Tag Archives: soccer

Arsenic and Very Old Lace

Yesterday evening, after another exhausting day here at the retirement home, I dropped onto the couch for my after-dinner nap. I grabbed the remote and began surfing, looking for entertainment to while away the dark hours. “As usual,” I grumbled, “nothing to watch.” Channel after channel – bad news and worse news or basketball, snooker and soccer. What entertainment there was, is now all shooting mixed with car chases, more shooting and wrecking cars in the most diabolical fashion imaginable. And then, right in the middle of all the violence, a flickering black and white movie introduced by a moth-eaten lion. “Arsenic and Old Lace”. I reached for the chocolate and settled deeper into the couch.

Of course I had seen it before, long, long ago, but there is still magic in its old-fashioned actors, acting and technology. Everything about it is ‘olde worlde’ charming. I wondered if I would have to stand up for God Save the King at the end.

My wife walked in and sat down, watched for a couple of minutes and said, “What on earth are you watching?”
“Arsenic and Old Lace,” I replied.
“Gee! What year was this made?”
“That’s 70 years ago! You’re watching a movie made 70 years ago? What’s the matter with you?”
“How many years?”

I was 11 years old in 1944. I’m pretty sure that my mother never took her 11 year old son to see a movie called Arsenic and Old Lace in the year it was released but I probably saw it a year or two later and I have probably seem it a few times since then. It’s still a great movie.

It just goes to prove: Some things never age – they just get older.


When You’ve Been Around A Long Time…

The thing is that when you’ve been around for a long time, like 80 years – and you can still remember the old days, good or not – you often find yourself the only one with a particular opinion. In the car the other day I listened to a group of sports experts on the BBC talking about modern day football. “Without a doubt,” said one with great conviction, “Lionel Messi is the greatest football player of all time!” This was followed by a silence so I assumed that the others in the room were all nodding in agreement.

Then a telephone rang in the back ground and an irate voice said “Wrong! Messi is not the greatest. Pele is the greatest!” a few minutes later the phone rang again and this time the caller shouted, “The greatest was Maradona! No one has ever equaled his football magic! A violent argument took place and I understood that the dispute was based on your age. If you were cheering when Maradona was scoring goals, he was your greatest. Likewise for all the others.

I tried this conversation on my grand children. The unanimous answer to who the greatest football player was, of course Messi. One son said Maradona and another older son opted for Johan Kruyff. As I expected after listening to the BBC program, an argument erupted.
“Who you think is or was the greatest, Pop?” asked a grandson.
“Well, in my day there was only one name that was heard in the football world.”
They all leaned forward.
“His name was Eusebio,” I said to a ring of blank faces.
Silence erupted.

Does anyone else in the room remember the great Eusebio? Its all a matter of age.

Keeping Alert Is the Golden Ager’s Main Aim

Wherever I am I’m told that I must keep on working, stay alert, keep up with the news, do the crosswords and Sudoko and top of the list – keep my brain active. It’s not that easy. I have long suspected that I am using a brain that thinks it is completely independent and can do what it likes. It rushes about doing all sorts of things without my say-so. It also tends to drop off at the slightest pause in the proceedings, usually at the exact moment I need it. So a couple of times a week I go down to the coffee lounge and join in the conversations in order to force my brain to exercise and keep up with everyone. Here is a scene from yesterday.

It’s Sunday, and the topics were the weekend sports results as reported in the newspapers and the on the TV.

“Did you read about the bad behavior of the soccer fans?” asks Alf.

“Pretty poor,” I say. “Just what one expects from a soccer crowd,” I say.

“South Africa is out! Beaten by Mali in a penalty shoot out! Can you believe that?”

“What happened in the Six Nations yesterday?”

“What’s that?” asks Joe.

“Rugby. Did you see the tennis?”

“No, I watched the snooker,” says Stan.

“Who won?”

“I’ve forgotten. But he played a great game! Completely snookered that other guy.”

“What about the tennis?”

“Did you get your electricity account?”

“Not yet.”

“I’m going to complain.”

“About the rugby?”

“The snooker was good. Those guys are great! Did you see that shot with the yellow ball?”

“What, in the tennis match?

“No, that was in that cricket match in Australia!”

“Tonight’s the Superbowl.”

“Yes but it’s late.”

“I’m going to watch, can’t sleep anyway.”

“What time is the snooker final?”

“Dunno, but the tennis is at two-thirty.”

“That’s in the middle of my nap!”


Are you still worried about my brain?