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The shock of finding out someone is younger than you expected

August 17, 2011

Guess how old this junior manager of the coffee shop is?

‘What? They’re only in their early twenties?’ RoT is sure you’ve said it, dear readers, with a look of surprise that will be familiar to Mr Shakamoto of Hiroshima, were he still with us. Some people can be misleading with their bald patches. Or their cobbled weariness. Or that look of desperation driven by the loudening metronome of their body clock – they’ll take any man, with their hairy arms and 9am moustaches. Sometimes the surprise comes because they’ve got on in life: it’s been hard, they’ve lost some teeth; they’ve had to give up things like friends and music for work. They tend to live alone, listening for the latest pop tracks on the jukebox in the Vic on the Eastenders omnibus. Alone with a dog. Or no dog, depending on whether they like dogs or not. And then: SMACK. This sound does not literally occur, but refers to the point at which they realise they’ve sacrificed life for a sub-management job at their slightly-less-than-local branch of a national chain of sub-let coffee stores. And are still only twenty-five. But look older than a shaved cat. This doesn’t compare to the shock when you find out, though. RoT prides itself on its empathy (look at how well Rot just imagined someone else shit life for itself); but sometimes empathy is enervating as a game of monopoly. Nobody wins, and Mama Ting turns out to be the most ruthless capitalist of the family. So with this in mind, lets depart the shock and its empathetic aftermath of finding out someone at work is younger than you expected, and begin to empathise with the man who wakes up to find out it wasn’t a school disco night at his local discotheque, and that isn’t an police themed stripper at the door. At least he had a good night.

Verdict: The shock is tip-top for your self-esteem; Mr Shakamoto thought he was going to a wonderfully bright afterlife. RoT thinks young people who look old reflect well on its youthful vigour, and therefore give them 10/10.

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