Tall And True Short Reads

The New Fifty

Episode 66 (16 January 2023)

Eighty is the new fifty, or so I’m told. But my back wasn’t this dodgy when I was fifty, and my knees lasted longer than a circuit of the park with the dog before seizing up. And I wasn’t caught short so often that I needed to memorise the location of the nearest public toilet for emergency pit stops!


The New Fifty

Show Notes

Season Three: Episode 66 (16 January 2023)

The New Fifty is a short story from the Tall And True writers’ website, written and narrated by Robert Fairhead.

Read the story on Tall And True: https://www.tallandtrue.com.au/fiction/short-stories/the-new-fifty

Robert’s dog posts on Twitter: https://twitter.com/MyDogPosts

Robert’s dog posts on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mydogposts/

Podcast website: https://www.tallandtrueshortreads.com

Support the podcast: https://supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-reads

Buy Robert’s short story collections online:

Story Insight

I wrote The New Fifty in September 2022 for the Australian Writer’s Centre’s quarterly Furious Fiction writing competition. The brief for the 500-word short story was:

  • The first sentence had to contain the word FIFTY
  • The story had to include a four-legged animal
  • And the words EMERGENCY, BRUSH and BOARD. (Longer variations were acceptable as long as they retained the original spelling.)

As a long-term dog lover, the four-legged animal for the story was an easy choice. (I even have Twitter and Instagram accounts for my dog posts.) And, as usual, it wasn’t hard to find places for the required words, for instance, pairing BRUSH with a dog.

However, after submitting it, I had a crisis of confidence in the story. In the original Furious Fiction version, the protagonist was fifty, not eighty, and the first sentence was:

Fifty is the new thirty, or so they tell me.

I’m sixty, and it occurred to me that the thoughts I attributed to my protagonist were of an older man. So I flipped the opening line and perspective of the story to:

Eighty is the new fifty, or so I’m told.

By coincidence, shortly before sharing The New Fifty on Tall And True, I saw a story in a local newspaper headlined, “Eighty is the New Forty”!? Does that make sixty the new thirty? With my back and knees and growing need for “pit stops”, I doubt it!

I hope you enjoyed listening to The New Fifty. You can read this and all my short stories, blog posts and other writing at TallAndTrue.com. You can also buy my short story collections from the Amazon Kindle and Kobo online bookstores — links are available in the show notes.

The next episode of Tall And True Short Reads will be released shortly. In the meantime, check your feed or the podcast website for earlier episodes from Seasons One, Two and Three.

And follow or subscribe to the podcast and rate and review it via your favourite app — doing so helps me share my stories with other listeners.

You can support this podcast financially by making a small one-off or regular donation via the Acast Supporter Page.

And finally, please tell your family and friends about Tall And True Short Reads and the Tall And True writers’ website.

Podcast Theme and Sound Effects

Royalty-free music from Pixabay.com: Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 ‘Pastorale’ – IV. Rondo. Allegro ma non-Troppo, performed by Karine Gilanyan.

Sound effects licensed under Creative Commons 0 from FreeSound.org:

Production Notes

Tall And True Short Reads is produced using Audacity.

Pocast episodes are recorded in Sydney, Australia, on the traditional lands of the Gadigal People of the Eora Nation.

Acast Podcast Supporter Page

Support this show: https://supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-reads.

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