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21 May 2013

Last year it occurred to me that now I’m officially retired and on a pension a short-term job could be interesting. I’m single, and I don’t mind taking the occasional risk. So, discovering that a special type of security firm is situated an hour’s drive from here I applied to them and offered to accept a short-term contract. Amongst other work, they supply crews for ships traversing the zone where many are taken by Somali pirates, and some companies put in a temporary crew over this section – some of those supplied by this local firm. I emailed twice offering to be a clerk in such a group. No response either time. I’m not sure if they felt I wasn’t qualified – and what would qualify one to be a clerk on such a voyage – or if they felt that I was too old – and frankly I feel that an older person would be better able to cope in such a situation unless they want me to be a ninja – and I don’t feel that they’ll find many ninja clerical workers.

Not yet deterred, this year I discovered that a private company in the USA is seeking an elderly couple to go to Mars, and volunteered. I pointed out that sending one person would be far cheaper. That I’ve lived alone for almost forty years and I like it that way, and that I would be happily occupied with writing books and short stories and transmitting those and less likely to suffer psychological problems – if you ignore that some friends feel I’m nuts already. No reply. Sigh. Just in case they didn’t get the first email I plan to send it again, updated and revised. But what is this? Keep the old folks at home? There is a growing pool of us out there, we’re more expendable, many of us wouldn’t mind taking a risk now and then for a solid financial return – or even the sheer fun of it as per going to Mars. And while we may be on various medications, if you’re shot by pirates, or your spaceship decompresses explosively, age or the medications you’re on won’t make much darn difference. Oh, well, I can’t say I didn’t give it a try.

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