I like watching TV programs that others may consider lowbrow: Swamp People, Rat Bastards, American Restorations, American Pickers, How Clean is Your Home, Embarrassing Bodies, Monster Jam, COPS, Lizard Lick Towing . . .
As Thomas or Elliot, my sons, walk past me when I am ensconced in my favourite chair or at my computer at my desk with one of the above shows on, they like to announce "When Buildings Fall Down", quoting the name of the program that a laughing Homer and Bart are watching in one of The Simpsons episodes.
One show that I watch, Pawn Stars, is actually a reflection of life and the aging process.
For those who don't know it, Pawn Stars is an American reality TV show that is filmed in Las Vegas. It records the daily activities of a large pawn shop, a family business started in 1989, and of the family that conduct the business: Richard "Old Man" Harrison, his son Rick, Rick's son Corey "Big Hoss" Harrison and Corey's friend Austin "Chumlee" Russell. Customers bring in all manner of objects and Rick will either know all about it or have a friend who knows and is called in. Also of interest is the interaction of the cast members.
The Old Man is a crotchetty, grumpy guy who, like the old bull of the story, makes up for in wisdom what he has lost physically through aging. The young bulls, Corey and Chumlee, are cheeky, all knowing, irritating young bucks who like to take the piss out of the old man. Example: a client comes in with a painting of an 18th century couple in period dress. Corey calls out to the Old Man "Hey grandpa, he's got a picture of you and grandma."
I mention all of this because I am increasingly starting to sound like, and have the same attitudes, as the Old Man, Richard. The recognition of this came as a bit of a shock in that mentally I still see myself as Rick, the middle level of the family.
Not that long ago I attended a local Law Society dinner that honoured those practitioners in the Inner West who had been in practice for 25 years or more. I have 37 years on the board. One of the attendees was Anne, a fellow plus 25er. As we stood around waiting to be seated, Anne walked into the room, took a quick look around and declared in a voice audible to most, "My God, we've all gotten OLD!"
For so many years I was the only person in the office doing court work, now Maryann and Thomas are also doing it. I find that I am delegating matters and court appearances commensurate with their levels of skill that in the past I would have attended to. I need to do this so that they will grow and develop but it makes me realise that I am more and more taking a lesser role, or, to quote Dame Edna, that I am on the path to the maximum security Twilight Home for the Bewildered.
It's the Circle of Life.