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Fool, Britannia: The BritNews RoundUp

I don't expect to grow old gracefully. I don't do anything gracefully, so why would I do that? But aging is something you tend to think about more often the older you get. I don't remember it being a concern when I was in my 20s.

The funny thing is, when you're young and misbehave, people say, "Oh, grow up," but when you're old and misbehave, they say, "Oh, act your age." I don't know what I mean, exactly, by "misbehave." I just know that I can more easily embarrass my teenage children by acting 26 than by acting 66. (I am 46. [The scary thing? I feel 16.])

Forty years ago the Wheaton Youth Center played host to Led Zeppelin, four young Englishmen. In the audience: a few dozen young Americans. Today, twenty-five percent of Led Zeppelin is dead. The rest are in their 60s. The youngest person from that audience would be in his 50s.

This is all a long-winded way of getting to the first item in our BritNews RoundUp, a neat little video clip from the BBC about the "oldest rocker in town." Eighty-two-year old Owen Brown likes Megadeath, Iron Maiden, Kiss, Judas Priest... "I didn't like other sorts of music," said Brown. "I like the rock." I like the rock too, Owen.

Owen's son, Pedro (Pedro?), seems to appreciate his father's interests. That can't be said for all children, especially teenagers, who enjoy ending conversations with "I hate you!" and the sound of slamming doors. Never fear, parents. According to a poll published in the Daily Mail, kids only appreciate their parents when they reach the age of 22.

"Teenagers are headstrong, emotional and independent, and at this point mum and dad become uncool, stifling and over-protective," said a spokesman for the polling company. "But when kids leave home and start to fend for themselves, they no longer have to conform to their parents’ ways and rebel against their suggested habits. This is a point of reflection for most people."

Twenty-two. Twenty-two... That number seems for familiar for some reason. Oh yes, that's right. It's the number of times a college student from Aberdeen named Stuart Kennedy has been arrested by police for impersonating an officer.

Stuart is a male stripper, you see, and while he ends up naked, he starts out wearing a police uniform. According to the Telegraph, authorities have spent 170,000 pounds arresting Stuart 22 times. He has been charged, among other things, with "possession of an offensive weapon." That would be his, um, truncheon.

Perhaps police would be better off spending their time trying to catch real criminals, like the burglars who broke into the house of a 78-year-old woman in Cardiff and killed her budgie, George, when she refused to hand over her savings.

Writes the Daily Mail: "George's body was later taken away by police for forensic analysis to look for clues to help catch his killers. On Sunday he was returned to one of her friends so he can be given a dignified send-off." I wonder what rates as dignified for a budgie funeral.

Finally, here is a video from England (an ad for Cadbury's chocolate) entitled "Freaky Children Wiggle Their Eyebrows." I think that pretty much sums it up:

Chat-a-nooga Choo-Choo
It's Friday, which means the noon-time hour will find me staring at my computer screen, answering questions and posting comments from readers scattered across cyberspace. Please stop on by. You can post a question/comment to the chat now or join me then by clicking here.

No columns next week, but, Jack Lord willing, I'll be blogging away as usual.

By John Kelly  |  January 23, 2009; 9:10 AM ET
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Regarding old age, rather than teen age:

John Mortimer, creator of Rumpole of the Bailey died last week. Here is his take on old age (I believe I lifted this from the Guardian's Obit):

Dying is a matter of slapstick and pratfalls,” he wrote in “The Summer of a Dormouse: A Year of Growing Old Disgracefully” (2000). “The aging process is not gradal or gentle. It rushes up, pushes you over and runs off laughing. No one should grow old who isn’t ready to appear ridiculous.”

Posted by: mfromalexva | January 23, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

A dignified Budgie funeral would have to include a killer drum solo, wouldn't it?

Posted by: staxowax | January 23, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

That is by far the most bizarre ad I've ever seen! I love Brit ads, especially the new PG Tips ads with Monkey, but this one nuts.

Posted by: TerpPhysicist | January 23, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

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