Keeping Alert Is the Golden Ager’s Main Aim

Wherever I am I’m told that I must keep on working, stay alert, keep up with the news, do the crosswords and Sudoko and top of the list – keep my brain active. It’s not that easy. I have long suspected that I am using a brain that thinks it is completely independent and can do what it likes. It rushes about doing all sorts of things without my say-so. It also tends to drop off at the slightest pause in the proceedings, usually at the exact moment I need it. So a couple of times a week I go down to the coffee lounge and join in the conversations in order to force my brain to exercise and keep up with everyone. Here is a scene from yesterday.

It’s Sunday, and the topics were the weekend sports results as reported in the newspapers and the on the TV.

“Did you read about the bad behavior of the soccer fans?” asks Alf.

“Pretty poor,” I say. “Just what one expects from a soccer crowd,” I say.

“South Africa is out! Beaten by Mali in a penalty shoot out! Can you believe that?”

“What happened in the Six Nations yesterday?”

“What’s that?” asks Joe.

“Rugby. Did you see the tennis?”

“No, I watched the snooker,” says Stan.

“Who won?”

“I’ve forgotten. But he played a great game! Completely snookered that other guy.”

“What about the tennis?”

“Did you get your electricity account?”

“Not yet.”

“I’m going to complain.”

“About the rugby?”

“The snooker was good. Those guys are great! Did you see that shot with the yellow ball?”

“What, in the tennis match?

“No, that was in that cricket match in Australia!”

“Tonight’s the Superbowl.”

“Yes but it’s late.”

“I’m going to watch, can’t sleep anyway.”

“What time is the snooker final?”

“Dunno, but the tennis is at two-thirty.”

“That’s in the middle of my nap!”


Are you still worried about my brain?


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