To be old is to ask: ‘Am I of retirement age?’

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By Al S. Mendoza

All Write

Sunday, April 20, 2014

THE man’s shadow is singing:

“When I get older losing my hair, many years from now.
Will you still be sending me a Valentine
Birthday greetings bottle of wine.
If I’d been out till quarter to three
Would you lock the door, will you still need me,
Will you still feed me,
When I’m sixty-four.”

That is by The Beatles, of course, and is titled “When I’m Sixty-Four.”


Lead vocals by Paul McCartney, who also wrote the song. And to continue:
“You’ll be older too,
And if you say the word,
I could stay with you.
I could be handy, mending a fuse
When your lights have gone.
You can knit a sweater by the fireside
Sunday morning go for a ride.
Doing the garden, digging the weeds,
Who could ask for more.
Will you still need me,
Will you still feed me,
When I’m sixty-four.
Every summer we can rent a cottage,
In the Isle of Wight, if it’s not too dear
We shall scrimp and save
Grandchildren on your knee
Vera Chuck & Dave [*MaDaMi plus MaIkap]
Send me a postcard, drop me a line,
Stating point of view
Indicate precisely what you mean to say
Yours sincerely, wasting away
Give me your answer, fill in a form
Mine for evermore
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four.”

One of my favorite writers is Magnus Magnusson’s Anonymous. Listen:
“Growing old is mandatory. Growing up is optional.”
“You know you’re growing old when…you regret all the temptations you resisted.”

Fred Astaire, one of the greatest dancers of all time, this: “Old age is like everything else – to make a success of it, you have to start young.”

And George Burns, the great American comedian who died at age 100 in 1996: “First you forget names, then you forget faces. Next you forget to pull your zipper up and finally you forget to pull it down.”

Anonymous again:
“It’s sad for a girl to reach the age
Where men consider her charmless,
But it’s worse for a man to attain the age
Where girls consider him harmless.”

Is the singing shadow harmless, old? It is if today it says, quoting Bob Hope [1903-2003], “the candles cost more than the cake.”

(MaDaMi stands for Mayo, Dada and Migel and MaIkap for Mayasoh and Ikap. They are on my knee today).



Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 20, 2014.


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