Month: September 2010

40 far from fear

Right, its spring so let’s get light-hearted Rambler back in full swing.

Now anyone who knows me knows I’m obsessed with my age. In fact, I will remind you at least three times in the course of a conversation that I’m closer to 40 than I am to 20. Now, my clever ploy used to be this: I would exclaim how old I was so that I would be flooded with compliments back about how young I looked.

Before you call me shallow. There’s reason for this need for validation.

I’m no oil painting. Sure, I’m not the ugliest but I know I’m not going to be gracing the cover of any magazine in the next few years. well, I may if they release a balding magazine. Or a magazine about people who feel they aren’t good looking. Or a magazine about guys who drunkenly take their shirts off in clubs and watch their friends run away.


Spending most of my so-far adult life in Cape Town meant that I was part of the C-pack. The ones in the corner who wished they were cool like the hundreds of models who had just stepped off Clifton 3 and were sipping on their waters while people stroked their six packs.

Cape Town is a vicious town for people with a normal BMI.

So you see, when I exclaimed how much closer I was to 40 than to 20 people would respond with yelps of disbelief, calling their friends to see this marvel of youth and life eternal. At times I would be introduced like this:

Fan of Rambler’s youthful looks: Hey, come meet Rambler. How old do you think he is?

Stage notes: Rambler pouts

Soon to be fan of Rambler’s youthful looks: I dunno, closer to 20 than 40? Maybe still in school? How did he get into this club? Are you allowed out on a school night?

Stage notes: Rambler continues to pout

Fan of Rambler’s youthful looks: No! He’s closer to 40 than 20! Can you believe it?

Stage notes: Rambler continues to put as crowd starts to form

Soon to be fan of Rambler’s youthful looks: Never! How do you do it Rambler? Environ? Botox? From now on we’re ignoring the muscle types and just staring at you at your youthful looks.

Stage notes: Rambler pouts, and looks away coyly while crowd lifts him on their shoulders and chants “NO BO-TOX! NO BO-TOX!” as they parade him along Somerset Road

Now you can see how I might have enjoyed this kind of attention.

As the countdown starts to my even closer to 40th birthday, I recently attempted the same thing in a conversation, dropping in my usual closer to 40 than 20 comment. A friend was with me who, after years of being a part of this script immediately started the conversation as usual with a person standing nearby:

Fan of Rambler’s youthful looks: Hey, come meet Rambler. How old do you think he is?

Stage notes: Rambler pouts

Meant to be fan of Rambler’s youthful looks: About 40?

So it seems my youthful looks have departed. And gone to some young twink who needs it more than I. I embrace turning almost 40 in a few weeks with grace and style befitting those of us who once bore the title “eternally young” and leave you with this thought:

I’m closer to 20 than I am to 60.