Jon Rhodes - Look at it this way - 27-01-11

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THERE are many signs of old age. There are the obvious, physical changes to one’s body. The loss of bonce follicles, the frown lines which refuse to leave your forehead and the disturbing noises you make when simply getting out of a chair.

Also a pie takes a week before shifting from your midriff and you start thinking along the lines a static caravan in Scotland is every bit as good as a two-week 18-30 shindig in Magaluf.

Actually, the last point is a bit of a trick. Two weeks in Magaluf has never ever been my cup of tea. Then again, neither was tea my cup of tea. But these days, I do tend to savour one, and follow it with the satisfied purr of “ooh, nice brew”.

But two things happened this week which ended any hope I had of finding some elixir which could ward off the pace of old age.

On Monday, I found myself at Customer Services at my local supermarket complaining I had just paid 42p more than the advertised price.

The other, well I joined the AA - and not the anonymous type.

Dealing with the first instance. I was in the supermarket buying razor blades given my FusionPower/Atomic Shave blades had lost their nuclear sharpness and had reverted to the cutting ability of a rusty bumper from a 1972 Maxi.

My constant frown lifted upwards when, at the self-service checkout, I noticed I’d been overcharged compared to the price on the peg.

“There is a principal involved here,” I thought to myself and queued up to argue the toss.

The woman in glasses behind the counter agreed a mistake had led to them leaving the old price on display. But I know my rights as a shopper, and so did she to be fair.

She did not quibble giving me my 42p back. Although she did announce “here is your 42 pence sir” in a rather loud voice as if to tell the other shoppers “yeah, tightwad here, hassling me for 42p.”

That out of the way, I returned home where there was some excitement from my daughter who proudly gave me an envelope announcing – “It doesn’t look like one of those bill things daddy.”

Indeed, it was not. This was my AA membership. Given free I hasten to add as part of my new car insurance package.

Now my father was always a member of this fine upstanding institution at a time when they issued metal badges to proudly fasten to the Maxi’s radiator grill. I think leather patches for the elbows of your cardigan remain optional.

Sadly, all I got was a plastic credit card (like I need another one of those) and a handbook telling me not to drive in snow or be distracted by a Sat Navs.

But the card has taken pride of place in my wallet and I’m sure I will be ringing the hotline any time soon, given the rather dull clanking coming from under the bonnet of the old hairdresser’s sports coupe.

I heard myself tell the Put Upon Wife, “it’s good to be covered love, given the age of our cars and all.”

Maybe it’s not just the cars which need covering. I’m shattered and need a little lie down with all the excitement.