“Do stop messing about with your food, William,” said Mrs Brown.
“I’m not messin’,” said William. “This spoon’s a jet bomber swoopin’ down on the fortress.” He emitted a nerve-shattering sound, then looked earnestly at his mother. “Did that sound like a jet-bomber?”
“I don’t know,” said Mrs Brown faintly, “but don’t do it again.”
- Number: 29.7
- Published: 1954 (1953 in magazine form)
- Book: William and the Moon Rocket
- Synopsis: William is outraged at discrimination in favour of the over-60s.
Somewhat of a reprise of Pensions for Boys, 18.9, William is irked by all the preferential treatment that over-60s receive: trips, lunches and more:
“People naturally want to do all they can to cheer up the old.”
“Well, why don’t they want to do all they can to cheer up the young?’
“If everyone was like you,” said William severely, “no-one’d ever have discovered anythin’ – not America nor… nor fountain pens nor anythin’.”
And so the village’s Over-Ten club is born, as a counterpart to the Over-Sixties club:
Their will, be a meating tomorrough aftemun of peeple over, tenn to gett up an overtenn, klub ennyone, overtenn kan kum not, annimuls William Brown prezidant will maik a speach peeple, that interrupp him will, be chuckd out
cined William Brown
The children of the locale are not entirely united in support:
“Why not wait till we get to be over sixty?” suggested a placid-looking child who was licking a toffee apple. “Everyone gets to be over sixty if they wait long enough. It only wants a bit of patience.”
“I’d like to see William Brown sixty,” jeered Arabella. “Gosh! He’ll be worth lookin’ at. He’s a sight to start with.”
William has some difficulty persuading the adults as well; in particular, the commissaire at the cinema refuses to let them in for free. They do discover a banquet which is available for them to eat (not entirely legitimately), but inevitably:
The overtenn klub will be klozed til furthur nottis.
cined William Brown.