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PERILS OF AGE � A �TEEN� RANT

With TV programmes appearing such as �Grumpy Old Men�, the idea for this article came into my head. It is a young person�s moan about three perils of old people and parents.

Firstly, if you were ever unfortunate enough to have to accompany a parent to a supermarket at midday during the week then you will understand why. One of the greatest annoyances of all is pushing the trolley for an already exasperated parent (apparently the second pudding suddenly appearing in the trolley was not just a miracle) down an aisle, and being met by a group of senior citizens at their daily twelve o�clock meeting blocking the way. Their discussion about the five pence increase of Hovis sliced bread has not quite reached its climax and there is absolutely no space to get through the trolley road block. The evil looks then received as the old ladies have to move their trolleys is not the biggest annoyance; the five minutes taken to do so definitely is. It�s okay anyway; I wasn�t really fussed about the beginning five minutes of the show I was in a rush to get back and see. My tonguein- cheek grumble is not intended to offend, and therefore I will continue this article.

Secondly, driving � that already frustrating activity � is made even more so when you are in a rush. Another five minutes of that TV show now missed. At these times it is almost guaranteed that you will end up stuck behind a driver doing thirty in a fifty zone, or twenty in a thirty zone, or maybe, in those treacherous damp conditions, that extra-special slow ten mph. It is one of life�s most annoying experiences when you are in the car behind this driver. But it is
more embarrassing when you happen to be in such a car with a grandparent who has reached this slow driving phase. The drivers then overtaking from the long line of traffic behind often give you their angry glares as they go past � definitely enough to make you duck your head or at least pull one of those wretched hoods over it.

However, the third and possibly most annoying situation to find yourself in, is when older people start their �back in my
day� rant. You know it � �back in my day we didn�t have: central heating, televisions, sell-by dates on foods (still not a good enough reason to feed me mouldy jam on green bread by the way), mobile phones and computers. Possibly their most common rant is that modern music is just a noise. We younger generation have all, at some point, had to listen to how life was back in the �good old days� whilst managing to pull off an attempt at a sincere thoughtful
expression. This visit to the past is annoying but strangely entertaining.

Following these three very irritating situations that most young people have to put up with, I have to think over why we
still feel so attached to old people. Is it he inappropriate Granddad sex joke or the possibly slightly out of date homophobic views of a Grandma around the dinner table (seen it on television � always good for a laugh)? These are certainly some of the things which makes them so endearing to us. However, their grumpiness, towards young people is ironically something that we secretly enjoy, and the mini war between young and old is perhaps something that
brings us closer towards them. It is the real reason why we love them so much.

T. S.