In idle moments, of which there are few, as you can imagine, in the life of a 24/7 creative type like meself, who never watches crap TV or even sleeps for fear of depriving the world (that's you) of my precious outpourings, one's mind may alight on the strangest of questions - and so it came to pass that last night I wondered when David 'Kid' Jensen dropped the nickname.
I thought, 'When did he no longer feel able to call himself a 'kid'? At what age did it seem inappropriate?' This lead to some pontification over the ageing process and how we perceive ourselves. When would I stop calling myself 'Kid'? 30? 35? 40? I concluded that 40 would have been about right, although you'll probably think that's stretching things a little too far. But in many ways I'm a kid at heart, as I suspect a lot of adults are. To be a kid is to do stupid things, by which I mean frivolous things, such as perform a funny walk, make odd noises, jump up and click your heels (admittedly difficult after a certain age) and so on.
I'm sure that not being a breeder encourages kid-like behaviour because you have no kid to set an 'adult' example to, although it's not uncommon to see middle-aged men puffing and panting as they play games with their offspring. I was going to suggest that fathers also have a great time snatching games from their children and hogging them for half an hour, before remembering that children now spend most of their time on computers watching porn (Dad can do that when he gets the chance) and talking to friends on their mobiles.
I noticed someone moaning about being middle-aged on FB a while back. They're only in their late-30s but seemed eager to embrace all the supposed ills of 'getting old', such as being 'grumpy' (that programme has a lot to answer for), tired, cynical, disillusioned etc. But we supposedly live in an age when actual age signifies something other than it once did, as in 60 being the new 50 and so on, because we're all living longer, and more to the point, older men don't know how to dress and opt for looking ridiculous in khaki combat-style shorts trainers, and t-shirt. What they should be wearing is Tweed, collared shirts and proper shoes, as some teenagers do, and I applaud them.
Yet the urge to embrace a supposedly suitable grumpy outlook persists. It's as if a generation is resistant to having eternal youth foisted upon them, clothing excepted, perhaps because of the associated characteristics such as optimism, naivety, energy etc, unless the youth in question are rioters (or would-be rioters), in which case being miserable and negative is essential.
At a certain age, despite the media message, time will take it's toll, physically. Psychologically, bittersweet memories and the creeping conviction that yours were the best teenage years possible, culturally-speaking, begin to take hold. Perhaps your career path became a tangle of thorns in the form of bad luck and poor decision-making or, like me, you never got on one to start with.
On the plus (?) side, taking your kids to festivals is now quite the thing, if you're the type to embrace the idea of bouncy castles and Rizzle Kicks, along with hundreds of other parents and their kids. At Camp Bestival this year, along with Rolf Harris, you can see Henry Rollins (!). Not together, sadly, because I like to imagine Rolf accompanying a rabid Rollins on didgeridoo.
David Jensen dropped 'Kid' around 1981, by the way. And he's a Freemason. No kidding.