trade-ins under normal circumstances is that most women prefer older partners and vice versa. That means that the average man with a 40 by his side is already past that age and might very well be near or even past 50.
Therefore, taking care of two 20s at that age back in the day would not have been as easy as many men would like to make believe and would have led to many black eyes when they discovered the inevitable – namely that the satisfaction they assumed they were capable of providing was actually being achieved with loads of secret outside help.
These days, with the proliferation of and easy access to pharmaceutical aids in blue and other colours and in both solid and liquid forms, men in their 60s are now able to trade in 60s for not one, not two but three 20s.
A druggist friend even tells me stories about 80-year-old men who come for such assistance in order to get their due from the 40s who benefit from their pension cheques.
I know a man who believes he is the greatest mathematician of this modern pharmaceutical age. His area of speciality is long division and he spends days and nights working at it.
We all learned tables in school with immutable facts like: “three twos are six, three into six two” and “three into two can’t go”. However, this man has been able to replace those last two numbers with 55 and 20, respectfully, and is able to get two and, on rare occasions, even three as an answer.