Thursday, 29 September 2011

Growing up: the ugly truth.

After a particularly stressful day recently, I found myself longing for the good old days. When there were no bills to pay, no work to do, and the main concern in life was having a blank vhs ready to record He-Man. It's funny, I thought, that when you're a kid you spend your days waiting to grow up, and when you grow up you end up wishing you were a kid again*. I'd like to address the subject, for the benefit of any youngsters that might find themselves reading this, and I'd also like to say that if you are a youngster reading this, please log off now and go and do some kid stuff while you still can. Go and build a treehouse, build a dam in a stream, build a ramp in the garden and ride your bike over it, catch bugs in the garden and at this time of year you should really be playing conkers. Because when you're old, all that shit is frowned upon.

Here are some of the numerous myths you may have heard:

  • When you grow up you can do whatever you want. This is simply not true. Unless you're one of those super rich dickheads like in that Adam Sandler film, there are multiple limitations to what you can get away with as an adult. The main thing holding you back will be money, or lack thereof. When you're an adult you have to spend all your money on adult shit, like bills and rent. You can't just march into a toy shop and spend all your cash on every Transformer available, because you've just had to spend your spare cash for the month on an impromptu trip to the dentist (that's right, when you grow up they start charging you cash money for that nonsense) and Transformers aren't what they used to be anyway. Then of course, you might end up with a woman, or worse still a whole family, in which case you'll have to spend all your money on them instead. Course, there are times, if you're without the old 'ball and chain', that you can do something crazy like eat cheesecake for breakfast. But these times are generally few and far between.
  • This is a work of fiction.
    You will not hook up with Winona Ryder. 
  • When you grow up you will be big and strong and you can throw bales of hay around like cotton buds. I'm not sure why you'd want to throw bales of hay around, but I grew up on a farm, and adults seemed to do a lot of that back then. That and shoving their arms inside cows. Lasting memories. Still, you definitely get stronger as you get older, up until a certain point. I personally believe that when you hit about thirty it all goes to shit from there. You'll get a bad back, creaky joints, random aches and pains and unpredictable bowel movements. Mark my words. If you want to do all that energetic shit, get it out of the way early, because by the time you're my age you'll just want to glue yourself to a sofa with a packet of codeine and a nice cuppa. 
  • Seriously, when I was a kid this was all anyone ever did.

  • Grown ups get to have sex ALL THE TIME. Tricky one, this. Some grownups do seem to have sex all the time, but I'm pretty sure the vast majority spend their days convinced that everybody else is having more sex than them. If you're lucky, you'll get your end away by the time you're eighteen, but there's really no rush. The quicker you start on the women, the quicker you'll get one of them knocked up and have to stop doing all the fun shit I mentioned previously. I imagine you know at least one person who claimed to be having full sexual intercourse at the age of about nine, there's one in every class in every school in every country IN THE WORLD. But i strongly suspect most of them are bullshitting, and the ones that aren't bullshitting will be scarred for life and socially awkward forever. 
  • When you grow up, nobody tells you what to do. Boy are you in for a surprise. When you grow up everyone tells you what to do. There are more rules and regulations than you can shake a stick at. You have to pay your bills on time. You have to drag yourself out of bed and go to work at least five days a week, and then you have to give a chunk of your wages to the tax man so he can spend it on various invasions and suchlike. You have to pay money just to have a fucking television, even when there's never anything good on, so idiots like Chris Moyles can afford their weekly truck load of pies. You have to have a license to drive a car, and then you're not allowed to drive it fast. You can't run around naked doing cartwheels on the lawn like when you were a kid, especially if you live in a mid-terraced house. Then if you get a wife or a girlfriend, you're fucked. They bring a whole new set of rules into the house with them. You have to put the toilet seat down after you've done a wee, because apparently that's too difficult for them or something. You must always always ALWAYS pick up your dirty socks, and God help you if you don't notice she's dyed her hair half a shade lighter. Again. 
So to summarise, growing up isn't the basket of clowns and rainbows it looks like as a kid. If you're a child, why are you still here? For the love of God go out and do some fun stuff. And I don't mean play Playstation, I mean go outside and get muddy. When you grow up the only time you get muddy is when you're digging the garden or unblocking a drain, and that's just not the same thing. And if you're not a child but you know somebody who is, please urge them not to grow up too quickly. It's much nicer being young and blind to the horrors of life than it is to be grown up and disillusioned. 

*unless you're Wayne Rooney, I think he's still pretty happy with his Lego. 

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