Eating Shampoo

Our award-winning columnist tackles the age-old problem of, well, of age and being old. More specifically, being one of those really sad old people who still goes to gigs. Don’t worry, you’re in good company. Fats knows your pain

Something fell off. This happens when you get older. You stagger to the corner shop to buy shampoo because it’s the only food your teeth can cope with, when somewhere between the rusks and the Wotsits, someone says, “Here, you dropped something”.

You look. It’s your large intestine splattered on the floor like a bad worm. It’s fallen out – again. “I’ll forget my head at this rate,” you joke through blushing wrinkles, then you wander past the cabbages checking your head is actually still there. This happens to everyone who gets old. Fact.

Gigs are full of old people now. It’s almost as if someone decided that everyone from the past is still allowed out at night. I know this because I too am an oldie and I went to see Underworld. You know Underworld. They are an ancient band. They played Casios at the first ever Olympics. They did the noises for Susan Boyle films like ‘Sunshine’ and ‘Trance’. (Or something. I didn’t read Wikipedia properly.)

Despite my excitement, I still had to write a fridge note reminding me I had tickets, and then I had to put another note on my toaster reminding me where my fridge was. My mind is too far gone to remember stuff. At the gig, Underworld played ‘Dirty Epic’ and ‘Born Slippy’ and ‘Mmm… Skyscraper I Love You’. The elderly audience squinted up at the stage, staring through ear trumpets. “Is that the television, dear?” someone said. “Looks like ‘Last Of The Summer Wine’,” someone else said.

Except they didn’t. I’m lying. I’m lying about what happens when you get older. I’m lying about eating shampoo and fridge notes and ear trumpets. You only believed my nonsense because you’ve become cynical and bitter. I don’t even own a toaster. Look at Karl Hyde. The Underworld frontman is practically 60, but he boogied as if he’d been vomited over by some kind of rave elixir. He’s so old, he should look like the lovechild of Shane MacGowan and Bez. Or Leonard Cohen and Bez. Or Bez and Bez. (Which is saying something: Bez is so decrepit, he looks like a tree.) Yet youthful Karl Hyde and his audience danced like cowgirls and spoonmen long into the night.

Age is unstoppable, but so is being an old raver. Truth be told, I still feel like the teenager I once was. And if you really think about it, so do you. Check your intestine. It’s all there. It’ll still be there for some time to come. Probably.

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