Senior citizens, often considered harmless if inert, can acquire a capacity for rat-like cunning and far-flung exploits. This was the guidance yesterday of Saga magazine, which specialises in the age group, and it can call witnesses to prove its point.
Exhibit A is the actress Joanna Lumley, who has found a foolproof alibi for smoking in public.
Exhibits B and C are Terry and Monica Darlington, who at the ages of 69 and 68 sat down one night, thought: "We could bore ourselves to death, drink ourselves to death, or have a bit of an adventure. . . ."
Joanna Lumley's autobiography, No Room for Secrets, and Terry and Monica's story of their voyage, Narrow Dog to Carcassonne [sic] are on a seven-title shortlist announced for the Saga award for wit.
While I can hardly wait to become known for my rat-like cunning and far-flung exploits, when I am old (and 49 is not old, I don't care what my Number Two Son says), I don't think I'll aspire to this particular prize. It would be too embarassing to win. I can just imagine being handed a golden statuette in the shape of some wrinkly, droopy person, and I can tell you right now that the kid who was mentioned parenthetically a couple of lines ago would just roll his eyes and congratulate me on winning a "Saggy" award.