Golden lads and girls

So David Bowie is dead at 69, of cancer (I guess you could say, cigarettes don’t kill people, smoking does). I don’t know about you, but I look at the story and – even as I register, oh gosh, it’s David Bowie this time! – go 69, eh, a little close for comfort. It’s the age at which someone has kicked the bucket – sloughed off this mortal coil, expired, what have you – that seems to grab my attention. First, of course, it’s who? followed closely by how? (more precisely, what type of grim disease or disaster) and then – so how old was s/he? If younger, you tell yourself how sad, how tragic – even as you secretly award yourself congratulations at having made it so far. If older, by which I mean a fair bit older, you think to yourself, ‘good innings’ even as you do the math, and shudder. But if it’s someone your own age,

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