Posted by A.Stronge on May 10, 2010
“Time takes its toll…..but not on the eyes.” So sang the Beautiful South, possibly the best band ever to come out of one of the prettiest cities on Humberside. (There are only two and if you’ve ever been to Grimsby you’ll get my drift.)
Well, clearly they had never heard of,“Age Related Macular Degenerative Disease!”
And that apparently, is what I’m suffering from this week. I can diagnose the problem easily, by the simple facts that I recently had my 47th birthday and I now, no longer have the ability to recognise people’s faces. In the clinic just this very week, I treated Desmond Tutu, Augustus Caesar, Craig David, Sam Brown, Prince and Obama…. and I didn’t recognise any of them!
In fact Obama, who always seemed to be much too young for a position of such worldly proportions, looks even younger in the flesh. Truth is, he looks about eight months old close up and talks and drools like a gibbering imbecile!
Mind you, talking that way never seemed to hold Ronald Reagan back. Now I know that you think that I’ve just broken every rule in the book about medical confidentiality but I haven’t. Why? Because you’re highly unlikely to ever meet these people and even if you do, you won’t recognise them either! They look bugger all like they do on the telly! In fact, so dramatic where the changes to their facial features, I’m beginning to wonder if they are not all related to Michael Jackson!
Whilst I think about it, didn’t he sing a ditty about a “Liberian Girl?” It can’t just be a coincidence. And given his extraordinarily odd behaviour, he might well have had some Liberian blood in him. As well as the blood of six vestal virgins, several small choirboys, a chimpanzee who answers to the name of Bubbles and a variety of intra venous anaesthetics! (Probably)
On second thoughts though, a Liberian might well have eaten the monkey. Yes, perhaps the eyesight going is just another stage of the aging process that I will just have to accept. Or perhaps it’s just another physical challenge that I’m destined to endure whilst I remain in constancy, an insect repelling resident of a West African rain forest. Did I ever tell you that you can get a lot of bugs in your teeth here if you’re not at all careful?
Who knows, perhaps by the end of my tenure here I’ll have morphed completely and irretrievably in a fully formed expat. You know the sort, that somewhat dishevelled and bewildered looking bloke in baggy shorts, with a nose like a burst beetroot. And just at a time when I thought I was maturing wonderfully into a rugged, Sean Connery type.
Though I have to admit it, I have so much grey these days, that my pubic hair now looks like a badger in a certain light! (A big and beautifully formed badger obviously.) Isn’t it funny how when men reach a certain age of maturity they go grey, whilst women reach a certain age of maturity…. and go Auburn?
Or to be more precise, Rich and Natural Auburn, shade R147, two for one this month at Tesco’s. (Probably)
But this highly popular, pantone phenomenon isn’t just confined within the shores of dear old Blighty. Oh No.
Here in Liberia too, this colourful and confusing conundrum is hard at work and leaving me wondering why? Over the past few days, many of the women who cook and clean for us, here on Dugbe camp, have turned up for duty sporting hairstyles so orange that they glow in the dark. Chopping and sweeping away, they radiate like a sunset over Chernobyl, at a shade on par with the hue of Judith Chalmers, threatening to scare the wildlife, blind unwary pilots and bring down passing aircraft.
Orange hair indeed! What next, red beards, freckles and leprechaun outfits? I’ll have no chance of recognising anybody then!