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TGIF columns are in order by date from the most recent.

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​Bye-bye Blond Bozos

FOR people like me who’ve watched in amazement as they duped voters by the millions into electing them to highest office in the USA and UK, it’s been nice to see the two biggest populist idiots on either side of the Atlantic get the beginning of their comeuppance in the same week. They so deserve it, both of them being so full of themselves and empty of brains. They were both Greek tragedies waiting to happen – and Boris Johnson added a little Turkish to the mix.

It’s hard to say which moron provides more satisfaction this week.
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​Benign Out of Ten

LAST Friday, under the headline “Over the Moon, Cancer”, I told you all that a CT-scan the Monday before had shown I was cancer-free. I was in the best mood I’d been in for a year. All the trouble I’d seen over the nearly ten months of my treatment seemed worthwhile if, in the end, I was healthy.

The worst parts of the experience – the bodily assault of major surgery (like being beaten with lead pipes by a gang of thugs), the pneumonia, the internal swelling that made it impossible for me to eat (causing me to lose 50lbs in two months), the weeks of being fed by stomach tube, the slow poison of eight bouts of aggressive, virulent chemotherapy, the deprivation of having nothing by mouth for six weeks, the nagging cough, the loss of two-thirds of my stomach (including the valves that stop digestive tract juices from rolling into your mouth if you bend at the waist), the transformation from man into scarecrow – all of it counted for naught, if I were well.
As I was.
I was in such a good mood, I ended last week’s TGIF in a way I thought would make God chuckle, if he existed, with these two sentences:
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​Over the Moon, Cancer

ON MONDAY , a CT-scan showed I am cancer-free.

To say I’m over the moon is an understatement along the lines of “Jesus Christ was a Jewish carpenter.”
Monday's news came nine months after my diagnosis with oesophageal adenocarcinoma and six months after the surgery that removed the tumour from the end of my gullet.
And, for most of those nine months, my major worry has been that, when the treatment was done (my final chemotherapy was on May 3), that it would come back.
I think I can relax a bit now.
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​65 with a Bullet

TODAY IS my birthday and all I’ve got to show for myself after six-and-a-half decades of this cosmic joke called life is the same receding hairline, expanding waistline, infrequent byline and recurring firetrucking punch line: ten times before today, in “birthday” columns, I’ve repeated the same hairline/ waistline/ byline joke I first made when I was 30 with a Bullet.

After turning 30 “in the papers” in 1988, I decided to limit birthday columns to five-year intervals and “significant” birthdays but, when I turned 55 in 2013, I realised every firetrucking birthday had become hugely significant.
At least to me.
But surely I’ve learned something from serving all this time in this prison? Here, then are 65 pieces of indisputable wisdom, one for each year I’ve survived. Following these commandments may not get you to Heaven but you’ll certainly have a Hell of a time. Many of the ones in-between change but the first and last have remained the same for 35 years now.
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