Just did some calculations on my savings. If all goes well, I will be able to retire by my 212th birthday….writes Nury Vittachi in his weekly column the Funny Side


(WORLD SECTION) JAPAN-TOKYO-FILM FESTIVAL Ageing is tough. For example, there’s a Briton with amnesia who wakes up every morning believing he is repeating one particular day, a medical journal called Neurocase reported last week. It’s the day he was scheduled to go to the dentist for root canal surgery – but had an operation which left him like the guy in Groundhog Day, said Dr. Gerard Burgess.

By the way, root canals are dental operations with a pain quotient similar to having your body cut in half with a broken jam jar or listening to half a Justin Bieber CD. Groundhog Day is (a) a time-loop movie, and (b) an item on the weekly wall menu at my office canteen.

Anyway, it’s sad that they can’t cure the guy, but they should at least try to make his repeating day a happier one, so he wakes up daily thinking: “Yay! Today’s the day a group of bikini models deliver my lottery winnings!” His memory only lasts 90 minutes, so if you just tell him the ladies arrive at lunchtime, he’ll have forgotten the whole thing by then.

But I do worry about dentists. Earlier this year, I had four dental X-rays. “Is this safe,” I asked the dentist. “Sure,” he replied in a distant shout from the corridor where he and his assistant cowered behind two lots of lead-lined doors. “It’s perfectly safe.”

Children make you feel old, since they think any age over 20 is ancient. A woman once came to our front door saying she was “collecting for an old folks’ home”, and my kids asked her: “Have you come to take dad?” I should have sprang to my feet to remind my children that I was in the prime of life, but I was in a really low chair that it takes a while to get out of.

We should all take a lesson from China, said to have the healthiest old folks in the world – thanks to their tradition of morning dancing. There was a report in the paper last week about a group of outdoor dancing grannies who found cars parked in their favorite dancing spot, so they surrounded the cars, lifted them up and placed them elsewhere.

Yes, mature adults can be strong. I once separated two supermarket trolleys with my bare hands, and opened a milk carton without power tools.

And adults have other uses, too. A reader sent me a recent report about a school district in the US where officials discovered that the heating and air-conditioning systems were still being run by a Commodore Amiga computer. Only one person there remembers how to use it.

I remember those first personal computers from the 1980s, made of granite and wood (although I think I had the entry-level model, made of dried cow dung and twigs). They were so exciting. Some had eye-popping color graphics (green letters on black), and could produce a wide range of sounds such as “beep” and silence.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to do my regular weightlifting exercise, also known as “standing up”.




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