ASIA IS CATCHING the keep fit bug, judging by the strong response to the recent events of International Fitness Week. From Dhaka to Denpasar, people are donning running shoes and giving themselves massive heart attacks for health reasons. Had yours yet?
Your humble narrator did not wish to be left behind. So you can imagine my reaction when I walked past a university building and saw a sign: “Free fitness test”. I had an hour to kill. Staff would no doubt be bowled over by my state of fitness, giving me an ego boost. Experts may identify one or two tiny areas where I can make a slight improvement. Or maybe not. I may be perfect already.
I signed up for the test. BIG MISTAKE. I walked into the gym and realized something that filled me with horror. I was at a university. This meant that I was in an institution containing 14,000 young people. Everyone else taking the test was around 20 years old.
Some people think under-21s are young adults. This is NOT TRUE. They’re actually a TOTALLY DIFFERENT species of biped, with a different metabolism, from a different planet . Look at the evidence. They live entirely on junk food, stay up until 3 am every night, and overdose constantly on coffee and Red Bull—yet retain their boundless energy and tiny waists.
The same is not true for adults.
But it was too late to back out. I was ushered towards a row of workstations, at each of which one aspect of my health would be measured with tests and tools.
At the first table, a young woman charged with recording my results looked half asleep—until she saw my data. Her eyes widened and her jaw hit the floor.
I asked: “Is it bad news? Am I going to live?”
I was joking, but a) she took it completely seriously, and b) she didn’t say No. All she replied was: “Wow, that is REALLY bad.”
The look she sent to her colleague seemed to say: Shall we call an ambulance? Or perform last rites?
Suddenly realizing that she may soon have a corpse at her desk, she quickly wrote my data on my form and sent me to the next station.
At that desk, the same thing happened. The young man taking the results looked deeply shocked and offered to help me walk to the next station. I felt so decrepit I almost accepted. My life flashed before my eyes like a movie. (It was a really boring art house movie with subtitles.)
At each station, the student volunteers were shocked by my results. By the time I reached the final station, the responses had been so bad that I realized that I must have already died, but just hadn’t stopped moving.
At the final station, the coordinator took my paper. He typed all my feeble results into his computer, his eyes filling with tears, whether of sorrow or laughter, I couldn’t say. When he’d done the lot, he typed in my age. He pressed enter.
His eyes suddenly opened wide.
“Oh,” he said, sitting back in his seat, surprised. “You are ‘normal’ for your age.”
He was puzzled. I could tell what he was thinking. If these results are “normal”, then adults and young people can only be two completely different species. Which is what I have always said.
We all work it out eventually.
ON AN UNRELATED subject, here’s a cheerful email I got yesterday:
I HAVE NOTICE MANY TIMES THAT YOU ALWAYS TRYING TO PUT MY COUNTRY NAME SOMEHOW IN BAD TERMS SAME AS YOU DID TODAY'S PAPER, HOW YOU DARE USE MY COUNTRY NAME IN SUCH TERSM, YOU ARE SAME LIKE OTHER F**KING SICK MIND INDIAN NO MATTER HOW YOU BARD BUT IN THE NAME OF ALLAH WE ARE HERE FOREVER AND WILL HAPPEN TO US BY F**KING BAD MOUTH INDIAN LIKE YOU.
MY LIFE IS NOT IMPORTANT THEN MY PAKISTAN AND MY RELIGION ISLAM THERE REFRAIN TO USE THESE TERMS TOWARDS MY COUNTRY AND MY RELIGION.
IF YOU HAVE ANY PROBLEM WITH MY PAKISTAN AND WITH MY RELIGION, YOU MAY CALL ME AT FOLLOWING NUMBER TO MAKE CLEAR YOUR MISUNDERSTANDING LIKE ALL F**KING INDIAN HAVE IN THEIR DIRTY MIND TOWARD THE PAKISTAN.
LOVE LIVE PAKISTAND AND F**K TO INIDA