I really hope I don’t have a 100th birthday party because of all the annoying rituals that go with it.
Firstly, you’ll have a local newspaper or film crew cover the celebrations and take pictures of you wearing a now ill-fitting outfit you bought 27 years ago and have your make up smeared all over your face by some care worker who trained as an Abstract Artist at college, making you look like a clown.
They’ll wheel you out in a wheelchair when, in reality, the only thing stopping you from standing up is the ridiculously big heavy badge with 100 written on it that someone has pinned onto your chest.
You have to ask someone on camera what your birthday card says and they say “It says “Happy Birthday” and you have to feign surprise. What the hell else was it gonna say?
A reporter will mention your lovely “Telegram From The Queen” and, whether you’re a Royalist or not, you secretly hope it burns well to keep you a little bit warmer in winter.
Your cake will have loads of candles that you have to try and blow out without losing your dentures and slobbering all over the icing.
People you hoped you’d never see again or wish had died before you are, disappointingly, still hanging around waiting for your money.
Then someone will ask you – because it’s the law – “What do you owe your long life to?” And you have to say something that makes you sound really, really old like “They give me a Sherry every morning and a slice of Battenburg Cake” which secretly makes you welcome death as you’re sick of the sight of those things.
My dad was asked on his 88th birthday what he put his long life down to and he replied: “I’ve just been unlucky.”
That, my friends, is class and cuts through all the rubbish about celebrating oldness.