Looking Forward to the Year 3000 by Colin Cotterill

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With all the talk about politics and history and bio-chemistry in my colleagues’ blobs these last few weeks I’m starting to feel like a bit of a light-weight. Not only am I second-to-last slack-head (ahead of only Guest Blobber) in the Blobbing Premier League tables you see to your right, I’m also perhaps the only person on the planet who hasn’t passed on my opinion of the democratic principles of governance in Southeast Asia. It wouldn’t surprise me if some of you out there might have the opinion that I’m a bit dim and lacking in insight on matters of major concern to the world. So, it’s time to address these misconceptions and put in my sixpenny worth on the topic of hemorrhoids. I apologize if you’re engaging in a meal right now and to make hemorrhoids easier to swallow, I’m including them together with a number of other ailments that concern old people like myself. Apart from probing the above, I shall also be bending over backwards in my expose of lumbar pain, following through on kidney stones, and straightening out a few knee misconceptions.

I shall take these topics in reverse order. When I was little, I recall my granny telling me that granddad’s knees had ‘gone again’. Me, being a curious six-year-old, would head off in search of them, being careful not accidentally crush them underfoot in my endeavors. Little did I know then that granddad’s knees would eventually catch up with me. I recently watched an excruciating movie called Bad Lieutenant. I cringed the whole way through it, not only because Nicholas Cage is such an awful actor, but because the character he almost played was suffering from chronic back pain. I could feel it every time he jumped onto Eva Mendez. ‘Don’t do it,” I’d shout, to no avail. Luckily for him he had access to heroin and cocaine. All I had was Aspirin. Suffering from kidney stones, as I have, becomes much worse when you hear a comedian on TV describe it as a blowfish passing down a rubber hose. And, yes, I’ve had hemorrhoids, buckets of ‘em. And I’m not ashamed to admit it.

But here’s the rub. All those old-person complaints hit me before I reached thirty. At the age of eighteen when all the other boys were out getting their first nooky-noodles, I got my first hemorrhoid. I worked out a lot so for the first few months I thought it was a new muscle. My coach had instilled the ‘no pain – no gain’ philosophy in the team so I know I gained a lot that year. My initiation in the world of kidney stones was at the tender age of twenty-five and they remained faithful compadres through to the age of fifty. But then I discovered a wonderful weed called ‘Cat’s Whiskers grass’ and I haven’t weed a blowfish since. (No, I do not own the CWG rights nor have the owners paid me a handsome fee for promoting their product. It really is magic.). I didn’t get my first dodgy knee till I was 29. It had something to do with me training for marathons I never had any hope of winning. Nobody remembers the runner up in a race. The doctor told me my left knee was degenerating. I took this to mean it was ageing rapidly and I wondered what I’d ever done to my left knee to make it get old before the rest of me. At thirty my back went out for the first time. (presumably in search of granddad’s knees). So you see, I was an old guy even before I’d had a chance to sample middle-age.

I realize I still have a lot to look forward to; not the least of these is when my bowels decide they’re taking over the decision making on when to evac. But I’ve weathered greater deluges. I’ve had hepatitis, dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis, bronchitis, tuberculosis, appendicitis and myxomatosis. But they all passed. I’m through the worst of it. I have survived. For the last five years I haven’t had anything more serious than a cold. Last weekend I kayaked forty kilometers down the Lang Suan river. Yes it almost killed me but we’ll show those body parts who’s in charge here. Our local fortune teller told me that if I didn’t die unnaturally in my fifties (I have two years to go), I’d die a natural death in my nineties. I think she’s misunderestimating me. The newspaper today said that with recent advances in medicine and technology, the first person on the planet to reach one thousand might have already been born. I think it was talking about me.

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