Wednesday, October 21 2020


A Year Older

Update: July, 02/2017 - 09:00
Viet Nam News

Robert Bicknell looks at getting a little older, but still refuses to use graphite shafted irons…

Ah yes, it’s that time of year again when people start setting off firecrackers, eating copious amounts of hot dogs, hamburgers and corn on the cob. When Americans are joyous and thrilled to celebrate a birthday…

Mine. That’s right. My birthday is on the Fourth of July. Screw America. It’s always been about me and always has been. OK, sure, I wasn’t born in 1776 (I’m old but not that old), but I believe they had a vision that someday I would arrive and simply started the celebrations early.

Of course I am joking. I am that old.

OK, to be fair, I only FEEL that old sometimes. Other times I feel closer to 3,000 years old, and only sometimes do I feel my actual age of 58 (soon to be 59, except in Viet Nam - which would be 59 soon to be 60).

Actually, I usually feel much younger than my actual age and that’s the way I want to keep it. For some strange reason, I refuse to act my age and worse, I refuse to get old. That’s right, you heard me. I plan to live forever, so get used to it.

This is the mindset most people should have.

Many times people remind you “You’re only as old as you feel” (or a deviation of that joke which I cannot repeat in a family newspaper), and I believe that to be absolutely true. I work out in the gym a lot, I dye my hair. I act young (in public, but in private I am a wreck) and I try to laugh every day.

Act young and you will feel young, right?

Wrong. This being Viet Nam, there are always some people doing everything possible to make sure I do not laugh and instead lose my temper and explode. These are the people who make me feel old.

Do they not understand I have 200 hectares and an excavator? It isn’t wise to irritate me, especially as I have the temperament of a Tasmanian Devil with a migraine.

“Teed Off” is not just a description of the beginning of a golf game, it is also a slang expression of a state of mind, and one which an acquaintance named Greg used to advise me to avoid.

Needless to say I prefer to laugh and joke. It comes naturally to me and keeps me feeling young.

So another birthday will come and go. C’est la vie.

What makes me feel good is knowing that golf club manufacturers will continue to churn out new products which will allow me to continue playing golf and having a good time.

It’s strange that even at my age I still need an X-flex in my clubs, but also comforting to know that when the time does come that I need graphite shafted irons, the technology will have improved enough to make me feel less self conscious about it.

When my uncle turned 65, we gave him a set of graphite shafted Ping irons and he was mortified. He called them a “ladies club” and absolutely refused to even try them… until nobody was looking and then he fell in love with them. He played those clubs until the day he died.

The only change over the years after that for him was the oxygen tank in his golf car because he was never able to break his 5-pack a day smoking habit.

Trust me when I say that is not the way you want to go out. I smoke and am always looking for ways to quit. It isn’t easy, but it’s worth the effort. Maybe that’s what my birthday present to myself will be this year, or better yet, my birthday present to my daughter as she wants me to stay around forever.

It’s funny how the Insurance Companies will NOT cover programmes to help you quit smoking, but then spend billions more to treat you for various smoking related diseases later. Tell me there isn’t some kind of conspiracy between the insurance companies, Big Pharma and hospitals…

Yes, I know this week’s column is kind of rambling, but to be honest, I am not really comfortable talking about myself in this kind of situation. Imagine that, me being at a loss for words… unbelievable.

Maybe I am getting old… naaaah! — VNS


by Robert Bicknell

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