Well Done, Mr Singh, aged 100

WELL DONE, old fella. An Asian man has become the first 100-year-old person to run a marathon.

I marveled at a newspaper picture of ancient, white-bearded Fauja Singh crossing the finish line at a race in Canada.

But on a whim I looked up the website of the Toronto Marathon. I found something even more poignant.

There were eight people who finished AFTER HIM. Can you imagine the humiliation of being beaten in a race by Methuselah himself?

Ouch. There would be no option but IMMEDIATE hara-kiri.


Oldies are on my mind. Did you read about the woman aged 92 who was last week refused alcohol at a store because she couldn’t prove she was old enough?

Staff at the One Stop Shop in the UK town of Harlow refused to sell wine to antediluvian Diane Taylor because she wasn’t carrying the recommended type of ID information, according to the story from the Harlow Post newspaper, forwarded by a helpful reader.

Ms Taylor, a great-grandmother, showed them lots of other pieces of ID, and even displayed her pacemaker (a metal thing that kind of sticks out of your chest). Mean staff turned her away.


These things happen. I have several times reported on cases in Asia (mostly in Malaysia and India) where a guy who has been reported dead turns up at a government office to set the record straight.

The conversation inevitably goes like this.

Not Dead Guy: “As you can see, I’m not dead.”

Official: “Can you prove it?”

There’s no answer to that.


My local health store once had a promotion that offered discounts for moms only. But how can a woman prove she has given birth?

Baggy eyes? Saggy tum?

Staff thought they would have to take the shopper’s word for it.

But a doctor told me that after giving birth, women develop the linea negra, a dark area on the skin of the lower abdomen. I passed the news to the staff, but they were too nervous to use it.

Picture the scene.

Shopper: “I’m a mom and I demand the discount.”

Shopkeeper: “Show me your lower abdomen.”

Arrests would have followed swiftly.



LEADERS IN Beijing last week ordered the cancellation of all China-produced television shows that are “overly entertaining.”

Huh? By my calculations, that means everything on the TV schedule can stay exactly as it is.


TO EXPRESS their anger over the debt crisis, government workers in Greece are threatening to stop work. Surely it would be better to do something people would notice?


A POLICE constable sacked for corruption in Pune, India, was last week offered his job back—for a 50,000 rupee bribe. The officer recorded the conversation and made it public.

I think the officials concerned should be sacked, and then given some sort of Award for Services to the Cause of Irony.


BEST QUESTION of the month comes from US comic Jimmy Kimmel: “How long do you think it will be before the iPhone realizes it's being commanded by idiots and destroys them?”


MR JAM over and out.