WOULD that I could leap lithely from chair to sofa, as I do now, with my abs rock-hard and my faculties alert.
I have over-egged the pudding, but that's how I like to see myself at age 100. Some of my friends - are friends people you keep around to put you in your place? - tell me that I'll never make 80.
Females, in particular, are adamant that they will outlive me and, when there is a lull in the conversation, often ask me what music I want played at my funeral.
I don't know why they see me in such terms. My life is so undebauched that angels put me on a pedestal. It's my pessimism that's usually fingered by friends, that and my generally miserable outlook.
It's different strokes for different folks. I'm happy being miserable. It's what I know. Jehovah the Merciless can spring no more horrible surprises on me. He tries, but I just shrug my shoulders and weep for the world, but mostly for myself.
I witter thus in the wake of a report showing that more Scots than ever are living to 100. Not surprising really. Ever upward, that's life. Except for viewers in parts of Glasgow.
The nationwide figures are as follows: there were around 800 centenarians in Scotland last year, compared to 500 a decade ago.
It sounds pretty impressive, until the National Records of Scotland put it another way: two in every 100,000 Scots can expect to hit the big oh-oh. Jeez, what is this, the Lottery?
In a surprise development, shrieking reports have couched the news in terms of a "warning" to the Scottish Government. I think the SG has been well warned by now, as have the rest of us. I'm not sure I'll be leaving the house under independence. They say there'll be a lot of thunder and lightning.
Free or dependent, many people say they wouldn't like to live 'til 100. They'll have had enough well before then. And Hibs still won't have won the Scottish Cup.
I feel such thinking is very brave in middle-age but, nearer the time, the primeval instinct to survive will kick in. I don't know if you've ever had to watch someone die, but the body keeps gasping for air long after the mind has handed in its dinner pail. It's ruddy awful and right scary.
Contemplating advanced old age, the big variable is marbles, continued possession thereof. It's common to hear people say they wouldn't mind living to 100, or even forever, if they had all their faculties - but not without them.
We've all thought about it. How do you determine when your last marble is poised to vacate the premises? I'm sure we'll all soldier on, hoping that the incident in the shop yesterday involving your head and three ice cream cones from the freezer was just a blip.
Besides, surely "they" will have a cure soon. What the hell are they doing? And what should we be doing meantime?
It's a reporter's rite of passage to interview a centenarian and ask for their secret. Sometimes they say: "Eff off, big nose." Other times they say it's regular drinking or staying off drink.
In truth, it's probably a giddy mixture of luck, genetics and steadfast hygiene. If you can manage it, being female also helps. Four times as many women as men reach 100. I wanted to make a witty observation here but, bearing in mind what happened to Tam Cowan, let's move swiftly on.
A sense of humour, that's another asset. And a debonair air. It must be great to look at life with a "hey-nonnie-no". With me, it's more of an "aw naw".
Then there's the question of what to do with all your time. No-one, despite their lies, will employ you in your fifties, never mind your eighties.
I suppose you could finish War and Peace, or watch Star Wars IV for the 53rd time. Then, eventually, you'll die and find there's an afterlife, the sheer neve-rending tedium of which will soon - say, after several centuries - reduce you to a gibbering wreck.
What a life, eh?
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