“When I’m Sixty Four”

“When I’m Sixty Four”


100_0484_square_large (2)This is big day for Grumpy as he celebrates his 64th birthday. Indeed, he fondly recalls the day when he first heard the Beatles sing the song, “When I’m Sixty Four”.  Ringo rambled out that tune much in the style Grumpy heard so often when his own father listed to CFRB’s Calling All Britain’s show on Saturday mornings. This kind of music made you want to have a “cuppa tea” and a side of shortbread cookies.

At that time Grumpy thought that the age of 64 was really old. Heck, he even believed 50 years of age was ancient. His own father turned 50 when Grumpy was 10.He recalls his eighty year old grandmother commenting on a gift to his 50 year old uncle on Christmas morning saying, “That’s a really nice shirt for an elderly man, Carl!”

Elderly at age 50! Oh, my!

As a youngster, Grumpy also remembers adding this little ditty to the end of his prayers at night, “God Bless Mommy, Daddy and Tinker and all my friends and relations and please God let me live until I’m 50!” (Tinkerbelle was the dog I wanted to call Lassie.)

w100-619785-logoThen of course, when he was in elementary school Miss X was rumoured to be having an affair with Mr. Y. All Grumpy could think was, “What did Mr. Y see in that old maid.” Well, Miss X was probably in her early to mid-thirties. When you’re eleven and your teacher is not married – that’s old maid material.

This “old age at 50 thingy” gobsmacked him back in the year 2000 when in Florida he received his first Bealls SENIORS DISCOUNT CARD.  Everywhere Grumpy went in the US of A he was considered a SENIOR at age 50. It didn’t matter that he had his six year old son and eleven year old daughter in tow.

Grumpy guesses Americans are a little soft and have it too easy. Because we endure a good Canadian winter and tough it out, we don’t become seniors until we’re 60 or 65.

But, appearance does have a lot to do with this. One time when his youngest son the Phenom was about eleven, Grumpy picked him up early after a track meet. Upon taking him to a chip wagon for a nutritious post run meal, the proprietor said to Josh, “Isn’t this nice, Grandpa’s got you out early from school, eh.”

Say what?

Or, upon taking his mother-in-law to Timmies for a lunch, the young counter person remarked to Grumpy, “Are you timmieshaving the same as your WIFE?”

Pardon et moi?

The good thing is that Grumpy never expected that he’d feel young on the inside as he aged on the outside. This is a great discovery and worthy of scientific study. Grumpy is still the boy inside the man.

Maybe it’s because he’s always lived by the Jimmy Buffett/Parrot Head mantra of, “Growin’ older but not up!” Or, perhaps because he follows his own father’s dictum of, “Who has more fun than people!”

So, on this auspicious day Grumpy turns back the clock and looks at those Beatle lyrics with an experienced wise old bugger’s eye.

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?

Well, I’ve surely lost my fair share of grey hair. And to be honest, the Valentine wishes and birthday cards surely have made my day today. Forget the wine though because the Good Wife presented Grumps with a bottle of Glenfiddich Scotch this morning. Just like Grumpy this Single Malt is AGED TO PERFECTION!

There is; however, no issue regarding “coming in at a quarter to three”, unless of course, we’re speaking of mid-afternoon, just before nap time. There will be no locked door because Grumpy is retired and his lady remains in the workforce, keeping him as her “kept man”, as it were!

I could be handy, mending a fuse

When your lights have gone

You can knit a sweater by the fireside

Sunday mornings 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?

untitledWell I guess they’re going to feed me because the family is taking Grumps out for supper at some mystery location. Grumpy hopes this mystery location has a good supply of draught beer on tap. Nothing, not even age, can curb Grumpy’s enthusiasm for a cold one.

As for mending that fuse, Grumpy failed on that account. After the dyer went caput a few weeks ago Grumpy swore up and down that it wasn’t the fuse. That rant, of course, went out the window when his brother-in-law pulled the fuse and said, “It was the fuse, Grumpy!”

Oh well, it’s hard to be a handy-man and a great lover at the same time? It’s all about timing and priorities, mate!

Most of our rides these days are back and forth to St. Catherines in support of the Phenom. Indeed, we’ll be spending another overnight there this weekend. The Good Wife has no time for knitting, although we do sit beside our faux fireplace each night watching SPORTS, SPORTS and more SPORTS. Grumpy is the luckiest elderly man in the world because he has a spouse who loves watching sports!

And there won’t be “doing the garden” anytime soon because this winter, if you look out the back window, hell HAS frozen over!

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

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?

Our annual trek to the Wilson’s Cottage and our March Break in Florida cover the Isle of Wight. We’re still trucking down the I75 – going on 26 years now! But, true enough, scrimping and saving is what we do with expert precision because the cost of everything has skyrocketed! Our hydro bill is higher than the those mortgage payments Grumpy had back in the 1970’s!

