Certain occasions seem to trigger such reveries from the many dark corners of our minds. It could be at the time around the New Year when we look back wistfully at the year just ended and wonder what the next twelve months will bring. Or it could be at the time of one's birthday, or other anniversary like a wedding anniversary, or 25 or so years in marriage, that these memories come floating by to the front of your head and keeps you pondering.
Sometimes it is a piece of music that triggers such old memories, or a smell of perfume or something, or visiting a place. Anything and anytime can wake up the spirit of times gone by. Without warning or prior notice.
Imagine for instance you're lying there in your bath, relaxing amongst the soap bubbles and warm water, perhaps reading one of my books, when suddenly a thought strikes you from nowhere ...
I wonder if the Flat Earth Society has members all-round the globe?
Then another thought came to mind, where did the phrase riding a tiger come from? Imagine having a riding school for people to ride hyenas. That would be a laugh!
Then I remembered a story my late father said to me, may he rest in peace. There once was a hyena which always got attacked by a tiger in the jungle. So it asked his friends, a group of monkeys, to accompany him in case of an attack and to help him in the fight. Sure enough the tiger appeared and the monkeys run away up the trees. The tiger attacked the hyena and tore him to pieces.
When the tiger had his fun and went away, the hyena asked the monkeys why they did not help him. They replied, "You were laughing so much we thought you were enjoying yourself!"
Anyway my thoughts then somehow turned to death. I wondered what happens after death.
I know what we are taught about eternal life and the here-after; but somehow I wondered what if there actually is re-incarnation? Can you imagine? Returning back as a tin of evaporated milk?
It was made from contented cows, you know!
Then, thinking back about death, I asked myself whether cows, and other animals, go to Heaven when they die.
I almost hoped that they don't. Because I do not want to come face-to-face with the Sunday roast telling me off for having eaten it.
Can you imagine meeting in Heaven that wasp, or yellowjacket, you killed last summer? It might well sting you in the backside in revenge; because they don't wear anything under those long robes they give you in Heaven, you know! And they are open in the back like those robes you get in hospitals. What if you backed off into a cactus? Are there cactuses in Heaven? Or is it cacti?
Somehow, the thought made me smile and then laugh out loud.
What is laughter? I asked myself, but did not reply.
I thought about it for a while. It is a build up of energy that starts somewhere deep within one's diagram, (just above the belly button), and rushes up your asparagus, and comes out as a loud noise out of your mouth.
From anywhere else and you're in trouble! Especially if you have an attack of wind.
Anyway, this train of thoughts somehow took a turning back to death and family members now long gone.
I remembered my dear old mom. She always used to say to me, "take every thing with a pinch of salt!" Mind you, she made a terrible cup of tea.
She told me once that when I was born in hospital I was very ugly indeed. Apparently the nurse slapped me on the backside and hit my dad in the mouth.
I wondered about babies for a while ... I remember reading somewhere that about 13% of babies are conceived in an IKEA bed. This is surprising considering those shops are normally well lit.
Some people even name their babies after the place they were conceived ... like Brooklyn, or Carolina. I don't think BMW and Volkswagen are good names for babies though.
Anyway, as I grew up, like the ugly duckling, I became really good looking. I recall when I worked in London I was stopped in the street by a very beautiful woman who said, "Hello handsome. Can you direct me to the optician please?"
In my reverie, sitting there in the bath, I recalled my dear old uncle. He was very well educated and a professor at the local University where he taught graffiti and hooliganism.
He used to tell his students, "Sticks and stones may break my bones. But words will never hurt me!" Then one day a printing press fell on him.
He was quite a character my uncle. Once he put a cake and custard in his wife's nylon tights and then declared, "Never trifle with a woman's affection!" I don't think she had a sense of humour, my aunt!
She was quite a figure to look at and wonder. A real hour-glass figure, she had. She said she had been on a peanut and melon diet. The peanuts didn't do much good for her, but the melons ...
My other uncle was a glazier. You know, a person whose trade is fitting glass into windows and doors. Once, working at this multi-storey block of offices, he spent all day changing the glass in over 100 windows. Then he realised he had a crack in his spectacles.
By this time the water in the bath was getting a little cold and it was time I got out and practised my body-building poses in front of the full length mirror. It reminded me of the time when I went to see the doctor. He asked me, "Do you have trouble passing water?"
I replied, "I get a little dizzy when travelling over a bridge!"
He was a great Shakespearean actor, my doctor. Toured the USA and other countries for years. His favourite role was in A Midsummer Night's Dream. Have you seen his Bottom? Or perhaps caught a glimpse of his Malvolio on the Twelfth Night? That's quite a sight when you're feeling a little down.
Anyway, enough of me and my bathing memories.
At least they are better than those of yet another uncle of mine. His doctor told him to keep away from all dampness because of his rheumatism. So he sat in an empty bath and vacuum cleans himself!