A word in your ear - March 15, 2012

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I’ve always had a fairly fixed idea about what retirement will be like.

It came to me in a vision back in 1991. I was stood there in the Pleasure Drome in Birkenhead ready to knock the night on the head.

Well, my mates Tall Jim, Silent James and Action Andy had struck out. Me, I’d long since given up the chase after my Zippo refused to work at the crucial moment when a girl in lycra, classic RayBans and pursing a Marlboro Red in her lips, asked me for a light.

I have a vague recollection she sounded like Ingrid Bergman but, given the fact the music was pumping away at 167bpms, she could have sounded like Ernest Borgnine.

Anyhow, it was around this time I remember thinking ‘enjoy it while it lasts son, you and Tall Jim will be wearing flat caps and supping bitter in a quiet boozer before you can say, ‘the 90s are over’.

It was a rare moment of introspection among the heady days of rave-era Merseyside, but I locked it away for future use, a sort of target to tick off come the age of 65, 75, or whenever the Government allows me free of a tax code.

I hope I’ve got a hell of lot more memories and experiences to stock in before that retirement moment, when me and Jim will sit back with a pint of Timmy Taylor’s, strap on our rose-tinted specs and reminisce about how successful we were with the ladies, and ‘boy weren’t we cracking dancers.’

The last point is obviously not true, we had all the dancefloor grace of a prop forward and Ronnie Corbett.

The reason I raise it is because I reckon I’m destined for the polar opposite of my Uncle Tony when I reach his age – that being 71.

I spat my cornflakes clean across the kitchen last week when my mother called to tell me ‘your uncle Tony’s got himself a new job – dance instructor on a cruise ship’.

Now Uncle Tone – Anthony Love, to give him full moniker – has always been a man of action, up for a laugh and keen hot shoe shuffler.

Legend has it he was the first man in the Black Country to buy a mirrored tie when line dancing hit these shores. Now, 20 years on, he moves seamlessly on to a new chapter of his life – that as dancefloor diva.

I can see it now when he boards his ship in Antigua, freely announcing in his soft scouse tones “Move over Shaggy mate. . . there’s a new Loverman in town!”

And fair play to him. It beats the golf course, bingo hall and endless days out to ruined follies. He gets to see the world and dance the tango to his heart’s content.

I for one am impressed, he’s following his dream. It is, of course, not my dream. No, a flat cap, a £23 pint of bitter (2036 prices), Tall Jim and a tap room have my name on it.

Still there is a good chance there will be a reminder of our more active youth there with us.

Given his discovery of the Fountain of Youth I reckon Uncle Tone will probably be doing a turn near the jukebox. And why not?