I have always loved the radio. My earliest memories are not of television (that as something that existed only after 5 pm back in the day) but of listening to the radio, that my mother kept going all day long as she did her chores at home, and then listened to when she wanted to relax in the evening. Radio dramas (“original radiofonici” as they were called), and shows like the hit parade and “Alto Gradimento” (a radio comedy program that did for Italian radio what Monthy Python did for British TV).
Much later, when I was touring Italy, giving lectures in various universities, the radio kept me company during long drives, and a good way to stay awake. Also, as I had to spend my nights in dreary dorms and other cheerless places, I got myself a small, ultracheap multi-band radio from Lidl, that I carried with me on my travels, and that otherwise rested on my nightstand when I was at home.
But now we have been adopted by a former feral cat – Panthayra – and she decided she was going to explore our house and push as much stuff off shelves, tables and nightstands as possible. End result – my old multi-band radio gets smashed on the floor.
I need to get another.
And so I direct myself to Amazon, checking out what the shops of Mister Bezos have to offer.
And here something curious happens.
On the Italian Amazon shop, most radio receivers are described as “suitable for seniors”, or “the perfect gift for seniors”.
What is there to make them so?
Do they have, I dunno, large displays for the shortsighted, or any other specifically “senior-oriented” features?
No, they are just plain radios.
They do not even have a “vintage” look.
But apparently, if you listen to the radio, you are an old person.
And really, who am I trying to fool?
I am 54, and by Amazon’s standards, evidently, a senior citizen in the making.
I mean, I read books, I listen to jazz, and now I even own a radio!
Because in the end, by checking a little online, and by cashing in a discount coupon, I got myself a new multi-band radio. It’s far more advanced than the old one, and smaller, but it sounds a lot better. And it also features a digital recorder and an MP3 reader.
This way I will be spending my nights again listening to strange radio stations from France, Spain and North Africa.
Like we old people do.