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So, at my city-run gym there’s usually only one channel on the television sets, Channel 7, the local ABC affiliate. I’m not sure if the Disney corporation is paying off the staff at Metropolitan Pool or something, but that’s what generally tends to be on.

This is how I became familiar with the ABC News special “Live to be 150“, hosted by Barbara Walters. It’s a “news” special where she shares secrets to living longer. I guess the show surmises that with the aid of Barbara’s tips, you can live to the ripe old age of 150.

One-hundred and fifty.

Ugh. Count me as not excited.

Think about it. If you were a person who had done all the right things that Walters told you, and you were a spry 146-year old now living in Florida, that means you very likely would have retired in 1928 at the age of 65.

That’s a long-ass time to sit around playing canasta. Oh, sure, they’ll show you remarkable centenarians living full and active lives, breathing, dancing, practicing their craft, and even having sex.

Just really, really, really slowly.

Yes, I am being a downer about living to the ripe old age of 150. I don’t know if I want to be walking around when I’m 75 talking about how it’s the new 45. Do I really need yet another excuse to put off getting married and having children? How about the fact that I’m having enough trouble saving money for retirement as it is, now I’ll have to save for 80 years worth of assisted living? Let’s not even talk about the societal implications of Social Security and all the money that’s going to be in LifeAlert ads.

Look, it’s good to be alive. Really it is. I’m trying to enjoy it. But count me as  one of those who believes that we might be beginning to go too far in our quest never to die. Never suffering pain? That seems like a worthy goal. Eradicating unnecessary diseases? Damn straight! Helping those enough lucky enough to be blessed with life to live it to the fullest? Right on.

But hanging on to the rip old age of 115 so I can tell some 75 year old about how it was back in the day? How does this benefit anyone, really? Aren’t we, with our attempts to artificially lengthen life, kind of diminishing its value, in a way? After all you’ll have plenty of time to stop and smell the roses, provided your olfactory nerves haven’t collapsed from 100 years of greenhouse gases. There’s just something that seems ethically unnatural and selfish about this. As I said before, Barbara Walters and her tips have their way, there’s going to be a lot of social policy that’s going to need to be changed. A retirement age of 121, for starters.

Plus, let’s be honest, that’s a whole lot of years to be no longer current about musical trends. And for the music to be too loud. And to need your steak cut up and for your sciatica to quit acting up. Yeah, not exactly what I’d call quality time.

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One Comment

  1. Those are all good, profound thoughts.

    Meanwhile, I’m still considering the idea that if Barbara knows enough to tell you how to live to be 150, she must have already accomplished it herself. Otherwise, why is she the authority on aging well? Man, I knew she was old, but 150! WHEW!


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