Prepare to raise an eyebrow. Or, should you wish to pip Roger Moore, by all means raise both. Simultaneously. You will perhaps be surprised to learn that a degree of fitness is required to drive a truck. There, I’ve said it.
No, nothing to do with the hefty rigours of manipulating sixteen gears and assisting the occasional prostitute into the cabin; one has to be declared medically fit by a doctor before a Heavy Goods Vehicle licence can be issued. And then, every five years from the age of 45, one has to sit and pass another medical.
What condition would a man – or a woman, now that we’ve let them vote – have to be in to fail? One wonders whether this test speaks, at least obliquely, of a farce. Take Namibian as an example.
Doctors and Nurses
Let’s envision being a fly on the wall. Or, better still, why don’t you engage in some uniformed role play. Right, stethoscopes at the ready as Namibian floats gracefully into your imaginary doctor’s surgery. No, you needn’t bounce sympathetically with the floorboards, but you could pretend to be a grimly-visaged health official waving an admonitory finger.
Should he really be tucking regularly into a dainty repast of a hog washed down with a loaf? Ought he to have vivid violet fetlocks and, to phrase it delicately, be the size of a Kodiak bear? And what about that cough? Yes, should be OK. Tick the Pass box.
Well done, you’ve just pronounced him fit as a fiddle. Well, a misshapen double bass, at least. He’s now free to spend five more years in the driving seat, wittering away on the CB and cleaning my mirrors. But can he last five years, more to the point?
Life Expectancy of a Bear
Well, there have been occasions when I’ve been wrong. Embarrassingly I learnt at a dinner party once that Julienne is not a ballet position; it is a manner of dicing vegetables. See, I’m not infallible.
And estimating in 2009 that Namibian would live only 56 summers is also turning out to be, if not an absolute clanger on my part, at least on the conservative side. That coarse, earthy and carnal babe magnet is going from strength to strength, spurred on through the dark hours, no doubt, by the promise of a substantial breakfast.
Would you like to meet this biological anomaly? Well, if so, you can find him touring with Cirque de Soleil’s Immortal Michael Jackson World Tour until the end of April. He won’t be far from his lorry.
Don’t take this as an ironclad guarantee, but, if the HGV medical is anything to go by, I’ve got a feeling he might even make 60. Hooray!..