Time to Quit

Gen Plus welcomes columnist Cass Brown to the Gen Plus Blog.

Cass’ blog, Cancergiggles, has drawn over a quarter of a million visitors over the past two years. In his words, “Cancergiggles is an idiot’s guide to accepting, living with, laughing at and dying from cancer. The very, very last bit I can’t be absolutely sure of, but then who the hell can? I could have written some beautifully crafted, grammatically correct essays but I hope you will understand, that when I say “I don’t have a lot of time” I mean it far more literally than you do. I just wanted scribble a few thoughts to maybe light a spark in people – and then it became a book about Cancer, Life, Death, Illness and Politics”. His book is available through http://www.genplususa.com/shop.aspx, www.lulu.com, or directly through his site.


Time to Quit

by Cass Brown

So that’s it then. Yesterday, when you were 49, you were still part of a vibrant human race, but this morning you’re 50, so you may as well check into the funeral home now. Your body is falling apart and is only any use as spares and your brain has turned to mush. You are incoherent, incompetent and incontinent and you will probably need to pay to get towed away as scrap. Your ID is withdrawn, bank account closed, credit rating in minus figures and the only employment available to you is as a tour guide in the sewerage system. Who is to blame for this sorry state of affairs? You are Dumbo, because you let yourself get a whole 24 hours older than you were this time yesterday. More to the point – you let it matter.

When exactly was it that you stopped laughing? When did you start taking yourself so seriously? When did you grow up? Pinpoint that date (because it all happens at the same time) and I can guarantee to show you a life graph that heads steadily south. No need to worry – thanks to the wonders of modern medicine, you can probably hang on being a miserable waste of space for another 40 or 50 years. On the other hand, you could have a helluva lot of fun, fighting the bastards who perpetuate the system which wants to consign you to the garbage, and well, just having fun. It’s time to fix the problem.

I think I had my 50th birthday in about 30 years time. It says 1954 on my birth certificate, but that’s clearly a clerical error because my 11 year old daughter thinks I’m far more immature than her even though I’m better at telling silly jokes and pulling faces. Plus I can walk like a crab because the surgeons chopped me up a while ago. Plus I just took her camping in storms in the high Pyrenees in a very little tent even though I can’t really stand up for long without falling over. Plus I wear an outrageous hat. Plus I laugh. A lot.

If anyone would like to learn about how to do some of these things, just ask and I will explain further (apart from walking like a crab because that’s my trick). Soon, I will also tell you how to not let dates matter, how to have a riot (of your very own), how to un-mush your head and how to start laughing again. Until then, you could have a little go at doing this on your own. It isn’t dirty or dangerous and you may find that it is quite addictive. Trust me – I’m an addict.

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