The other night as I sipped a mug of hot chocolate while engrossed in a documentary about what apparently makes Canada such an interesting place, it occurred to me I may be suffering from OF - Old Fartism.

A chat with Doctor No.1 Son has since strengthened my self diagnosis.

One could hear the amusement in his voice when I told him I was looking forward to attending a motorhome expo in Auckland this weekend.

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"It's finally happened," he laughed. "And I suppose you've been out pulling paspalum stalks out of the lawn too".

"It's finally happened," he laughed. "And I suppose you've been out pulling paspalum stalks out of the lawn too".

Indignant, I changed the subject. I didn't want to tell him I had, in fact, taken a stroll across my lawn that very afternoon and decided it needed some attention on the weed side of things.

But what about this OF. Have I got it? What are the signs? Does it actually matter? Geez, I've only just waved goodbye to the last guests from my 50th birthday party haven't I?

Mrs P politely mentioned that was a few years ago now so I sulkily retreated to my shed ... where all my tools are neatly in the right place on the wall and the boxes of nails and screws I've collected over the years are labelled and secure in jars on the shelf.

I busied myself cleaning my golf clubs - no bowls for me yet.

Nah, I thought, I might be heading that way but I've not officially applied for membership.

Mind you, who says OF is something to be feared. I'm more of a mind to embrace it and have a bit of fun like the guy I met not that long ago - on my first motorhome trip actually.

He looked at it this way. OF was something to be cherished, he said. We all get older in our own way. It very much depended on what you wanted out of life. He didn't really care if people felt he was an Old Fart . . . though he admitted to exacting some light revenge on those dishing out the phrase by SKI -ing - Spending Kids Inheritance.


I reckon he's right. Those calling me an Old Fart today will be Old Farts themselves tomorrow. So what. Perhaps they should make it a Census question. Now that would be amusing if a report landed on a UN desk somewhere saying 70 per cent of New Zealanders identified as Old Farts and followed the Jedi religion!! Priceless.

Anyway. perhaps the following will prove the point: it just doesn't matter.
The other day while walking through town I had one of those awkward moments with a fellow pedestrian where we both stepped one way, then the other. Obviously we laughed but what was really gratifying was the lady in question (reasonably youngish as it turned out) didn't bat an eyelid when I said: "Shall we dance?".

In fact, for five seconds or so we did a very passable waltz on the footpath before parting with laughter and smiles as wide as the possibilities available for those of us about to become OF.

Of course, it is entirely possible such instances in the future could be an invitation for a visit from the men in white coats but for now I think I'll keep on being me.
I'll go to the motorhome show, fix the weeds in my lawn, keep my tools and shed stuff neat and tidy, and keep on playing golf with my fellow OF candidates.

Not sure I'll take up bowls though just yet. I'd like to get a bit of SKI-ing in first.

■ Kevin Page is a teller of tall tales with a firm belief too much serious news gives you frown lines. Feel free to share stories to .