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Monday, November 19, 2012
I am beginning to show the signs.
Driving along a short section of the A14, (is it just me or is it the most boring road in the country after Cambridge?) I suddenly found I was content to stick to a steady 60mph. I felt no urge to put my foot down or pass the bulky HGV ahead.
It is a worrying indication that all is not well with Lynne Speedy Gonzales Mortimer, formerly the scourge of pootling motorists everywhere.
“Sunday afternoon drivers,” I would mutter through gritted teeth, keeping my angry two-second distance behind someone congenitally incapable of engaging any gear over third and waiting for the magic words “dual carriageway ahead”, to appear on a road sign.
But now, here I was, finding something rather lovely about doing 60 in a 70. Am I past it? And I mean that in the figurative sense because I clearly wasn’t past it in the literal sense... everything was passing me.
In fact, I think the BMW driver was mouthing something at me.
Vigilance is needed. I know I must be wary of other road age symptoms such as fluffy toys on the parcel shelf. But I find, to my regret, I do tick a number of on and off-road boxes; enough to make me want to get inside one and close the lid.
If you too find yourself displaying uncharacteristic behaviour, then perhaps the salad days are over and we’re into the desserts.
I have devised this small test which should under no circumstances be treated as having scientific, medical or statistical significance.
1. When you are invited out for a curry do you say:
(a) Yeah, great, I’m up for a vindaloo and a couple of pints of Kingfisher.
(b) Yes, I like a Korma... they do chips, do they?
(c) I’d love a curry but I can’t eat anything spicy later than 6.30pm because it all comes back to haunt me in the middle of the night.
2. Your partner buys you some saucy underwear. Do you:
(a) Put it on straight away and make him/her an offer he/she cannot refuse.
(b) Put it on, catch sight of yourself in a mirror and take it off.
(c) Use it as oven-gloves.
3. You need to top up the car’s fuel tank, do you:
(a) Go to the service station and fill up.
(b) Use a quarter of a tank of fuel to drive around the town to find the best price.
(c) Get flustered as to which pump you should use; consult the inside of your fuel cap to confirm you need diesel; check again that the oily nozzle you are holding relates to the correct pump. Wander off in search of plastic gloves. Return and fill tank. Go to payment booth, return to car to check pump number.
4. You have been out three nights already this week. When you are asked out to the pictures tonight, do you:
(a) Say “Lush” and go – and hope there’ll be a chance to go out again tomorrow as well.
(b) Go but insist on seeing Skyfall again.
(c) Explain that you’ve been out three nights in a row and you’re feeling a bit weary and anyway, you’re not fond of sitting on popcorn and anyway it’s nearly the end of November and you need to get the Christmas cards written.
5. At 9pm on a Saturday night are you:
(a) Just getting ready to go out.
(b) Just coming back home from the Indian restaurant after a korma and chips.
(c) Thinking about having a decaff coffee before turning in for the night and hoping Rylan gets voted off The X-Factor.
6. You get a twinge in your arm, what do you think it is?
(a) eBay elbow.
(b) Probably slept funny.
(c) You go online and diagnose yourself with something chronic.
7. When the news comes on the telly do you:
(a) Switch channels.
(b) Watch it with interest.
(c) Reply when the newsreader says: “Good evening.”
8. The last time you asked one of the kids to heat up something in the microwave, what did you actually say:
(a) “Heat it up in the microwave.”
(b) “Put it in the thingy for a minute.”
(c) “Heat it up in the dishwasher... no, I mean the tumble dryer, for a minute.”
9. Would you describe your sex life as:
(a) Very active indeed... now, if you’d excuse me...
(b) None of your business.
(c) Amazing; spectacular; unforgettable.
10. Did you answer the previous question
(c) Sorry, what was the question again?
11. When a store has elevators up but stairs down, do you:
(a) Not a problem, shop online.
(b) Reluctantly use the stairs rather than resort to the lift.
(c) Shop on the ground floor... which is why you are rapidly running out of underwear.
12. You enjoy singing along with:
(a) Your i-Pod.
(b) Friday night karaoke.
(c) The theme music to Question Time, University Challenge, The Ten O’Clock News and that tune they play over the phone when you are on hold for a customer helpline, Ravel’s Bolero played on wind chimes.
Your free assessment:
Mostly (a)s: I’m guessing none of my readers is mostly (a)s. But if you have genuinely come up with mostly (a) answers then you do run the risk of putting your back out.
Mostly (b)s: You are at an intermediate stage; still able to keep up with a hectic pace of life but sometimes choosing not to.
Mostly (c)s: Yes, that’s me.