CRINGLE: Why was I eating tomatoes?

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I had been paying a social call at the house of friends. I left the car at the kerbside.

When I left the house I climbed into the front passenger seat.I sat there, puzzled by the amazing circumstance that somebody had managed to turn my car around through 180 degrees after I had left it.

Why would anybody want to do such a thing? And how? In time it came to me that nobody had done anything of the sort. It had been my own idea to jump into the passenger seat instead of the driver’s seat.

There was only one answer to this. Senile disintegration was tightening its remorseless grip. It was worse than the day when I wrote a cheque and dated it a week in advance because I hadn’t properly grasped what day it was.

Fortunately last week I read a story in the Daily Telegraph saying that British scientists are preparing to test a new pill which will stop early stage Alzheimer’s Disease in its tracks. They told the Daily Telegraph that this wonder drug is called MK-8931. Now this is all very well. But, when I go to my pharmacist with early stage Alzheimer’s, how am I supposed to remember a name the likes of that?

All right, I could write it down on a bit of paper. But I’d have to remember to do that as well.

The story was in a page of the Telegraph with two others in which the boys in white coats were announcing other research results relating to health care. One of them told me that scientists from Japan and China – they’re at it all over the world – have found that eating tomatoes helps to ward off depression.

This rang a bell with me. Some years ago – very likely in the Telegraph – I learned that tomatoes can prevent prostate cancer. I was already eating lots of tomatoes. But when it came to preventing prostate cancer I wasn’t sure exactly what I had to do with them.

The third story related to drink. Nearly every day we read different versions of what amount of drinking is good and/or bad for you.

This time I learned that a medical conference in Denmark – I told you – had decided that drinking red wine can prevent cancer, heart disease and diabetes. The headline said: ‘Two glasses of red wine a day could save your life.’

I don’t drink red wine during the day. But I do in the evening. Does the story mean that I can save my two day-time glasses and add them to those I hose down at night?

This would make sure the medicine was working.But I follow this kind of medical story devotedly and I will continue to do so until some clever fellow in Azerbaijan or the like announces that he has found a way of curing people afflicted by the belief that they can drive their cars sitting in the passenger seat.

PHIL – that’s all – directs attention to a story in the Examiner saying: ‘A memorial to the 35 passengers and crew who lost their lives when the SS Ellan Vannin sank more than a century ago will be held by the ManxAid charity at the quayside in Ramsey . . .

Let’s hope they didn’t drop it.

I DIDN’T get to see the Rolling Stones on stage in London. I have to make do with the other Antiques Road Show on BBC television.

THIS week’s Manx crossword clue is: It shows who one is on an island in a manner of speaking (5) – IDIOM (The Times)

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