A long time ago someone decided that it would be fun to photograph my brother, the Martian, and me on top of a fifteen metre high waterfall. We were very young kids at the time so we trusted the adult that took us up there. What could possibly go wrong? Slippery rocks, a fast flowing river and an unsteady adult, that’s what. The result was an impromptu thrill ride which I still remember quite vividly. I don’t recall being scared but my parent were terrified since I remained underwater for a long time and, after a frantic search, was given up for dead.
An even longer time ago I displayed remarkable snake handling skills to my horrified parents. I had toddled into the house with a baby cobra dangling from one hand. The cobra was very much alive but I had somehow managed to pick it up by the neck, just like the professional snake handlers do. Today I rival Indiana Jones when it comes to a pathological fear of snakes. You can join the dots any way you like.
I managed to survive both those events and here I am. The man in the mirror is grey and weathered and paunchy. His mind isn’t the sharp instrument it used to be and it takes a little longer to retrieve items from the memory banks. He is now prone to a more profound grumpiness at the many morons that inhabit the planet. The man in the mirror is fifty years old today.
(Raises a metaphorical cricket bat to acknowledge the polite applause.)
Thank you to the wonderful people that have shared moments in my journey through life. May you be there as I stumble through the next phase.
Get off my lawn.