“Back in my day . . .”

Ooops, that was a senior’s moment, wasn’t it!

Nevertheless, the “Grandchildren on your knee” is the very best part. Last night the Good Wife and Grumpy laughed when 19 month old grandson Ryder-oo yelled, “Go Weafs” – when he spotted Grumpy’s Toronto Maple Leaf light in the recreation room. We’re teachers so we “inculcate” just as “kind judicious parents” do. And, hell yes, Grumpy still remembers the Education Act.

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The bottom line is that people still “need me” and for sure they “still feed me” now that I am sixty-four, s0 thank you John, Paul, George and Ringo.

And, for good measure, Grumpy offers many thanks for all the best wishes he received from family and friends.  He is thankful to be alive and kicking. He knows that every minute, hour, day and year is a gift, never to be wasted, nor to be lamented.

Indicate precisely what you mean to say

Yours sincerely, wasting away

Well, yours sincerely to all of you my friends. You can be assured that Grumpy will be wasting away in Margaritaville – always and forevermore because it’s always 5 o’clock somewhere!


Pumba the Farting and totally obnoxious dog!

But, then again, there remains one creature in Grumpy’s life that just might bring about the big one! Because of this little munchkin, getting to 65 will be iffy at best.


Every Road is a Demolition Derby this WINTER!

Every time I think I’ve come up with something new for this blog space I get gobsmacked with something else. Try as I might I just can’t get away from the Redneck/Podunk theme that seems so pervasive here in Norfolk County.

Upon scanning the local Want Ad paper (The Lakeshore Shopper), my eyes were draw to this particular advertisement. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that they were going to hold a DEMOLITION DERBY, in the snow, in the winter.

They even have classes:

Pro Class (Are there actually professional Demolition Derbiers?)

Full Sized Straight Stock (The NASCAR of demolition, I presume.)

Minimash (As opposed to the Maximash?)

The Lucas Oil 4cyl Figure Eight Race

Say what? I think that’s the one where all hell breaks loose in the middle cross-over section.

Lezz-go! Bang-Smash-Pow!


I’m glad they boldly stated that SNOW TIRES are REQUIRED! There wouldn’t be much smashing if the cars couldn’t move. The crowd would be screaming, “More sand! More salt! Bring on the front end loaders!”

No doubt, the kids would be yelling, “Snow day! Snow day! Yeah!”

Now let me tell you a little something about Tillsonburg. That’s the place “Stomping’ Tom Connors” sang about. (He of the piece of plywood stomped into kindling as he sings.)

“Tillsonburg, Tillsonburg, my back still aches when I hear that word!”



You see, at one time, this fair community was in the heart of tobacco country. Old Tom was singing about priming those leaves by hand out in the fields. Tom is also the writer of that classic, “The Good Old Hockey Game.”

Another famous local is Colin Campbell, one of the Vice Presidents of the National Hockey League. He’s the guy that doles out the suspensions for head shots and the like. Perhaps they could bring him in for the Derby to monitor the “hitting from behind.” No, that wouldn’t work in a Demo Derby would it! Don Cherry you can put those stop-sign stickers in your back pocket.

Here are the actual DD rules if you’re interested.



Here’s a good one.

5. Aggressive driving is limited to the track during the race. It will not be tolerated in the pit area

But, I think road rage is the entire purpose of the event don’t you. Go figure?

6. If a car catches fire while participating the driver will be immediately disqualified, unless in the final position in which case the 2nd place car must make a competitive hit (2-3 second carburetor fires will be tolerated if it extinguishes without assistance)

Holy Hannah, if my car catches on fire my ass would be out of there and running for cover before the smoke cleared the windshield.

And, what about rule #8?

8. There is ZERO TOLERANCE for the use of any alcohol or drugs prior to or during the race.

I’d like to see the police set up a RIDE stop during this mayhem! That would be quite a show in the snow. But, I guess after the race anything goes.


BTW, back when I was a classroom teacher one of my students, Josh, told me about how he and his grand pappy prepared GRAIN COMBINES for the GRAIN COMBINE Demolition Derby. That’s right, massive combines fighting it out for smash-up supremacy. Better get out there you Transformers fans. Did I mention that the boy was 12 and drove transport trucks for his grandpa on back country roads? “Ya, I jist help him out movin’ em around, is all!”

How about a Demo Derby in the MUD!


Actually this whole winter has been a bit of a DEMOLITION DERBY on Ontario’s roads. Just a few weekends back the Ontario Provincial Police reported investigating 1600 accidents in two days. And, we’ve all heard of those massive car pileups.

So, in these wintery conditions SLOW DOWN and drive CAREFULLY. You don’t want to end up in one of these.

Hi Ho!