Ticking of the cloak
I AM 60-plus years of age and have become invisible. Twice recently I have had Harry Potter invisibility cloak moments. Despite being a few centimetres shorter and certainly many kilos heavier than I was for the first 50 years of my life, I am now, apparently, transparent.
The first time it happened I was at the counter waiting to buy a chicken; I had been stationary for at least two minutes.
The girl assistant was finishing with a woman to my left and we were the only two at the counter. A boy assistant was standing back (I was already "not there" to him).
Suddenly a pretty young woman arrived to my right and the boy rushed to serve her, beaming, hands outstretched in mooning supplication: "How can I help you?"
I was struck dumb but the woman to my left, her transaction now finished, reflected: "You are obviously invisible."
This one I let pass but it happened again in the bakery. I was waiting patiently; the customer being served and I were at the counter when some teenage boys arrived.
A serving wench raced straight to them (her eyes did not register me) and beaming eagerly asked: "What can I get you?" She simpered and flirted: "Do you want hot-cross buns? How many do you want?"
My ''invisibility'' cloak was working again. This assistant appeared quite amazed when I remonstrated that I was there first and, in fact, had been waiting for some time. She obviously hadn't seen me.
But also with age has come my threat to those on the road. I have recently traded my large, heavy European car for a very small, light Japanese one. However, it is very nippy and I drive it much as I did the other one - correctly and to the speed limit. I change down and soar up hills at the correct speed and, in fact, I am very speedy off the traffic lights. Few beat me away.
In other words I am not an old dodderer holding up traffic. This doesn't quite make me invisible, but other drivers don't wish to acknowledge me.
How dare an oldie keep up with the rest of them? They move heaven and earth to challenge me - tailgating if they can - making rude gestures and racing past. A small car driven at reasonable speed by a pensioner appears to be an affront, especially if I pass them.
So, don't grow old(er) if you're not prepared to become invisible and to be challenged to know your place - which, be it in a line or a lane, appears to be somewhere well behind everyone else.