Kevin Myers: Hugh and cry -- Old man Hefner's wedding pictures had me in tears
THERE are some events to which press photographers should not be invited. Included in this list is the marriage of elderly men to younger women. This vital taboo was broken twice in the past fortnight: before Christmas, Ronnie Wood got hitched to a woman 30 years his junior, and the midwife was just slapping January on its bottom when we saw pictures of Hugh Hefner marrying a woman 60 years younger than him. The sum of the differences was even greater than Hefner's Methuselahn age.
Now, as no spring chicken myself, I'm entitled to have an opinion on these matters: and it runs as follows. Consenting adults should be allowed to do whatever they like, in private. That's the key word here – private. And I've had it up to here with wedding pictures of gruesome old men, their dyed hair stark-dark against the vampire-hue of their pale withered faces, their teeth stanchioned into their jawbones with barbed wire, their rheumy old eyes outlined with deathbed kohl, their faces nipped, tucked and tautened and stitched up like baseballs, all leering unseeingly into the photographers' cameras. Morticians should be obliged by law to confine their art to the denizens of coffins; they should absolutely be forbidden from shaping facsimiles of life into the soft grey putty of the faces of these palsied ancients, while beside the grooming-chair, rock-star secretaries go through the wedding-night checklist: Viagra, incontinence pads, wet-wipes, blood-pressure monitor and defibrillator, all to be administered by a topless nurse called Kimberley, who – we may be sure – will one day turn out to be Celeb's Wife Number Umpteen.
Of course, what these couples share in private is their own business. But let it stay that way, 100pc. I do not have the right to know, and more to the point, the interest in, a single thing about these withered he-celebrities; though at least it can be said of Ronnie Wood that he provides a stark reminder of what Mother Teresa might have looked like if she had really let her face go.