On the Beat | By Wong Chun Wai

Confronting the 50’s head on

My cardiologist has given me a clean bill of health. The thick medical report, following a five-hour examination which cost a bomb, has a prediction by the doctors that the chances of me getting a heart attack over the next 10 years would only be 1%. The caveat is that I must continue to visit them regularly. They are a cunning bunch of doctors, for sure.

Yes, everyone tells me that I would need to accept the fact that the grey hairs would appear. They started appearing a few years ago, actually.

My only consolation is that I need to get a haircut every two to three weeks, which means I am not going bald. The secret, I tell my friends, is to eat lots of eggs.

By the way, can we decide whether it’s called white hair, silver strand or grey hair? It’s all so confusing.

The wrinkles haven’t appeared, I think, although I need to do something about the eye bags. I have decided to spend less time looking at myself in the mirror. That way the vain pot in me can avoid being reminded of the ageing process.

I am told that there are really no magic pills that can stop the receding hairline or wrinkles. I just have to accept them, unless Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is ready to share with me the secrets to staying young. If he refuses, I guess I will just have to consult Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo.

It has never been easy for Malaysians who have reached the age of 50 and above. It’s bad enough being called uncle by people who are not even related to us but since the sex video appeared, my younger colleagues have been asking me whether it’s true that we develop sagging breasts or need over-sized undies at this age.

These young people really have no manners. Of course not. Only your twin brother, a lookalike or someone in a plastic suit would have that physical problem.

Mentally, I think I am at my peak. The sense of humour is still good. I know my history, unlike Perkasa’s Datuk Ibrahim Ali who thinks there are still communists in our midst. I am not stuck in the Cold War era and I know the commies are now in Zegna suits and holding Blackberry phones, trying to negotiate their next multi-billion renminbi deals.

In the last news report I read, the Red Cadres were slugging each other at a downtown Beijing shopping mall for an iPad 2, not the Little Red Books.

The only time warp I am stuck in is my addiction to 80s Brit music. I can’t seem to break away from A Flock of Sea Gulls or Tears for Fears. Hey, move on, old man!

I am drinking moderately although I get gout, sometimes, when I take too much wine.

But politically I have remained sober. I support the call for moderation. Politics and religion should never be mixed. Worse still if race is included. It can be highly intoxicating.

Religious leaders, whether Muslims or Christians, should not turn their weekly sermons into political ceramah. Please do not abuse the pulpits. Your congregations comprise people of different political affiliations. They want to share their time with God, not politicians or politician wannabes masquerading as religious leaders.

Pray for the King, our leaders and the nation, not for certain politicians and political parties. Worship God, not the politicians.

When you reach 50, you may still buy a floral shirt. That’s the rage in the spring collection.

But you cannot avoid that creepy feeling that you are half buried. That scares the hell out of me and, certainly, finding more time to talk to my Creator is becoming more relevant.

Okay, the memory department is affected in little ways. There’s that sudden block that hits you occasionally where you just cannot remember what you want to do or want to say to someone. You know what I mean. There are no magic pills for this either and I really think that ginkgo crap is a figment of the imagination or a quick-buck scam by the commies.

But the important thing is that I feel good. I sleep and eat well.

I know the health reporters want me to be a rabbit and eat strange organic stuff and more greens. The environment desk wants me to give up sharks fin soup and eat more tofu (haven’t they heard of uric acid?) while the young entertainment reporters joke about me turning Hawaii 5-0 – and their hero is the present wimpy detective.

Nope, they have not heard of Jack Lord and they think the current series is the hottest thing from Hawaii since President Barack Obama.

I am glad to read that George Clooney has also reached the halfway mark. So have Eddie Murphy and Meg Ryan. They all look fabulous but we can’t say the same about Boy George. But that’s simply because he could never decide which way he wants to go.