Longevity is a temporary distraction from death

I just read about the oldest man in the world dying at 113.

The secret of his longevity?

He "attributed his grand age to 'cigarettes, whisky and wild, wild women'."

I don't smoke, and while I love whiskey, these days I mostly drink red wine for its reputed health benefits. As to "wild, wild women," I really don't like to discuss my personal, um, issues (although I try to be democratic so I once conducted a poll to let readers vote on what my issues ought to be). Overall, I think my sex life would probably not be considered wild enough for me to set the world's longevity record.

OTOH, a 105 year old woman has never had sex at all, and she claims that her celibacy is the key to her longevity.

Well, darn then! A virgin centenarian I will never be.

I don't know where this leaves me. Perhaps I should double up on the whiskey and start smoking. Interestingly enough, I came to know a woman who had finally retired to a rest home at age 97, and she was one of those loquacious grand dames who would sit and hold court on the porch. While smoking like a chimney. As I got to know her, she complained to me about the staff's attempts to get her to stop smoking. I will never forget the way, in a loud voice, she bellowed,

"They want me to stop smoking -- 'FOR MY HEALTH!' Honey, I'm NINETY SEVEN YEARS OLD!"
It struck me as cruel, ironic, and hilarious. She was full of life, sharp as a tack, and had lived longer than her "helpers" probably would.

So while I don't know what anybody's "secret" is, I found myself thinking that this defiant old girl might not have made it to 97 had she done as she was told.

posted by Eric on 07.18.09 at 12:17 PM










Comments

I think about this frequently, as one turning 55 in Sept might.

Damn, am I glad I chose the full speed ahead approach to life. I tell my kids two things- which 30 years of life will be the most fun 20 to 50, or 50 to 80?

And my favorite prediction- that all these back to nature organic no fun assholes are choosing to spend the extra 20 years they live as a reward for their Puritan lifestyle in a fucking wheelchair having a daily diaper change.

Not me.

dr kill   ·  July 18, 2009 6:07 PM

LOL, dr kill.

As one a few years older than you... yeah, I second that.

And as the daughter of an 86 year old man who isn't through having fun yet (and who makes me laugh and appreciate his wisdom almost every day) I contend that the years between 50 and 80 aren't that bad.

I'm just now getting to enjoy my grandchildren. They are much more fun than your children were, and I know from my experience with my children that my mother and father had at least as much impact on them as I did.

I totally get your point that being a no-fun back to nature asshole is useless... but living to 90 while enjoying life in all it's dirty glory is priceless.

Donna B.   ·  July 19, 2009 12:46 AM

Eric We love you at my house,thanks for all the insight,regards your post,I smoke,I drink beer and have a great sex life(too much info?)
And I'm 46,God bless,
Bob

Bobnormal   ·  July 19, 2009 2:59 AM

Well, these comments are very encouraging because I'm 55 and I normally assume that most readers are less than half my age!

Eric Scheie   ·  July 19, 2009 11:56 AM

dr kill: And my favorite prediction- that all these back to nature organic no fun assholes are choosing to spend the extra 20 years they live as a reward for their Puritan lifestyle in a fucking wheelchair having a daily diaper change.

Paid for by you and I, the taxpayers, no doubt.

Joshua   ·  July 19, 2009 2:48 PM

Post a comment


April 2011
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

ANCIENT (AND MODERN)
WORLD-WIDE CALENDAR


Search the Site


E-mail



Classics To Go

Classical Values PDA Link



Archives



Recent Entries



Links



Site Credits