OK, I know it was "Be Thrifty, Stick to Fifty", a government-led advertising slogan in the '70's exhorting motorists to reduce their speed in the interest of saving money and petrol during a socialist-induced fuel crisis in my childhood, but that magical, round figure has additional significance in the developed world: it elicits most from highly-placed powers who have, in general, no other interest in your existence other than that engendered by your crossing a chronological rubicon.
I'm talking about being Man + 50th Birthday = Humiliating Medical Tests. Our 'president', a man so insignificant he wasn't even present at the conception of his own children, has deemed it appropriate to write to me, informing me that, as a now fifty-year old legal resident of the cradle of human rights, I need to take advantage of the nation's advanced health programme and have a highly-trained medical professional stick his index finger up my arse. I will then need to pay him, but, apparently, thanks to the wonders of social medicine, I shall be reimbursed to the tune of 100%. This is, of course, absolutely brilliant. Before the arrival of social security, people wishing to avail themselves of this service generally had to pay a lot more and had no guarantee of being reimbursed. No guarantee of their professional just using his finger, either. In a nutshell, this is why France still leads the world. At least in terms of doctors legally violating their patients. Vive la France!
If that's a Farrah Fawcett lookalike, OK. If it's Bjorn Borg, no thanks.