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Christian O'Connell

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Turning 40

Posted: 04/05/2013 00:00

Christian Oconnell

I've just hit 40. People use words like 'hit' when talking about this age (you 'turn' 21 or 30).

Personally I'm rather enjoying it. Bits of me are aching, but it's ok. In the days leading up to my 40th I got tweets from people saying 'hey, it's just a number' and I noticed all of these were sent by people whose avatar wasn't their own face.

I do seem to have a lot more ointments and lotions now. I wish Black and Decker or De-Walt did them for men so my bathroom would look a bit more manly.

Turning 40 is a chance to take stock as you realise the progress bar of your life has moved over the half way point*. Some of my friends have started doing triathlons but this seemed like too much hard work and lycra. I've started Brazilian Ju Jitsu training and the other day my wife saw the burn marks on my knees and looked worried at my 'It's from the Ju Jitsu' plea.

Bet Max Mosley tried that one too.

Being 40 feels like you have learnt some valuable life lessons. I'm not entirely sure what mine are, but I do know never to drink in flat roofed pubs.

I think you should be given a sash or mayoral chain to wear once you are 40. When you reach 65 you get a free bus pass. I'd really like something now. Wi-Fi should be free to you as it's hard on 40 year old eyes to type in the overlong passwords all the time.

Recently my Dad found a list that I made back in 1986 when I was just 13 years old. Our teacher was 'hitting 40' and asked us to write down everything we wanted to achieve in our lives before we reached his milestone. On my list were 13 things.

When my Dad read-out the details I was proud that I'd done 6 of the 13 things. I then realised seven were undone and I thought it would be fun to try and do them all before my birthday on 7 April. Using the help of my listeners I have managed to tick them all off.

Some were embarrassing like taking on a five-time BMX Champion to try and be the new British BMX Champion. The 13-year-old thought I'd be a BMX Champion. I began to hate the 13 year old me. I was thrashed by a pensioner. He was 61. I fell over. People laughed.

Our teenage years are fueled by a powerful hormone cocktail and for me it was all about the Lady In Red (no I didn't fancy Chris De Burgh) It was all about Kelly Le Brock, and of course one of John Hughes earliest movies 'Weird Science'. Let me remind you of the plot. Two geeks 'make' the perfect women on a computer. It's Kelly Le Brock. The 13 year old me dreamt I would have dated her by 40 and at 39 and 3/4 I got to realise my dream.

I had a "wife sanctioned" phone date. Kelly was nuts but great fun. Afterwards she said she might come to London and we could meet for dinner. She thought I was 'cute'. Guess what? My wife had a real problem with this and we seriously had an argument about it. She "Brockblocked" the meeting. The 13 year old me would have hated this - his mind and pants would have exploded at the thought of it all, but he didn't understand marriage.

The last three items were very hard to pull off. Fight Darth Vader, Have a Splurge Gun Party and Do What Ferris Bueller did on his day off.

The other thing I'm doing as a result of turning 40 is risking professional and financial suicide by taking my first ever show to the Edinburgh Comedy Festival. Friends have tried to talk me out of it saying I will;

a. lose money
b. have a mental breakdown up there
c. not be funny

But the venue is booked and I'm starting the process of developing the show in little rooms above pubs. The show will be about the adventures I had completing my 40 list.

If you fancy coming and see me in a room above a pub and developing my Edinburgh show then dates are here.

I'm glad I'm 40. I'm lucky to have done my 40 list. I'm going to make a 50 list.

*Yeah I went and looked at AV life expectancy for men, 78.2 years. I have a grade D is GCSE maths but even I know I'm now half way dead. Which sounds like a Steven Segal movie.

 
 
 

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