If you're like me, you probably remember the 70s sci-fi film Logan's Run with some fondness. What was there not to like? Sandmen, Jenny Agutter, Carousel, lifeclocks, a maniacal central computer, Jenny Agutter, Michael York's stony performance as Logan, Box, the human-freezing robot, Peter Ustinov, a giant city of classic 70s-era shopping mall luxury. Oh, and I think that Jenny Agutter was in the film.
For those who have somehow missed this gem, the premise was that, in order to avoid overpopulation of the enclosed environment after an undescribed holocaust, populations in large containment domes, who were otherwise a young and carefree populace, were cut short at the age of thirty. When a "lifeclock" - a sort of crystalline flower implanted in the hand - turned red and then black, they submitted to a ritual called Carousel on what was known as their Lastday, wherein some were supposedly "renewed", but funnily enough, no one ever saw the renewed populace again.
Occasionally, people would try to escape this fate and leave the dome, and this was where the Sandmen came into the picture, with their natty black and grey suits and cellular disruption weapons. If you ran, the Sandmen chased you, caught you, and you were dead. Naturally, Logan, played by York, elects to run, and takes Jenny Agutter's character with him, because she is rumoured to know something of the world beyond the city. It's a fascinating sort of sci-fi future dystopia, and anyone who knows me can attest to my love for a good dystopia (with the possible exception of the modern Republican/Tea Party idiot vision for America and the world).
Anyway, thinking about Lastday comes to mind as I'm choosing how to spend the final day of my thirties. So far, it's looking pretty mundane. Maybe a light meal out. Possibly a movie. There might be games. Very low-key. Which is all well and good, and though it may seem that I protest too much, I'm not really all that overwrought about my age. Why should I be? Forty is just another year, and, from our plans so far, it's going to be a good one.
But all this reflection casts me back to the final day of my twenties, which, rather being all raucous and ceremonial and "coming of age" and whatever other nonsense was instead extremely quiet and subdued, as I suddenly had newborn twin children in the house, which - and I don't intend to surprise anyone here - tends to suck all of the air out of the room which might otherwise have fueled the fires of a debauched end-of-the-twenties party. The next day, I turned thirty, and they were ten days old. I distinctly remember sitting on the sofa at about 6am, watching the old Robert Newton version of Treasure Island with the sound on the telly all the way down, holding one - fortunately sleeping - tiny child on each shoulder. Later in the day, to celebrate the birthday itself, I swapped for a newly acquired VHS copy of the Doctor Who classic "Planet of the Daleks". And that was as exciting as it got.
Memory is a fickle thing. And it's not going to get any better with age, I suspect. But on this Lastday, I'll spend some time with my family, and just not think about it. Tomorrow is another day.