I swear, sometimes I want to knock someone senseless if I hear them whimper “Stay safe.” at me one more bloody time. Realistically I’m more likely to sneer “You think we’re not safe? Why do you think that? Come on, out with it? Why do you believe such tall tales?” Because violence never really solves anything, does it? Well, apart from to stop someone hurting you, or to throw them out of a place they shouldn’t be. In which case the odd bit of Atemi-Jitsu has been known to come in handy.
As it is, Mrs S has been complaining about my eyes rolling so hard that she gets annoyed by the constant clicking. My dear lady is aware of my occasionally aggressive nature and acts as a moderator, although she also has quite a temper, which led to one particular episode where I had to leap out of the car when she was arguing with someone else, pinning the passenger door shut so she could not storm out, then confronting the sources of her annoyance stating. “Push off. No, I’m not protecting her from you, I’m protecting you from her.” They got the message. But then, I’m a big guy and people tend not to argue too much.
Regarding this fad for ‘staying safe’, we are all mortal and most prefer not to acknowledge how utterly random that mortality is. To understand that, all one has to do is read the actuarial tables. Cold hard numbers tell us how brief, and random life is for so many. It’s easy to feel immortal in your teens and early twenties, but oddly enough that is the highest risk group for death by misadventure, Personal example; between the ages of eighteen and twenty five I lost three quarters of my close personal friends to drunk drivers, suicide, silly bloody accidents and one who fell through the ice and drowned. Now that is very high I will concede, but it does highlight the spirit of the age and how easy it is to shuffle off this mortal coil.
Here’s a thought experiment for the over thirties; cast your mind back to your early schooldays if you can. How many people of your acquaintance have simply dropped off the map between Leaving school and thirty years of age? How many of your social group have slipped from your circle, only to report in late from the graveyard? From all sorts of causes.
Indeed, a walk among the tombstones, just to look at the dates, is often a quietly grim education, even considering that most get cremated nowadays and have no memorial but in the crematoria’s record books. This little exercise has blown a chilly wind through many a complacent mind, including mine when I see how young some of the dead are. I used to do it because there was an old cemetery with a few interesting / amusing inscriptions not far from where I lived. One of which was inscribed “As I am now, so shall ye be, so be prepared to follow me.”
They didn’t need ‘vaccine passports’ in case they caught a nasty cough and snuffle. They had real diseases to cope with, less money and much worse privies than we fortunate 21st century people. Yet people still lived into their 90’s. My Mother did, as did her Father, and his father before him. They lived through two world wars and far more deadly pandemics than we ever will, such is the state of modern medicine and hygiene.
Which has always left me acutely aware of my own mortality, However, it is a major truth that life without risk is simply not worth living. Or, to put it in the words of US Marine Sergeant Daniel Daly; “Do you want to live forever?” Which is a phrase that always makes my lips twitch in a smile. Which raises the question; if so – why? Do we really want to live forever? If so, do we understand what that truly means? When all novelty palls, when all appetites fade to ash in the mouth. Because it will.
None of us are immortal, that much is certain. So we can all either get out there and bloody well live, or curl up in a little bubble and quiver our randomly miserable lives away. I know which option I prefer. Catch you on the flip side.