My best friend turns 30 today and, just like in the film Logan's Run, he's done a runner. That's 5373 miles of a runner, to be exact, to the West Coast of the United States. I'm sure it's not merely an excuse to escape the flashing crystal in his palm, but I'm sorry, he doesn't escape that lightly. So, like a good Sandman, I'm off to track him down.
If it's 8am in London it must be midnight in San Francisco and that 30th birthday has just begun. Clever that, delaying the onset of thirty for an extra eight hours.
A milestone birthday like 30 or 40 can really affect some people, although in my experience it usually affects other people more than it affects oneself. It's frightening how many people judge you by the first digit of your age. Thirty-something? That's old overnight to a twenty-something. Sorry, not interested. Of course, if you choose to define old as 'five years older than you' then you never get to be old yourself, but it does make a lot of other people permanently ancient. Personally I sailed through 30, twinged only mildly the first time I had to tick the '35-44' box in a survey questionnaire, and I'll have no problem with 40 so long as other people realise I'm still 24 inside. Aren't we all?
8am and I'm still here in London, so maybe I'm cutting it fine to get to San Francisco in time for tonight's 30th celebrations. However, it can be done, and my flight leaves Heathrow in just over six hours time. Thanks to the eight-hour time difference I shall be on the West Coast by 5pm tonight, after hours spent risking tedious in-flight movies and deep-vein-thrombosis. Those extra eight hours will make today a 32-hour day, the longest day I've ever experienced. OK, so maybe it's an extreme way to try to beat Seasonal Affective Disorder, but 17 hours of December daylight should do me the world of good. I just hope I can stay awake for a 30th birthday event that starts at 4am GMT and no doubt ends well after I'd normally have woken up, even on a Sunday.
Happy Birthday, Happy New Year, and diamond geezer'll be back in 2003.
...unless they have the internet in San Francisco too...