Just call me Benji and keep your anti-aging cream…


I’m back and this time it’s personal! Apologies for the recent break in posts. I forced myself to take two weeks off and have some unresolved issues with the internet. Namely, it doesn’t return my calls even though I think we’re soulmates.

Big news this week. Similar to ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’, I seem to be aging in reverse. Due to the (intentional) lack of a profile picture here, I should explain that I am in fact deceptively young looking. I can’t buy a packet of wine gums—let alone try to walk into a night-club—without being asked for ID. It’s been a regular source of entertainment for my nearest and dearest for years. My parents have become used to bar-staff looking at them and muttering…probably something about being a bad parent for getting me drunk. Like Brad Pitt’s hotness, it shows no sign of stopping.

While on a recent flight, I went to sit down in one of the overwing seats. Extra leg-room=being responsible for opening an emergency exit door if it crashes. However, a chirpy air hostess nearly foiled my plan. ‘I’m sorry but children can’t sit in these seats. And what age are you?’ she said, in the patronising voice you MUST use when talking to children.
‘I’m 24. Can I sit down now?’ I’m not sure who was more embarassed. I was repeatedly asked my age in France and my first night out after my arrival back, I got asked for ID in the supermarket buying drink and asked my age when going into the club later that night.

I must say, every cloud has a silver lining. I got out of paying admission recently because ‘children’ got in for free. Don’t judge me, we’re in a recession and being honest, if I had kept my school uniform I could’ve saved myself a fortune on student discounts. And interviewees often underestimate me because I (genuine quotes) “only look 18 or 19” or “I thought you were just a student on work placement”.
I think I’m the only journalist in Limerick who could do a gonzo exposé on shenanigans at underage discos and for the right offer I could be a convincing ringer in any secondary school quiz competitions.

While it can be frustrating to be mistaken for a younger version of myself, I own up and endure the laughter and/or good natured ribbing. One particularly unfortunate person I once knew used to try to hide their real age by claiming to be eight years younger, acting 15 years younger and backing it all up with an emotional maturity level unchanged by two decades. It begs the question of who’s fooling who? I’ve lived and learned from every one of my years and I wouldn’t want it any other way….but obviously, I’m noting who laughs the hardest when I get carded so I can throw it back in their face at some point.

I’m also mildly suspicious that the office water cooler may be the fountain of eternal youth so if I invite you to my christening, it won’t be because I’m becoming a born-again Christian.

PS: I want to thank everyone who posted comments about Knockanstockan. It only illustrates my point about the positive atmosphere ☺

2 thoughts on “Just call me Benji and keep your anti-aging cream…

  1. Ok let’s not get confused about this but in fairness, if you were to ask yourself, with no one else in the room, would you wish to be yourself or someone you wished to be. And would that not be the premise of the flick.(District 9)that brings up more questions than it answers.

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