It's good news.
Centrelink, the government agency that handles Aussie welfare rang me today and told me that my claim for the age pension has been granted.
A very nice sympathetic woman told me that I would enjoy a full pension rate until July 1st when my "marriage like" relationship would be recognised and they would then pay me less. (How nice.)
The lovely lady inspired me with confidence in the system as she informed me that my special senior's card would be posted soon and I would be able to claim concession rates on the phone bill, electricity, driver's licence, water and council rates, etc.
She then went on to tell me that the government hoped I wouldn't live too long as my pension payment was a drain on the public purse.
However they would prefer I didn't die just yet as when I do, they will pay my "marriage like" partner a lump sum to help with funeral costs, and as it is reasonable amount, they don't want to have pay it at present as they are running a bit short of funds.
On the other hand if I would like to do some volunteer work in helping young people become skilled in my line of work, they would be happy to accommodate that. I told her I could show them how to keep being able to have orgasms after 40, but she said there were somethings people had to learn to do for themselves. That's what I meant, I told her, but she said she was referring to my job.
I explained that my job was now done by computers and that nobody was interested in doing the job properly, she told me I shouldn't let that stop me from having a fruitful relationship with younger people in the community. hmmm.
I resisted the temptation to ask her if that included showing guys how to use a condom. She did tell me her brother was gay and that was why she was working in the "same-sex marriage like" division of Centrelink. Again I resisted temptation by not asking for her brother's phone number of if he was a top or a bottom.
She told me if I became ill, that I could go straight to hospital and receive free treatment as soon as the 3 year backlog of patients was cleared up. I had a vision of them sweeping cadavers out of the front gates into the street for collection on Tuesdays. In any case she assured me if it was something serious and I was at death's door, they would have a doctor pull me through as soon as possible.
She told me too, that there was a home service for meals if I became unable to cook for myself. I told her my grandmother had that service just before she died. That made her laugh out loud, and she replied that the food was better now, even if she would rather starve than eat it.
Before she ended the phone call she advised me that someone would ring to check up on me, if I lived too long, to see how I was going and if there was anything they could do to help me...presumably to drop dead sooner, rather than later.
Happily she told me that the new law about people not receiving the age pension until they reached 67 would not apply to me as I was already on the scrap heap.
Anyway I guess I am now a fully fledged member of that group known as cantankerous, grumpy, dirty old men.
Perhaps I could get a job as Santa, next Christmas. Ho ho ho.