I like to consider myself an incurable optimist. I mean, I used to think the laundry guys had to be doing something wrong because my pants kept getting tighter.

Like everything else these days, blame it on the pandemic. There comes a time in a man’s life when the only important question to ask oneself, after yet-another tedious day at home, is the searching: “What’s for dinner?” 

And you can imagine what a surfeit of said questions can do to a man’s waistline. 

These days, I need to work out like a fanatic just to maintain my svelte chubby figure. Or, let me put it this way: if I had remained in journalism, I can take comfort in the fact that I still have a face for radio. 

I think we all get heavier as we age because there’s a lot more information in our heads courtesy of all our reading over the years. OK, I’ll concede that my working hypothesis isn’t biochemically self-evident. But, hey, it was a good try.

No, the increasing heft has more to do with metabolic rates and the law of gravity. As we get older, apparently, our metabolic rates slow – in my case, it may have plummeted – and it takes longer and longer for our bodies to burn off excess calories. And that’s when you get fat:  energy gone to waist. 

In gravity’s case, tissues at rest, well, sag: they droop, stoop, they dangle…I think you get the drift. 

But have you noticed that corpulent people make for dignified figures? Indeed, the said droop is in keeping with nature and is considered “solemn” and, truth be told, is the source of the word “gravitas” which, of course, means “dignity” or “solemnity of manner”. 

Let me paint you a picture:  Jho Low in judicial garb?

I suppose it would be too much to swallow, even for Jibby. In the interests of full disclosure, I admit the etymology of said word might be yet another working hypothesis on my part. But, hey, no loss, no foul. 

As I get older, I take comfort in the words of Abraham Lincoln. “Common looking people are the best in the world,” he once observed, “and that’s the reason the Lord made so many of them.”  

And Singapore is the worst place in the world to be overweight. For one thing, you notice very few overweight young men here. A mandatory, two-year national service requirement puts paid to that. And I suppose the habit clings because you don’t see any overweight, fat old guys either.

That’s depressing where I’m concerned because even slightly overweight guys see me in restaurants, feel reassured and order another beer. In my dotage, I’ve become a symbol of reassurance, that letting it all hang out is not only fine, but dandy. 

Who’d have thought? 

But a word to the wise. You don’t get a body like this overnight. I mean, you must work at it. It takes years of neglect.  

It isn’t wholly my fault. Rebecca was always a good cook, but this pandemic is turning her into a serious contender. 

The Food Network Channel has transformed her into an X-Chef, as it were. Our kitchen now boasts a cast iron skillet, a thermometer for the perfect steak and her sourdough loaf is a thing of beauty and a fleeting joy, until the next one.  

So, no, I don’t suffer from over-indulgence: I enjoy every minute of it.