I went to see the doc this week. I've had a hacking cough and wasn't sure what caused it. Her first question was: "How long have you been smoking?"
Normal doctor question, I thought. No biggy. Then I roughly worked it out. "30 years," I said. Then, in my head, I worked it out properly. 36 years! Oh my god, I thought, no wonder I sound like a traction engine with rusty gears.
And, of course, there is the booze, too. I guess that only started moments after the cigarettes. I am seriously a wrecked human being.
Apart from the body, I was starting to believe my brilliant gourmet qualities were deserting me, too. The other day I did a quite enjoyable meal for myself and Mrs R and she only managed to eat half of it. "I've had quite a lot actually, I don't eat that much," she said.
"No you haven't," I argued. "You would normally eat most of that. You have barely touched it."
"I'm not that hungry really," she argued.
Hmm, I think I had better go on a cookery revision course.
The fat kid is 27. She keeps pestering me for things every five seconds. This week it was "Can I have my nails done? I am an only child and they only cost £25."
"Ask your boyfriend to pay, fat kid," I told her. "Why should your dad pay for all these things?"
"Because you're my dad," she said. Doesn't sound a very good reason to me, but obviously she thought so.
Mrs R came downstairs, shaking a small stick at me. "What do you make of this?" she said.
I looked at it. Hmm. Then I looked at the chart she was holding. Bigger hmmmm.
Then I worked it out. And maybe you have worked it out, too.
Mrs R and I are having a baby.
Before we got married we discussed children and I told her there was virtually no chance of me fathering another - I had hardly treated my body as a temple. I think Mrs R may have been quite keen though, because no sooner had the nuptials been completed than she had come off the pill.
I assured her, however, that my worn out and slightly anebriated sperm a. wouldn't have the energy to find their way to the fallopian tube and b. once there wouldn't be steady and sober enough to actual find the way in... and would probably fall asleep in the vicinity.
It appears I was wrong.
So at the age of 49, when most of us are dreaming about retirement, maybe emigrating abroad, enjoying the quiet life and settling in with slippers and pipe, I am going to be a daddy again.
It means the fat kid won't be able to call herself "an only child" as well, particularly as she has four sisters from her mother's side of the family.
To be honest the whole thing is complete madness.
And I can't wait.
ps As my own father is 85 and can't turn on a computer or read a blog I am biding my time to tell him. Anyone who reads this - please don't jump the gun, I don't want him collapsing from the shock!