I’m sure many readers have found themselves wondering when my inevitable demise will spare them from further ruminations on my life and times. A few may even have considered hastening this happy day – which seems a tad extreme as (I assume) no-one is forced to read this drivel. However, if there is anyone dressed entirely in orange being subjected to this as an alternative to water-boarding then I apologise unreservedly.
Well, I am sorry to report that despite my “career” in forecasting, I am unable to provide a date and time when the author will shuffle off his mortal coil. I believe this blindness on the subject of one’s own future is not uncommon among those cursed with the power of prophecy – I seem to recall Cassandra was similarly afflicted, and like me, no-one believed her doom-laden visions of the future either.
I have for some time known the most likely cause of my death: bloody-mindedness (mine, though another’s may also be involved) which whilst it may not be inscribed on the certificate as the actual medical cause of my demise will certainly have been the “inciting incident”. Today, I discovered how I will physically prepare for the end.
Attempting to be a gymnast at my advanced age does mean that from time-to-time attempted manoeuvres go a little awry on the first (or even nth) attempt. When one’s body is falling through space to an inevitable collision with the ground, I believe the natural response is to assume the foetal position to protect one’s vitals. I have discovered that I do not do this. So highly trained am I that I keep my entire body perfectly straight and rigid – a look not unlike that of a fleshy bean-pole – and maintain this throughout the fall (well, you lose points for bending or folding in the wrong place). I also tend to close my eyes – for, as we all know, what you can’t see can’t hurt you. (Yes, I know you can’t see gravity even with your eyes open, but it isn’t the gravity that hurts but the impact with the ground occasioned by its operation.) So, whatever else happens it is reassuring to know that as I rattle my clack, my core will be fully engaged. My nearest-and-dearest should invest in a full-length coffin as at my point of departure I will be at my maximum length and, unless promptly folded, rigor mortis will maintain me at that size until inhumed (or inflamed).