In 1961, the English poet Jenny Joseph wrote a magnificent ode to eccentric old women. Titled Warning, it features the famous line “When I am an old woman I shall wear purple”:
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me…
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
Joseph recognised that there’s something inspiring about old women who’ve stopped caring what people think. We might be Saffy in our youth, her poem says – but we should all be Patsy and Eddie in our old age.
All of which brings us nicely to this week’s edition of ‘Inspiring Older Women Who Don’t Give A Damn’. Introducing Cindy Amass and Jacqueline Cox, two “raucous grannies” who claim they were chucked out of a screening of Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie for laughing too much.
Amass, 60, and Cox, 59, told the Mirror that the manager of the Islington Vue cinema hid around a corner to observe their hysterics before asking them to stop laughing.
“I just couldn’t believe it, it’s a hilarious film,” Cox said. “We’d grown up watching them and were really looking forward to it.” She added that the pair’s families call them Patsy and Eddie “because we are just like them.
“The manager said we had to laugh on the inside,” she continued. “I said, ‘What the hell does that mean?’ That just made us laugh even more.” Apparently unable – or unwilling – to rein it in, the pair were eventually ejected from the cinema.
However, a spokesperson for Vue Cinemas disputed Amass and Cox’s version of events, telling the Mirror that customers would never be thrown out of the cinema for laughing.
“We love seeing our customers enjoy their big screen experience at Vue,” they said. “However, in this instance we had a number of complaints about some customers talking too loudly during this film, which was disrupting the viewing experience for the majority of the customers in the screen.”
(Somehow, the possibility that Amass and Cox are exaggerating the story for effect kind of makes us love them even more. These ladies do what they want.)
Anyway, it wasn’t an entirely unhappy ending for our real-life Patsy and Eddie. Two men were thrown out of the Ab Fab screening at the same time – so the four of them went off together to a bar round the corner. Cheers to them.