‘i’ve found the adult way to impress: step counting’

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Column

It’s a funny old world

THIS WEEK’S COLUMNIST Comedian and author Helen Lederer

You know that thing when you’ve just gone back to school, the teacher asks, ‘And what did you do in the holidays?’ and you need to come up with something more impressive than ‘sitting on the sofa watching Top of the Pops’? So you lie and say, ‘Well, we bought a tortoise and set up a sanctuary for orphaned goats at the same time.’ Then you add, ‘And the Queen came to see them as well’ to sound extra achieving?

Well, I’ve found the adult equivalent of ‘needing to impress’ in an otherwise dull and uneventful life. It is the ‘reportage’ of the exact (and I mean exact) number of steps one has taken in a day. Yes, this reveal of a precise, numerical record of steps taken within a 24-hour period is considered information that will not only impress, but will make people like you more and take stock of your strength of character.

I mention this because, not long ago, I was sitting down after a long day, waiting for Newsnight to come on, when my partner suddenly exclaimed ‘OMG!’

‘What?’ I asked, with alarm, in case my evening snack had burned – or worse, the TV was broken.

The partner repeated ‘OMG’, adding, ‘That’s extraordinary.’

‘What is?’ I said, hoping there was still another Magnum left in the freezer. ‘I’ve done 10,535 steps since lunchtime!’ I replied, ‘Are you serious?’ I wondered if his sleek wrist gadget was lying, but I knew this was doubtful – since it came with its own sleep analysis app, along with a series of ‘mindful moment’ suggestions to get you into… well, recording your own walking data.

My partner took a careful moment to check the face of his wristband, with its own fetching Day-Glo plastic designer trim and finish.

‘Yup, 10,535 steps!’ (this was said with some triumph).

‘Uncanny,’ I said, wondering if I’d even stretched to 39 steps that day – I’d onl

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