I hate birthdays. They are non-negotiable and I have a natural dislike for anything that cannot be negotiated.
Worst are the ones where you cross over into another decade. If you’re 69, people just say they think you’re old. Then you become 70, and they start saying you’re ancient. You start meeting people who seem mildly surprised that you’re still alive, or at least wonder how you’re still managing to get out of the house without crutches. By the time you become 71 they’re getting used to it and you’re just back to being old again. Things calm down, all the way to 79. Then you turn 80 and the whole idiocy starts all over again.
And that’s not all of it. Next come the jokes. The walking frame in Korea. A drunk phone call from Flavio, calling me his best friend and Godfather. Max, telling me he’s still into S&M scenes with Nazi hookers but the agency told him they’ve got some World War I harlots for rent as well. Would I want some?
Worst of all was Sir Big Swinging Dick. “Hang in there, Bernie,” he told me. “My spaceship is almost ready. Try not to die before the first flight and I’ll buy you a ticket. Keep breathing, old boy!” Arsehole.
I’m sure it’ll be the same routine by the time I’ll turn 90 and 100. So let me spell it out to you: as long as I’m alive and kicking I will rule F1. I may be old but I’m not ancient. If you think I look ancient, then look up some photos of me on the internets. You’ll find that I’ve looked like this since the Cuban missile crisis.
So nothing’s new, OK? Move along please, business as usual.