Sunday 8 July 2012

If I die today, consider this my will

By the time you read this, I may be dead.

So this could double as my last will and testament.

This morning, I took part in the Jurong Lake Run, my first organised mass run in over two decades (not counting The New Paper Big Walk, which is not a run but a walk, as the name suggests, however big it is).

Back in 1991, I miraculously survived the Benjamin Sheares Run in the rain, but I was 21 years younger then and filled with less bitterness and fewer KFC Zinger Double Down burgers.

In recent years, it has become alarmingly more commonplace for someone to die in an endurance event.

The reaction is usually “But he was so young and fit. How did he die so suddenly?”

In my case, people will probably say, “Yah, we saw it coming.”

It doesn’t help that last night, I had to attend a relative’s wedding dinner, which now may or may not have been my last meal. If it was my last meal, it would be very sad if I had to peel my own prawn.

By the way, just to clarify, even though you’re reading this on Sunday after the wedding dinner, this was written some time before the wedding dinner, so I don’t know yet whether I’ve peeled my own prawn or not.

In other words, I’m writing this in the past as if the future is both past and present – which, admittedly, is a bit of a deceit – but I can’t predict what the future would be, obviously.

I hope that clears things up.

Remember, I may be dead now.

In which case, I would like to take this opportunity to use what may be my final
column to settle my affairs.

To my long-suffering wife, I bequeath the $100 U-Save voucher I received from the Ministry of Finance (MOF), which she also received.

But apparently, there’s some confusion about the U-Save vouchers, which MOF tried to clarify with as much success as my “the future is both past and present” clarification.

I also forgive my wife for getting the $250 cash from MOF, which I didn’t get. It’s so unfair.

To my son, I bequeath my old army No. 4 uniforms in the cupboard as proof that camouflage used to look cool before this pixellated fad.

And I apologise to him for not being a foreigner, which means he has to do national service. My advice is to get into the navy like I did.

I also bequeath to him my treasured plaque from the Naval Diving Unit for attending the first Underwater Diving Course for underwater medics as a reminder of the pointlessness of being first in something that no one really cares about.

To my daughter, I bequeath my Monkees, Osmonds, Bay City Rollers, A-Ha, Bros, New Kids On The Block, Take That, East 17, Backstreet Boys, ’NSync and Boyzone CDs as warning of what The Wanted will become in a few years – embarrassing old music that kids like her won’t care about anymore.

Despite what she says, I will stand by my opinion till the day I die (which could be today) that One Direction has better songs than The Wanted. What Makes You Beautiful is a pop masterpiece compared to the trashy Eurobeat of Glad You Came.

To my mother, I apologise for all the mean things I wrote about her in previous columns even though they were all true.

To my sister, I’m sorry she still has to live with my mother.

To Eric Khoo, I apologise for not getting around to finishing the movie script I promised him three months ago. Well, I have been busy writing this weekly column and training for the Jurong Lake Run!

This is what happens when you don’t give me a deadline. Uh... sorry, poor choice of word.

Speaking of movies and Benjamin Sheares (about 300 paragraphs ago), I’m also sorry I won’t have a chance to work on this great new movie idea I just had – Benjamin Sheares: Pontianak Catcher.

And I’m sorry I never got to visit the newly opened Gardens By The Bay, although I understand the price of admission may kill me. Ha ha, gallows humour.

But my biggest regret is that I won’t live to see my kids grow up and the release of iPhone 5.

I wonder if I can get a refund for the $39 that I paid to register for the Jurong Lake Run.

No, wait. I can’t because I’m dead.

Maybe my wife can get the refund for me.

Okay, some of you may be pointing out that the Jurong Lake Run is only 10km and it would be rather pathetic for me to die from a mere 10km run.

I would like to point out that I actually registered to run in the 6km category and yes, it would be rather pathetic.

But hey, at least I didn’t join the 3km Community Walk-a-Jog.

I guess this means I won’t be taking part in the 42.195km Standard Chartered Marathon this year.

Do I need to get this column notarised for it to be a legal will?

- Published in The New Paper, 8 July 2012

hi mr ong

always enjoyed reading your articles especially the 8/7/12 one, really cracked me up with your satire on local affairs and self-deprecation.

one of the the really few reasons i still buy TNP.

wishing you good health after your run and read you next week! :)


UPDATE: Proof of life after Jurong Lake Run