It is that time year again when we realise we are all getting older and wider, and we are allowed use the opportunity to take stock of the last fiscal (2016-17) and prepare for the next one by making resolutions like henceforth resisting the temptation to needlessly toot our own horn in public in 2074.
As a communist (damn autocorrect). As a columnist for a newspaper of record (some of which we have broken) it is incumbent upon me in the interest of public service to also promote a few health tips on the occasion of the New Year 2074 as you Gregorians try to play catch-up with us:
- In order to address the blaring problem of noise pollution, from this New Year Day onwards it is illegal to beep. But, ever mindful of the fact that it has no way to enforce the ban the Trafficking Police in its wisdom has allowed certain exceptions. For instance, horning is still allowed in emergency situations like: a) warning the slow poke water tanker ahead of you on the Panitanki Uphill to move his blooming arse, b) you are being driven around the bend on the Prithvi Highway while on the wrong lane c) or your car inadvertently lock horns with the holy bull on the Chabahil Intersection
- Now that we have figured out a way to reduce noise pollution, the next on our list is to reduce air pollution. This week our city hit the world headlines again by breaking its own previous record for the highest concentration of particulate matter in the air. All of this week, the AQI in Kathmandu was Maroon, which is ten times higher than the WHO Guideline, meaning that the government needed to put out an official health warning: ‘It is Hazardous to Breathe’. This landmark event coincided with the Nepal Tourism Boar announcing that it was spending $5 million to promote Kathmandu tourism with commercials on BBC and Trip Advisor carrying catchy slogans like: ’Dying To Visit Kathmandu? We Can Help.’, or ‘Once Is Not Enough: Be Reincarnated in Nepal’, or ‘Naturally Nepal: Breathe Your Last’.
- Come to think of it, NTB needn’t have spent all that money, the pollution is giving Kathmandu so much free publicity by word of mouth.
- The New Year is also a timely reminder to some of us who are getting long in the tooth that we are getting even longer in the tooth. Not that we needed reminding. Take it from me: the older we get the fewer teeth we have. Which is why we replace real teeth with unreal manmade ivories. The way to tell if a senior citizen (hereinafter referred to as ‘The Old Geezer’) has artificial teeth is to carefully observe him/her/it bite a gourd. If said gourd uproots the tooth instead of the other way around, then the person in question is a coot.
- Then there is the hair. with the success of Nepal’s Community Forestry Project many follicularly challenged senior Nepalis are successfully hiding their advancing age. Hair can be deceptive. A person may have a full head of hair, but it may not be his or her. The way to tell is to clutch a handful of the alleged hair and yank it suddenly. If the fur comes off, aha, they are not as young as they look and you should accord them all respect and veneration that is traditionally bestowed on Old Geezers in our society. the other thing to remember about hair is that as one gets on in years, it stops growing where it is supposed to (head, bellybutton, chest, armpits) and starts sprouting where it is not supposed to (inside nostril, in ear canal, bathtub outlet, etc). There is also a gender difference when it comes to age: moustaches fall off as men age, whereas older women start growing them.
- According to Newton's Third Law of Thermodynamics and the Archimedes Principle, a body floating in space attracts another body floating in space with a force equal to the square root of the acceleration of both bodies. This is why my lower abdomen has of late started moving in general direction of the Centre of the Earth. There are several ways that some of us Asses try to get our tummies to defy gravity. One is to wear wired undies to provide our soft underbellies cantilever support, but the trouble with this bit of engineering is that it makes the paunch even more prominent. When young colleagues in the corridor whisper: ”Geez, the guy’s got guts.” They don't mean it as a compliment.