Jeremy Clarkson’s articles are mostly funny and real in every way. We love the way he blends truth with a funny fictional jab every now and then. And surprisingly, it all goes well in a single flow.
The latest masterpiece coming from him as he turns 62 is about life itself. It also covers his fear of death. Jeremy Clarkson has outlived his father and many of his closest friends. He now finds himself recalling life that went by, staring at a future he isn’t very hopeful about.
Sounding un-optimistic, he begins by mentioning how, in a few years, he could find himself howling, sobbing, and quivering in a corner before succumbing to a terrible disease, unlike many others who were just the opposite in their last moments.
Jeremy was surprised about the behavior of many that he witnessed over the years, being happy and peaceful in their final moments. He narrates his father’s experience and how he displayed humor, despite being on his deathbed.
“My dad was similarly peaceful. Even though he was only 61 years old when the icy hand of death came curling through the window, like a tendril of nerve gas, he didn’t thrash around wondering why he had to go when Arthur Scargill did not.
He simply decided his last word should be “Geronimo”. So he’d shout it out, loud and proud, close his eyes and then, a few moments later, open one and say quietly, “I’m not dead yet, am I?” Even in his final moments then he wanted to make us laugh.” Jeremy said.
Crossing the sixties often makes him bothersome as he believes that death isn’t that far away. He also admits to thinking about death on many occasions. Going deeper, he realises how old people in the olden days would wake up one day, realise they had a serious disease and then they’ll be gone.
But today, there’s this prison called Medical science that is often responsible for slow and sometimes, painful deaths. There’s testing and there are pills and other forms of treatment that keep your heart in working condition just to keep you alive.
But what is the point of just being alive, if you’re not living properly? You can’t do much when you’re old anyway. That brings Jeremy to express his thoughts about how one should live through their final years.
As per him, travelling and creating memories is a big no because you won’t be alive to savour the memories after a few years. Reading doesn’t help either because you’ll gather information in your head but once the body is old, it won’t have the processing speed to form opinions quickly. Another problem is who is going to listen to the words?
“You will be retired, so you’ll have no colleagues or employees, and you’ll know your grandchildren came round for tea yesterday only after two hours of cajoling from their parents, and some bribery.” He says.
“They don’t want to spend any time with you because you are an alien. A monster. You lived in a world full of racism and diesel and meat and you did nothing about it. And then they’ll bring up Greta Thunberg and you’ll roll your eyes and there’ll be a row and it’ll be six months of sadness and regret before you see them again.”
Jeremy then points out the places he explored throughout his work life like driving to the magnetic north on Top Gear, and the vast amount of information and experiences he holds. And yet, it is of no use to him. What matters today is posting stuff on Instagram that he is unable to do without assistance and remembering the names of hit tracks by a certain Stromzy. He feels sorry that the young generation has no interest in knowing his stories
Jeremy also doesn’t believe in being all nice and good-looking either as there is no point, you’re old anyway. His claim is that as a young person, one needed to be attractive so that they could have ‘sexual intercourse. But when you’re old, is there a point to it?
“When you are an old person there is no need to do this anymore, so you can have hair coming out of your nose and ears and you can wear a jumper with holes in it and slippers with zips up the front. And you can drive a Volvo and have a tartan shopping trolley. It’s all a blessed relief.” He writes.
Jeremy despised ‘walking’ when he was young and ridiculed it as a pointless exercise. But today, he loves going on walks because he can admire the hedgerows changing with the seasons and also study an interesting looking bird’s nest. On reaching home, he would try and find out in a book about the bird who possibly made it.
Jeremy hints at the bitter truth of life and the uncertainties that come with old age. He states that parties can be planned much in advance so one can attend them when young. But, funerals often come without an advance invitation. When you’re old, your friends are old too so there’s no point making travel plans. You’ll have to ultimately cancel them to attend a friend’s funeral.
Being honest, Jeremy confesses that old age is not a place friendships can flourish. There’s too much bitterness. Too much envy. He talks about being envious of other people of the same age like Jonathan Ross, Sean Penn, Ian Hislop, Bono, Damon Hill, Gary Lineker, Hugh Grant, Kenneth Branagh, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Antonio Banderas, David Duchovny and Colin Firth. “All of those except Jonathan Ross”, he specifically points out.
His new house which is under construction is taking a long time to be built. Jeremy hopes to have enough days in hand so he can witness its completion and live in it. Winding up, Jeremy wonders why ‘imponderables’ prey so heavily on our minds.
“When we know the end is coming, that hope is replaced by despair and somehow that’s always easier. Maybe that’s why people on their death beds are so calm. Or maybe it’s the opiates. We don’t know the answer to that one either.”
Jeremy Clarkson has been seen taking a few steps toward a healthier lifestyle since his encounter with Covid-19 in 2020. Knowing that he was in greater danger because of being fat, a smoker, and that he had gotten double Pneumonia, the situation did scare him.
He concluded his piece by quoting David Bowie: “David Bowie, however, once wrote something pertinent on the subject: “Time, he’s waiting in the wings. He speaks of senseless things. His script is you and me, boy.” He probably thought he’d be able to enjoy the royalties from this clever song in his old age. But as we all know, he ran out of time and never got there.”
Looking at our man get fearful and emotional in a practical way does make us realise that a ‘childhood hero’ is getting older by the day, a fact that is often clouded by his rants, humour, the zeal to continue working and of course, his ‘frightening genius’,
Thanks to this enlightening piece from Jeremy that fills in our minds with the wisdom and the truth needed for to us lead better and meaningful lives. The article also proves that despite getting old, Jezza continues to show us how to live, as he has shown us for the past two or three decades. Onwards then!
Jeremy Tweeted the link to the article and has received a huge response from fans, some of which are below:
First of all, plenty of young men grew up with you, may and hammond, myself included. Maybe your interests aren't shared by your kids but there are many other young people who do.
Also I know many young people who love a good walk, including me.
Ps Start a podcast w james!
— Harindu [Three 6 Mafia Stan] (@Harindukun) April 10, 2022
You've achieved the purpose of life in having and looking after your children into adulthood. Nothing else is that important but you also have the added bonus of bringing joy and laughter to millions, not a bad legacy if you ask me.
— Muhammad Siddiqi 🏴🇰🇼🇾🇪🇸🇦🇵🇸 (@peach4593) April 10, 2022
Fantastic read, thank you sir. Is it bad I’m 36 and think of most things you wrote about? Feels like modern day makes us in the over 30s group feel old or out of date.
— Nick 🇨🇦 (@Nick28T) April 10, 2022
If you feel scared about Death at the tender age of 62, you might have many years ahead of you to feel TERRIFIED 😬
— CAB (@Noname1465) April 11, 2022