October 3, 2011

A Writer's Life - 37

The wonderful things you discover in museums! When visiting the Museum of London on my last vacation I found something that immediately caught my attention. It's called The New Game of Human Life, created in 1790 by Laurie & Whittle as "the most agreeable and rational recreation ever invented for youth of both sexes". It's a racing game with 84 spaces illustrating different stages of a man's life, broken down into 12 ages - boyhood, youth, young man, the prime of life, the sedate man, the old man, and decrepitude. The players race to reach the ending space, depicting The Immortal Man. Considering the fact that all illustrations show images of man (no woman in sight) through the various stages of his (yep) life I have to wonder who came up with that catchy phrase of "both sexes", but I digress.

Now what could this game possibly have to do with writing? Good question.

Curious minds want to know.
Observant minds see(k) patterns.

What I saw was the number 37.

You see, I happened to turn 37 this month and as luck would have it, I spent that day while on vacation in London. Put these two facts into a bowl, slowly stir a curious, observant mind into the mix, and finally throw in the above mentioned exhibit at the museum, before bringing the concoction to a boil.

What do you think happened?

I looked for the man (again) aged 37 to find out what is ascribed to him (again again).

The Author.

Imagine my surprise. No, seriously, I checked twice, did some basic math to be absolutely sure that I was indeed 37 now, and looked again. Then I smiled. Come on, who wouldn't smile in that situation? Especially when your heart belongs to the written word!

And the fun doesn't stop there - next year will be The Composer (there's me writing songs), followed by The Historian (which will reawaken my inner genealogist), and 40 will meet me as The Romance Writer (sigh) and so on and so on. Made you curious too, admit it. Just read on and find your age below - feel free to let me know in the comments what you are!

1. The Infant; 2. The Child; 3. The Boy; 4. The Darling; 5. The Mischievous Boy; 6. The Careless Boy; 7. The Studious Boy; 8. The Malignant Boy; 9. The Docile Boy; 10. The Thoughtless Boy; 11. The Negligent Boy; 12. The Youth; 13. The Volunteer; 14. The Indolent Youth; 15. The Assiduous Youth; 16. The Obstinate Youth; 17. The Rebellious Youth; 18. The Gallant; 19. The Trifler; 20. The Lover; 21. The Idler; 22. The Duellist; 23. The Dissembler; 24. The Young Man; 25. The Decisive Man; 26. The Complaisant Man; 27. The Downright Man; 28. The Flatterer; 29. The Critic; 30. The Prodigal; 31. The Coxcomb; 32. The Generous Man; 33. The Economist; 34. The Married Man; 35. The Batchelor; 36. The Prime of Life; 37. The Author; 38. The Composer; 39. The Historian; 40. The Romance Writer; 41. The Poet; 42. The Orator; 43. The Comic Author; 44. The Dramatist; 45. The Tragic Author; 46. The Traveller; 47. The Geographer; 48. The Sedate Man; 49. The Imperious Man; 50. The Affable Man; 51. The Morose Man; 52. The Benevolent Man; 53. The Insensible Man; 54. The Vigilant Man; 55. The Patriot; 56. The Good Father; 57. The Ambitious Man; 58. The Temperate Man; 59. The Glutton; 60. The Old Man; 61. The Libertine; 62. The Philosopher; 63. The Drunkard; 64. The Miser; 65. The Gambler; 66. The Learned Man; 67. The Brute; 68. The Patient Man; 69. The Vindictive Man; 70. The Friend of Man; 71. The Man Hater; 72. Decrepitude; 73. The Sloven; 74. The Old Beau; 75. The Hasty Man; 76. The Hypochondriac; 77. The Satyrist; 78. The Joker; 79. The Silent Man; 80. The Merry Fellow; 81. The Troublesome Companion; 82. The Quiet Man; 83. The Thoughtful Man; 84. The Immortal Man.


  1. Quite an interesting game! It seems I am the coxcomb.. .hmm, I might be conceited from time to time, but I am a fop? Not really. I am not into clothes, and I don't always care about manners, so I am looking forward to being generous next year :))

  2. I am the batchelor. Well, I am single... At least the author year hasn't passed by.