“In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play” said Friedrich Nietzsche, the German philosopher. Amen to that brother. I’ve been accused of failing to act my age or be responsible, yet in my mind, the people that say this are often jaded with life, unhappy with the choices that they’ve made and jealous of my marriage-free, child-free, debt-free, er… freedom. I’m certainly not anti-those things and I can’t help it if I find it impossible to see a space hopper and not bounce around the garden on it. Admittedly though, it’s probably wrong to push my niece and nephew out of the way to get to it first. I’m much bigger and should control my excitement, but space hoppers are ace. I still can’t resist kicking my way through fallen leaves and I’m still fascinated by insects and snails – some species can actually mate with themselves! If I was a snail, I think I’d have a large family…
Also, I know I’m not the only man who enjoys jumping on a trampoline. Okay, so I use my weight to propel my nephew several feet into the air, but I’m sure he enjoys it. Plus you get to see into the neighbours’ gardens! And everyone loves kiddies’ favourites such as cola bottles and jelly babies. Although, I probably eat too many and get hyperactive, and then I have to be let out into the back garden for a run around. Like a child, I get genuinely excited at the prospect of trying new things, seeing new places and meeting new people and that, I know, it a good quality to retain, for life is for living and no man will be on his deathbed proclaiming his gladness that he never took chances and led a ‘sensible’ life.
Anyway, who can define exactly what ‘acting your age’ is? When I’m 40 should I buy a cowboy hat and start attending line-dancing evenings? I hope not, as that’s just around the corner… When I’m 50, should I buy a radio controlled race car and go to race meets? Or when I’m 70, should I absent-mindedly go to the shops to buy a newspaper in my dressing gown and slippers? No chance my friend for, like Homer Simpson, I embrace my inner man-child. I feel no need to apologise for playfully winding up my friends, like an irritating school kid. I’m just trying to lighten the mood a little and have some fun. Life has enough stress, so we all need to let off some steam. If we don’t laugh enough, our hearts will explode, and that’s a medical fact. My childhood may be over, but that doesn’t mean playtime is. So, who’s in for space hopper racing? I’ve got the course set up already. Take it away Al: “He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.” (Albert Einstein – he was, like, a really brainy dude, so he knew where it’s at.)
By the way, that is not me in the ‘dickhead’ mask, just a slightly crazy friend!