Shakespeare About Old Age

I am an old man. I was particularly reminded about that today when I visited my dentist. I had lost a filling. He said that the tooth was so badly damaged that it needed to be extracted. That is what I expected him to say. But I am off on holiday in a week’s time. He said that the likelihood of toothache was low, which is what I was most interested in.

You see, I am a 76 year-old old fart. That is the state of my being as a human body. It does not equate to my state as an intelligent person – well, not yet and not that I know of.

The Tobacco Control Controllers paint a picture. The picture is happy, healthy old people who drop dead suddenly for no reason. They are very considerate of the NHS and hardly trouble the NHS at all. They go straight from ‘healthy’ to ‘dead’, and cost nothing. They are most considerate. They are most considerate because they neither smoke, nor drink, nor eat burgers, nor use more than the minimal amount of electricity, even if they have to freeze in winter. They are GOOD people. And they recycle every scrap of stuff.


Shakespeare wrote a play in around 1600 AD (remember that date – it is important in the scheme of things over the centuries). In that play, “As You Like It”, he wrote this:

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
Then, the whining school-boy with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then, a soldier,
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden, and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then, the justice,
In fair round belly, with a good capon lined,
With eyes severe, and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws, and modern instances,
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

What is obvious from that quote is that old people commonly lost their teeth by old age in the 1500s. Loss of teeth is not just a modern phenomenon due to sugar. They also lost their sight and appetite shortly before pegging out. Shakespeare would not have highlighted such things unless they were reasonably correct.

“Sans teeth” was normal in the 1500s. Why else would Shakespeare mention it? But there was no predominance of sugar in their diets.

It hard not to construe that modern dentistry is most concerned with maintaining itself. What is the worst scenario for dentists? It is that no one’s teeth rot.


The reality is that everyone’s body rots to a greater or lesser extent by age.The rot cannot be avoided. Vaping does not stop the rot, although it might delay it for a few years. What is a few years? I do not know. It is a matter of statistical collection of data. But who cares?

Well, the only people who give a shit are those who can make a mountain out of a molehill. Sadly, those people are the ones who currently occupy the ‘high ground’and who exaggerate the possible dangers of ecigs. The stench of corruption is enormous.

I have no solution. What ought to be obvious is that human life can only be extended to some degree, and that that it gets harder and harder to extend human life beyond a given age.

But, as Shakespeare indicated, what is the point of extending the lives of people who are, “Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.”  


It is hard to understand why smokers have not protested about the taxes. The smoking bans are irrelevant in comparison. What is the easiest way to protest? It is to stop buying duty cigs. Buy cigs from anywhere at all. Make your own. Etc. DECIDE that Cameron et al, and all MPs, are not your Masters.



4 Responses to “Shakespeare About Old Age”

  1. michaeljmcfadden Says:

    Junican, re your last paragraph… A lot of us are doing exactly that. You with your growing, me with my rolling, and evidently a heckuva lot with illegal smokes. There’s news story going the round right now about some HUGE international operation against illegal smokes and smokes. They grabbed $13 MILLION dollars’ worth of “contraband tobacco” in Canada alone evidently. See:

    If I’m doing the figures correctly, they’re estimating over 700 million dollars a year in illegal tobacco just going into Canada.

    I would say that it is almost beyond any doubt at all that there are currently AT LEAST hundreds, and likely more into the THOUSANDS of people in jail around the world at this point for tobacco-offenses of one sort or another.

    – MJM

    • junican Says:

      I would say that it is almost beyond any doubt at all that there are currently AT LEAST hundreds, and likely more into the THOUSANDS of people in jail around the world at this point for tobacco-offenses of one sort or another.

      What is important is the cost. Discovering contraband tobacco products costs a lot of money. Officers have to be paid, and there is no income to the State from the contraband. It has to be destroyed (by burning?). Further, there is the cost of arraigning, trying, and jailing culprits (I do not use the word ‘criminals’ because they are not criminals. Unjust laws must be opposed)

      When a consignment of illicit tobacco products is confiscated, do the anticipated end purchasers of those products buy taxed products? Perhaps, to some extent, but it is almost certain that there is a stock in reserve. No sensible ‘merchant’ would not have a stock in reserve for such eventualities.

      Canada is another basket case, similar to Australia. I cannot think of a word which does justice to Canadian politicians other than ‘crude’. They might as well not exist.

  2. Timothy Goodacre Says:

    Too right ! Don’t buy into outdoor smoking bans either !

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