Help, Unwanted


Although most pensioners are genuinely appreciative of assistance with such tasks as removing stray cattle from their bedroom, lifting articulated lorries off their spouse or disarming unstable eye surgeons during cataract operations, in everyday life, they’re more likely to receive offers of help with activities they’re perfectly capable of undertaking for themselves.

In fact, in 2016, 71-year-old Aida Beetmister of Little Gopher in Gloucestershire published a diary of her experience and this showed that a typical week would see her politely rejecting help to choose between smoked and unsmoked bacon, clear the condensation from a bus window, open her pouch of chewing tobacco and turn the pages of her Racing Post.

The problem for pensioners is that refusing such help often provokes a tirade of abuse about ungrateful curmudgeons and occasionally leads to a violent response that may result in black eyes, zimmers being thrown into canals or mobility scooters being set on fire.

Despite this, Mrs Beetmister still demonstrated the true Samaritan spirit when she saw a heavily pregnant woman fall from the cliffs above Compton Bay on the Isle of Wight – and without hesitation, she used her support stockings to abseil down to the stricken woman and deliver her baby using a litter picker as a pair of forceps.