The past few weeks I’ve spent a lot of my time babysitting. For some reason it was decided that I’m the kind of mature adult who is fit to take care of a child. I know what you’re thinking. I’m just as puzzled about how they came to that conclusion. Nevertheless I am now saddled with responsibility and I think I’m doing a good job. The other day she said she was getting a hunchback. I asked why and she looked at me like I had asked the most obvious question in the universe.
“Because,” she said impatiently, “you’re a mad scientist. Every mad scientist needs a hunchbacked assistant.”
I wish I was making that up. This must be why people get children. An apprentice for my evil schemes aside, if you know anything about nine year olds it’s probably that they bore easily and always need something new to distract them. Over time this becomes something of a task because you’ve tried everything. I had hit this point when it occurred to me how young she is. Think of all the things she hasn’t seen. My room is a treasure trove of old things that were way before her time. So ….
I showed her records, VHS tapes, audio cassettes and diskettes. I explained what they did and she literally did not believe me. When I tried telling her how you had to rewind VHS tapes before a second viewing she laughed. She thought I was playing a rather elaborate prank on her and she wasn’t buying it.
Feeling old yet? At this point I was feeling a bit old but mostly just amused. In a way it was like having a conversation with an alien. That’s how vast the difference in our generations is. It was at this point she chose to make me feel really old. She asked:
“The Big grey thing.”
“What big grey…do you mean the television?”
“THAT’S A TELEVISION!?”
She wasn’t joking. She had so many questions about it. She walked around it, prodded it and even seemed a little afraid of the thing. This one she believed but I think it was too much to process. She just kept looking at it and muttering “why?”
This is all to say that if you were clinging to the illusion that you’re still young, let it go. You’re aging. You’re old. Stuff you think is ordinary would fit perfectly into a museum for this new generation. You know the way you hate Justin Bieber? It’s the same way your parents hate your music. If you’ve been wondering why Kenyan Politicians still insist on being part of the “youth” when they’re 45-50 now you know. Denial is a strong thing my old friends. Don’t be one of them. Just grab your cane and accept your new fate.