Sunday, September 05, 2004

The Demographic Shift - 28

There's a new list out of things that you shouldn't doing after you turn 30 and apparently I score pretty badly.

I usually avoid lists like the plague just because I'm afraid I might take them too seriously, you know by accident. For instance, somehow I worry that I'll subconsciously not be able to stop worrying that I look like my dad, which is one of the things on this list of 30 things not to do when you're over 30.

On principle, I think they are mostly worth avoiding, because you know as well as I that they're written by journalists called Phil Space or Phillipa Page, whose job it is to rid their magazine of any offensive blank pages.

I would have successfully avoided the latest list of things not to do after you're 30 if Alison, who is best, hadn't decided to rate me against it and conclude that I have fallen desperately short.

"You're falling desperately short."

"I am?"

"Afraid so. I've tested you and, really Gord, it's disappointing."

"How am I failing exactly?"

"I've just rated you against the list of 30 things you shouldn't be doing after you're 30. I thought that now you had gone through your whole demographic shift you might be shaping up a little, but sadly no."

The list, like all lists, is full of many spurious items, some of which do not apply to me in the slightest nor to much of the rest of the population. For instance, one of the things you shouldn't do or know is who Comedy Dave is.

The good news is I have no idea who Comedy Dave is nor, on my brief survey, does anyone in the office, including those who are under 30. There's a good reason for this as Comedy Dave is apparently on Radio 1. Radio what? Quite.

Others on the list are far more ridiculous (surprise), such as allowing your pants to show above the waistline of your jeans. Well, not being a blingin' teenager or worn oversize clothes in prison I won't be doing this, just as I won't be tucking my T-shirt into my trousers any time soon, which is, I'm sure, a relief to all concerned.

Alison, was measuring me against her own high standards (which is insane), so I listed to Alison the points where I scored really well on. There are some.

For instance, I do not plan my weekend around drug taking (I don't plan); I do not buy records by someone v someone else (although I liked Jason Nevins v Run DMC's 'That's the Way it Is'); I have not been on an all-male holiday for more than a decade (I expressly avoided the chance to go on one in the summer -- mature or what?); I do not quote 'The Office' twice a week, as I didn't even bother to watch it (overrated, I think); and I do not eat or drink anything with "Max" in the name (Pepsi Max just makes me dizzy).

Furthermore, I do not expect to have a great birthday (I swear I have never expected this); and I never stay in bed after 11am and I mean ever; I don't cadge cash from colleagues (they're all really poor); I don't think that I'll ever be talent spotted in the park by Phil Thompson (I'm reconciled, it's not going to happen); and finally, on the plus side, I am never going to change religion (I'm going to remain totally undecided until the bitter end, which I've convinced will definitely be bitter) and I won't change my team allegiance, as I can hardly work up a passing interest in one team, let alone change.

Finally, and I think this shows real progress, I don't (and not for some time I might add) feel the need to take maximum advantage of a free bar. In fact, just last week I had just two glasses of champagne when so much more was on offer. I know various people will be pleased to hear this, including Lucy whose shoes I once vomited on. Oops.

All said, I think pretty impressive, you know, in a not entirely impressive kind of way.

"That's all well and good, but I think the downside wipes out the plus side," Alison said, "and when I say wipes it out I mean really wipes it out."

"OK, hit me with."

And I kind of wish I hadn't said that, because some people take unbridled glee in being able to do just that. Alison is one of those people.

"You buy wine that costs less than £7 a bottle. That, Gord, is a terrible crime. It wipes out most of your last list."

"I can't believe you've picked on that one. I brought champagne to your last party."

"You know, I meant to say at the time I thought that was a little ostentatious."

"You didn't say that when you were drinking it."

"Really? Mmm, anyway, you own a watch that definitely cost less than £100 -- fashion faux pas extraordinaire. In fact, you have a teenager's watch."

"Hey, £80, well almost, and I never wear a watch any how. Isn't that why they put the time on phones?"

"Cheapskate, what else? Oh, own an item of clothing by Kangol. Guilty again."

"I have a T-shirt, not a stupid hat that I wear backwards or forwards. That seems unfair."

"Unfair? Repeat after me 'I am not a teenager'. Your Kangol days are over. I have you on the last two as well. Own a plant that lived longer than 28 days? Come on Gord, your place looks like the CIA has been experimenting with Agent Orange. All your plants are dying."

OK, so this is mostly true. I once had three plants and now I have two. They look unwell. What can I say? My fingers are ink- and not sap-stained. I try, but it's just not happened for me but I have a plan and it calls for living in a place that has lots of light. I'm sure it will be a hit for Naomi Cleaver.

"OK, guilty, but I think that's only a minor misdemeanour, what else have you got?"

"Right, here goes, deep breath... Still believe that there is someone better out there? So guilty you've dumped more people than a dumpster truck, which is a lot of dumping."

"You mean it's not acceptable to believe in this any more?"

"Gord, tell me you're kidding right?"