Extracts from The Diaries of 'Professor' Cornelius Crane

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May 2nd, 1968

Next week, May 9, will be my 9th birthday.

My mother seems more excited about it than me. She’s given me a bunch of invitations that I need to hand out to my friends at school, inviting them to a party at my house. The big problem is that I don’t have any. I find all the kids at school, childish, irritating and downright boring. A couple of do-gooders kept trying to involve me in their activities, but they eventually gave up and left me to myself.

I pass the time mostly by reading books. So during recess and other such periods of play, I inevitably end up by myself under a tree somewhere as far away as possible from all the irritating screaming and giggling.

Unfortunately my lack of interest in play has caused me to get a little soft and flabby in places. There is also the possibility that my inactivity, especially at such a young age, could cause me to lose bone mass, develop Type 2 Diabetes or break down my immune system.

This is just to name but a few of the problems that could arise.

I need to start doing some regular exercise. I could start jogging, but to do that, I need a decent pair of running shoes, and all the tennis shoes back here are poorly soled and just plain detrimental to a growing boy’s health. I guess I could try swimming, but that would limit my exercise to the summertime as there are no heated pools in the area.

I know also from my intensive research into the functioning of the brain during my first life that during periods of play and exercise, a youth produces dopamine, a neurotransmitter involved in memory and problem solving.

It is obvious that nature has designed children in such a way so that they willingly and automatically partake in activities that are beneficial to, not only their physical well-being, but their mental one as well.

The body is a fantastic machine with a myriad of components and functions. It has a way of telling the brain that it requires certain foodstuffs necessary for growth. This is why our tastes as children tend to differ significantly from those of adulthood. As a child I loved all things sweet such as candies, cakes, syrup drenched flapjacks, jelly sandwiches and sticky puddings. But later, as an adult, my preferences were more to things salty.

Lately I find that my palate has reverted to those things of a sugar-based nature. If I could have the choice between a milkshake and a beer right now – I’d take the shake!

Even in my first life. I was never much one for sports or even socializing. So, while the jocks were out flexing and flaunting their biceps in front of all the swooning females, I was in, improving my academic skills and knowledge.

I was captain of both the chess club and debate society.

And I know from experience, that once girls get over their immature infatuations, they all inevitably find a large wallet to be far more attractive than a well-ripped set of abs.

I know this because I was once married to the two biggest gold diggers south of the Yukon River - the first in ’83 and the second much later in 2002.

Still, I’ve always abhorred the prospect of obesity. I think I’ll have to also start doing some sit-ups and push-ups before bed each night. I don’t want to end up looking like the Michelin Man.

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