NO government agency has reported it and no conspiracy theory website is running with it, but I have more than a suspicion that gravity is getting stronger.
You know those dreams where you try to run away from something horrific, like a monster or a binman (see opposite) and your feet seem stuck in treacle?
It’s like that all the time for me.
Various parts of my body have given up the struggle and started to migrate south.
It doesn’t seem long ago since I could float as if on air across a dance floor at a wedding reception.
Now the other guests hang on to the back of a chair and steady the jelly-bowls when they see I’m about to start making my moves.
More often than not they don’t invite me, for health and safety reasons. Nobody can afford the crockery and the unsprung floors. You’ve heard the phrase ‘an elephant in the room’? I am that elephant.
It’s not that I am physically elephantine. It’s just that, as you get older, your molecules get closer together. I have just become denser.
People of my age are generally denser – but an increase in the density, mass and sheer cussedness of everyday objects is also scientifically observable.
Things I could lift without trouble now seem bolted to the floor. Occasionally they are – I was never very observant.
And things that should stay on walls, like pictures and wallpaper, have become so heavy that they can come off entirely of their own volition. This never used to happen.
Coat hangers seem unable to resist the call of gravity and will always seek the lowest point – the bottom of the wardrobe is typical.
If they get half a chance they’ll fling themselves from the top of the stairs to the bottom, sometimes with clothes still attached.
I find it less of a mental strain to lay them on the floor to start with, and then laugh at them: Hah! Nowhere to go now, have you, coat hangers? Gotcha.
Perhaps it’s not so strange that the floor is often a good place to go to yourself if you feel a bout of real heaviness coming on. Falling down, in my and many other people’s experience, is no joke.
Best, in this instance, to get there before gravity does.
I could always rely on toothpaste to stay on the brush or, if I’d got brush and paste as far as my mouth, that it would stay in there. Not any more.
In heading for the bathroom floor, it leaves a streak down my front and before you know what, I’m looking as if I came off second best in a struggle with an incontinent seagull.
Same with food. Pip and I have both taken to wearing aprons while scoffing, particularly if we are in clothes we would like to wear again.
Food’s so much heavier these days. Funnily enough, it’s the food that has a staining agent – I’m thinking here of beetroot, tomato soup and blackcurrant jam – that seems intent on escaping the lifting process and showing us just how messy gravity can really be.
It wasn’t Sir Isaac Newton’s fault really, this gravity stuff. He didn’t invent it as such.
Sympathetic scientists tell me it was there all along – it was just that nobody noticed it.
Legend has it that Sir Isaac was daydreaming under a tree when an apple fell on his head. This made him wonder why a lot of things went downwards, not upwards, when they came loose.
I don’t think this was a very bright discovery. I think he was at that moment experiencing a bit of gravitational denseness.
My theory is that the fruit was probably a crab-apple or a Granny Smith.
If it had been one of those monstrous Bramley cooking apples there’d have been no Newton to invent gravity at all.
We could have continued drifting through life like so much dandelion fluff, untrammelled by the hypothesis that big things like the Earth and me attract little things like apples and toothpaste.