‘He’s had an incredible life, seen everything, done everything…most of all he KNOWS everything. Absolutely, totally, completely everything’…….
You already know this man. You’ll have met him before. He’ll be somebody from work, or a neighbor, or even a family member. He’s 60 plus, relatively well off and he thinks he’s had an incredible life – seen everything, done everything and worked really, really hard. Most of all he KNOWS everything. Absolutely everything. He also knows how to do everything, and the only right way to do anything is his way. He has strong views on race, gender and sexuality…well, actually, he has strong views on everything because he has Boring Old Man Syndrome and all of his views are tinged with conformist (the Boring Old Man always, always believes the news on the TV), right wing rancidity. The Boring Old Man is a font of wisdom, good sense and valuable experience — at least in his own world. You, in contrast, are just plain dumb.
Here’s some other stuff you need to know about The Boring Old Man (henceforth known as TBOM):
- He will ruthlessly exploit his position as an Old Person to tell you the same old boring nonsense about his life again and again and again and in explicit, mind-numbing detail. Half an hour in a story about how clean public toilets are in Germany (this is the eighth time you’ve heard this story) you’ll actually want to punch him but TBOM will continue talking, safe in the knowledge that you’ll carry on sitting their looking interested because you’re too polite to be seen to punch an Old Person, whatever the provocation and no matter how much you might want to.
- Never try and compete with a TBOM. He is better than you, wiser than you, has done more than you and just knows more stuff than you ever will. For example, should you tell a TBOM about that time you climbed Everest in a blizzard and gale force winds, the TBOM will then launch into a three hour, non-stop marathon recounting of how he climbed Everest in a blizzard and gale force winds WITH TWO BROKEN LEGS!
- Never, ever disagree with a TBOM on anything. If you do, he’ll simply double down on his efforts to show how stupid you actually are and what was already a tortuous and deeply dull monologue will double or even triple in length.
- Most importantly — do not, under any circumstance, ever challenge a TBOM on his rancid, conformist view of politics and society. As TBOM’s know everything (absolutely everything, remember) and because they are always (and I mean always) right they will not accept being challenged (especially by someone as stupid and inexperienced as you). If you do challenge a TBOM in this manner, beware — they will react with outrage and will GO FOR THE JUGULAR. I made the mistake a cupla weeks back of challenging a TBOM on a particular issue. He looked at me. A shadow crossed his face. His eyes turned mean as a scorpion. He thought. He furrowed his already wrinkly brow. His lips turned downward, his attitude sulfurous. And he said to me…
‘What you don’t understand is that I approach this issue with more experience and knowledge of the world than you. You see, I have lived a real life and learned from it, whereas you know very little about anything as you’ve spent your life just playing at living a life…’
Wow! That shut me up! I was totally owned! My whole existence and life story negated and voided in just two sentences! Only TBOM power can do that.
So, now you know what a dangerous and unpleasant figure a TBOM is, how do you avoid becoming one yourself?
Simple. You remember that a a truly wise man thinks, as he gets older, not about much he has done and how much he knows, but about how much more there is to do in life and how very, incredibly complex the world is and how little he knows about it.
Or, as my old Dad used to say, bless him — ‘the older I get, the more I realize I know sod all about sod all’!