How do you know the years are catching up on you? Is it the increase in aches and pains, the loss of mobility and hair, the fact that women look at you fondly (as opposed to yearning to be fondled by you), or the worrying fact that all your friends are dying off and you seem to be the last man standing?
Or is it the cost of a chicken?
Let me tell you.
In the late 60’s – in an all-out effort to suck up to my future in-laws – I used to buy a sheep (once a month) at a farm outside Kimberley. A big one. (The sheep, dummy, not the hole in the ground.)
The animal was slaughtered, cleaned, cut, and packed in containers by the farm workers for the princely sum of R7.00. Yes, seven Rand!
Maybe I should add that, as a first year apprentice on the Railways, (remember the South African Railways and Harbours?), my monthly salary was R45.00. Petrol cost R0.32 a gallon (a gallon is roughly equal to 4.5 litres). My monthly board and lodging cost R9.00, and milk was R0.09 for a half litre. Sex was safe and cigarettes were healthy. I had all my hair and teeth. Before potholes and Limpopo.
Back to reality.
Last week I bought a chicken (on sale) for R63.00. Normally I don’t bother to look at the price – but in this case, it just flew up at me. (The price, dummy, not the chicken. It was dead and frozen.) “Sixty three Rand!” it screamed – waking me from my more-than-four-decade-long Rip van Winkle slumber.
*“That’s nine sheep!” I screamed right back at the price tag. In 1968 I could have bought nine sheep for R63.00! By now – with careful breeding – I could have had a sheep farm with several thousand of the woolly creatures running around bleating like Malema. But with the sheep bleating more intelligently, if you get my drift.
At that very moment, when the price of the chicken flew up at me, I realised that I was OLD, very old. Ancient, in fact.
Now bear with me, all you atheists, while I try to explain the concept of old.
Some of the guys in the Bible were almost as old as I am. **Methuselah – 969, Jared – 962, and ***Noah – 950 years. Notice that the age of none of their wives are ever mentioned; proving once again that women don’t like people to know how old they really are.
Now imagine Methuselah going shopping at Pick and Pay to buy a chicken. (OK, we all know that he never existed, right atheists?) But, just for fun, imagine what he would have said:
“Jeez, these chickens are really small and pumped up with brine. They’re selling these frozen bird carcasses for 63 Shekels each – that’s what a sheep costs in Babylon! I must be getting really old – like old ****Irukandji.”
*ANC Basic Maths – 63 chickens divided by 7 sheep is equal to R9.00 (rounded off to nearest million)
**Methuselah – Famous for making large bottles of champagne
***Noah – Renowned boat-builder
****Irukandji – Very old man