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'50 Shades of Grey' and the Search for Happiness - The Solution is in Your Own Hands

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I have reached an age where my peak can be seen disappearing around the corner behind me. I was resigned to this when it was still in focus. But now, my peak has become a blur,

To make matters worse, a few of friends and peers are currently wrestling with their own mortality. And, meeting work colleagues for a drink this week, I was horrified when the question "How's Phil" was asked, and the answer was "He's dead". True, it was followed up with the statement "none of the men in his family live long" as if this made it OK. The men in my family have big feet and cry when watching soppy films. This has not though contributed to their premature demise.

Reflecting on the precariousness of my state, I viewed the slumbering mass of my fellow man over 40 years of age on the commuter train taking me home this week to identify possible solutions. It was not a pleasing site. The ravages of time had taken their toll. Skin was loose. Noses were bulbous. These were people crying out for cosmetic surgery or at least a proper moisturising routine.

And most obviously, their faces showed little lightness of expression, almost to a man. In short, they needed a damn good seeing-to to bring their mojo back to its proper sparkling state, now concealed by a jungle of worldy pressures allowed to build up over the years (and bindweed of course, which every gardener knows gets everywhere).

I accept that this solution is a little one-sided and would require an extensive consultation period from a key stakeholder group. The beauty of this though is that if there is no consensus, the objective could be achieved on a unilateral basis with no external stakeholder involvement.

The time is right. Women of the world are gripped by "50 Shades of Grey" mania. There is a rich furrow to be ploughed. The key we learn from positive reviews is that women like it because Christian Grey does all of the rights things for the woman without even being asked. Whether this includes putting the rubbish out, bathing the dog or purchasing tampons without question is not made clear in the reviews. There is also a significant group of negative comments summed up beautifully by the article headed "10 Reasons 'Fifty Shades of Grey' Made My Vagina Shrivel Up and Die" making this in every way a route not to be travelled.

As a sex though, Men are our their own worst enemy. Doing all of the right things without even being asked is practically unachievable. It is like trying to break into a safe with a stethoscope - sometimes you will just not hear the click which leads to the door flying open.

There is another solution. Soldiers have long been woken from their sleep in barracks with the rallying cry "Hands off cocks! Hands on socks"! Reversing this will put lead in the pencils of today's mid-lifers.

The Noble Bard has as ever given us mid-lifers our rallying cry:

"And you, good Yeoman, whose limbs were made in England; show us the mettle of your pasture;
Let us swear that you are worth your breeding; which I doubt not.
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips, straining upon the start.
The game's afoot. Follow your spirit and upon this charge cry
God for Harry, England and Saint George"

Gentlemen (of a certain age). Rise up and heal thyself. The solution is your own hands.