Sunday, June 7, 2009

Feeling a touch of grumpy coming on

I guess the time may come for all of us to get to the grumpy old woman (or man) stage. Women have menopause to contend with, of course. And Dr Frances Pitsilis told Paul Henry on TV1’s Breakfast show that male menopause really can happen. It’s all because a bloke’s testosterone levels drop throughout life.
At 70, your average guy apparently has only half as much of the t-hormone as he had at 20. And as it wanes, from middle age onwards, men can lose their potency and enjoyment of life – not just in the sexual sense but also in terms of general perkiness, curiosity and liveliness of thought, possibly leading to glumness, depression and even a shorter life span.
Not to worry though, she said. Once your GP has ascertained your testosterone status through blood tests (and you might need more than one as the results aren’t always exact), he or she can prescribe hormone boosters. One such little helper comes in the form of a cream.
“Where do you apply it?” asked Henry innocently as he picked up a jar of the wonder ointment. ‘Behind your testicles,” said the good doctor, thus perhaps becoming the only person to ever utter the word on Breakfast. Henry dropped the jar so fast it was as if she’d told him he was holding a scorpion.
It was just about the best chuckly moment of the morning. But as a grumpy old woman in the making, I’d already had my share of droll moments. One was hearing a Newstalk ZB newsreader inform me that the recent loss of an Air France jet may have been partly caused by a “fierce equilateral storm”.
“Equatorial, you fool!” I said into the early morning darkness, feeling guilty that I could find any humour at all in anything to do with such a ghastly event. Perhaps it was that very earliness that addled the brain of the journalist who wrote the sentence for her to read.
And perhaps it was the same only-half-awake person who put a piece of paper in front of Kate Hawkesby recently, requiring her to read in another bulletin that the Pope had beatified someone (thus proclaiming that the person was blessed and worthy of veneration). Only the word that came out of Hawkesby’s mouth was “beautified”.
But even the grand and the famous can have foot-in-mouth moments. British PM Gordon Brown dropped a lovely clanger in a speech about D-Day when he referred not to Omaha Beach, but Obama Beach. Just one more reason for the beleaguered PM to feel like a total grumpy old man right now.

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