RICHARD ORD: The time is right for Zimmer to unveil the mobility surfboard

In a moment of weakness, I decided to explain the complexities of newspaper production to my youngest son Isaac.

The mobility surfboard. You saw it here first.
The mobility surfboard. You saw it here first.

He was agog. Not with the detail on how we put together this magnificent organ of information and entertainment, but that we even bother at all.

“Are newspapers still a thing?” was his initial response. Having devoted more than 30 years of my life to the buggers, I assured him they were, indeed, still ‘a thing.’

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“Who reads them?” he asked, his face still agogging.

“Well, your grandma for a start,” I said, all the while scrabbling to think of anyone else I know who buys them. We’re a dying breed, don’t you know.

“But she’s got a phone?” was his reply.

“Yes, but she prefers to read her news on paper, not on a screen. She walks to her newsagent every day to buy one.”

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Cue yet more agognicity from son Number Two: “What? You have to pay for it?”

Explaining the newspaper industry was a moment of weakness I won’t be repeating.

Times change. Our Isaac, 18, is applying to university. Needless to say, it’s not a career in newspaper journalism he’s after. He wants to do Geography. Perhaps with a more thorough knowledge of the Earth’s land masses and how they relate to the human societies spread across it, he may be able to find his way to the dishwasher. I can but dream.

Anyway, with that 30 years up the spout courtesy of screen-scrolling teens, I guess it’s time to pour my waning energy into other rewarding pursuits.

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Age is no barrier to success. As such I actively seek out people who have achieved greatness despite being in their so-called twilight years. Trump became President at 70. Not bad. But a mere whippersnapper in the eyes of Joe Biden who was sworn in at 78. One national publication runs a regular column on people who have changed careers late in life with impressive results. ‘Look,’ I’ll say, ‘he became an acclaimed artist at 82. There’s hope for me yet.’ But instead of inspiring me to improve myself, it ends up being an excuse to do nothing. What’s the rush? I’ve got another 26 years to make it as an artist.

I fancy learning how to surf though. Kelly Slater is a surf star who is still winning competitions in his fifties. I’m in my fifties. There’s no rush though. Do surfboards come with handrails? Like floating Zimmer frames? Think I might need one...