Geezerdom Awaits Going for a record

Like most of my high school classmates, I expect to celebrate my 75th year on the planet in 2017.

To be perfectly honest, this amazes me. I never expected to make it this far. All that crazy risk-taking … in my teens, my 20s, yesterday.

What stands out most though was when I managed to reach age 42, the same age of my father when he died, and nothing happened. Only then did I begin to breathe a little easier. Only then did I begin to shake the feeling of living on borrowed time.

I’ve not thought much about aging since. The subject no longer interested me. Like most people I focused mostly on the present, that day-to-day stuff we all deal with.

But whadda ya know, here we are. Seventy five. A milestone of sorts.

Curious, I decided to check the actuarial tables to see how much longer I might be expected to continue focusing mostly on the present. And here’s what I found: If you make it to 75, your life expectancy increases to 86.8. I assume that’s years. 2028 here I come. Here we come, all us 75-year-olds.

Is it me or is it getting warm in here?

Geezerdom awaits us—provided we don’t climb ladders (folks are cautioned to stay off them after 65 … because balance), drive while intoxicated (I know you don’t but there's always a few), play with matches, or smoke. And for God’s sake no more fireworks (everyone knows you still do them. So cool it already).

Now living to 86.8 is one thing, but why not go for more? I mean, if life is still good, if everything works, if there is still much to look forward to, if Brady and Belichick are still clicking … why not go for it? Why not go for the all-time World Longevity Record?

According to a list of the world's verified oldest people (alas, none of whom I happen to be related to), we still have a long way to go. Hats off to Jeanne Calment of France who set the World Longevity Record of 122 years and 164 days upon her death in 1997. Viva la France! (Nothing in the record indicates if she favored cigars, booze, Dannon Yogurt or long walks on the beach.)

The shortest life span among the top 100 is 114 years plus. What a shame. So close and yet so far. But the most striking thing about these 100 world longevity finalists is that all but a handful are, or were, women. Guys, unless somebody comes up with a medical miracle real soon, the ladies have us beat longevity-wise.

Get with the program on extending longevity, people. We don't have all day.

But, hey, what about quality of life you say. I mean setting a new World Longevity Record is one thing, but doing it without forgetting who you are and what you had for breakfast has to count for something. Indeed, a long life is a lot better if you retain your throwing arm and all your marbles along the way.

For example, do you know how old you are, the name of that neat person you live with, your anniversary, how to find your way home, when Columbus crossed the ocean blue, the recipe for your grandmother’s risotto, and where your keys are at this very moment?

Keys, wallet, cellphone, clean underwear—check.

On that score, I’m all good—so far. Except please don’t ask me anyone’s phone number. Without my cellphone, I’d draw a blank. But so would Brady and Belichick.

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