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Offbeat – 20 December 2013

As far as my list for Santa goes, I think the one that is most likely to happen is living for a couple of hundred more years. Medical science is working wonders at the moment.

I see I wrote about Evil Santa and Krampus last year. That’s a bit irritating because it has been on my mind as the probable topic for this Christmas column. Scratch that and let’s move on.
I never get the things I want for Christmas, like a yacht, a private island and heaps of money, so I have nothing to lose in making my list for this year, and I’m going to be impossible again.
First things first I want the body of a movie star. Note that I want my own body to look like that of a movie star, and not the body of a movie star inconveniently buried in the backyard. Said movie star body should be young and handsome. A complete dental makeover would be good as well, because my mouth is horrible.

Secondly, I want to live for at least another two hundred years. I think that could be very cool for the simple reason that there is such a lot happening and changing, and I want to see as much of it as possible. I don’t want that to backfire on me though, so I’m going to say those have to be happy years, filled with lots of good stuff like love, books, beer, cigarettes and rapid, painless organ transplants.
Thirdly, I want a visit from the Tooth Fairy, the female one, not the hairy guy in a tutu from those memorable ads. I want to take a selfie alongside her, so that I can cause existential angst for atheists. Then I can spend the whole year sniggering as they convert to whatever religions they think will forgive them for their years of unkind denial of my superstition.
Fourth. I want uninterrupted economic growth with no downturns or recessions, or any of that nonsense. Why not? Investors seem to believe it is a reasonable proposition, and it fits nicely up there with my selfie of me and the Tooth Fairy.
Finally, I want everyone in Namibia to have enough, so that at least the economic roots of crime go away. Wehile we are here in Namibia, I want cold winds and rain for an hour every day, in other words winter all year round.
That’s not too much to ask, is it?
As I sit here and think of it, I should have asked for a better Pope last year. That would have made my year.
I could complain about the year, but I won’t. In some ways, it has been extraordinarily kind to me. In coming out of my shell, at least in last seven months, making a conscious effort to be less of an introvert, I have received wonderful gifts in the form of new friends and acquaintances, seen in new ways.
Staying in my shell was a form of defense, an easy way to manage life for a long time, but it turns out that being able to talk to people has its upsides, especially now that I am no longer a kid, and the people around me aren’t kids either, or at least know how to behave like human beings.
The thing with young people is they constantly try to define themselves. That’s not a bad thing, if they could do it on their own, but they never can. There are constant challenges that entail the be-like-me thing. All’s fine and well with that, but extreme sports, and extreme socialising don’t go down well with me. I pulled into my shell and didn’t come out much for about fifteen years.
Now that I have begun to find my way out, I find that the aging process, and the fact that the people in my age group have defined themselves, makes life that much easier. I don’t have to be this, that or the other. I can be me, at least amongst certain people. Weirdness walks alongside me, which can be an issue in conversation, but now, if I open my mouth and eyes go glazed, I can move on, without getting a heavy challenge to prove what I am saying.
I think that the four or five people I have met this year are the gift that Christmas 2012 had in store for me, and I am grateful for it.
As far as my list for Santa goes, I think the one that is most likely to happen is living for a couple of hundred more years. Medical science is working wonders at the moment.
If you have been reading these columns, thanks for the readership and look out for more next year. Happy Christmas. I’ll do new year in the next one.

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