message on a bottle
This afternoon I was sat on the Meadows in Edinburgh with my wife and one-year-old son. All three of us were trying to relax after an eventful, exhausting month. Performing at the Edinburgh Fringe is as close to hard work as a comedian ever comes and, with just a couple of shows left, I was feeling it. Being married to or fathered by someone performing at the Edinburgh Fringe is even more tiring and I don't think the three of us have ever been more tired.
But then, as the sun sank behind the Ladyboys of Bangkok's Big Top (tent not jumper), a minor miracle happened. I took a swig of my drink and glanced at the bottle. There, in appealing red letters, were the words "Long Live Alex".
It was a sign. I was going to be ok. I would survive.
It took me a couple of minutes to realise this was no coincidence. The drink was a smoothie made by innocent, the company sponsoring my attempt to be the Oldest Man in the World, and the words did indeed refer to this feat. I'd known they were going to feature what I hope you agree is a truly epic endeavour on their products but I'd never actually seen my name on the side of one of their (or anyone else's) bottles before so was rather moved. Normally when people glance at their drink they see nutritional information or, maybe, competitions involving the World Cup. They rarely read about one man's attempt to live longer than every other man.
So my spirits were lifted. I remembered how lucky I was to have such a fun and full life and that if I am to live to 150 I'm going to need some pretty fine memories to look back on for the last half a century or so. So, I gave my wife a cuddle and chased my son on my hands and knees, giggling.