Welcome to Big Old Goofy World . . . a place where I can share my thoughts, hopes, and dreams about this rock that we live on and call home.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Chasing Methuselah

Methuselah was an old fart in the Bible . . . in fact, he was the oldest fart in the Bible . . . approximately 969 years.  Now, that is old!  I guess I shouldn’t complain about being a sprite 56 years old!  I only know one person even close to that age who lives in Michigan, and I doubt if he would even admit to being anywhere close to that age.

It seems that we are all chasing Methuselah . . . chasing that mythical age of never aging.  In the most recent issue of Health—a magazine I would never subscribe to if it weren’t for the free points to purchase it for nothing—there was a quiz about determining one’s real age to figure out one’s life span . . . and, basically how much longer one had before kicking the bucket.  There were fourteen questions about habits and tendencies that gave a number of points . . . you answered the questions, received a score that was divided by ten, and whether it was a plus or minus score you added it to your actual age.  Now, if it was a positive it added years to your actual age to let you know how many years your gluttonous living had shorten your life span.  If it was a negative number it subtracted years off of your age to tell you how many years you had added to your life span.  Pretty depressing stuff . . . I broke even . . . in fact, I probably cost myself ten minutes of life taking the stupid quiz.

The first question dealt with the body mass index . . . basically wanting to know how much of a person’s body was made up of fat.  First of all, I doubt if the majority of the human race even knows what their body mass index number is . . . I had to look mine up from my recent health screening . . . and, it was not pretty.  Second, I doubt if most people are going to be honest about their body mass index number . . . as humans we have a tendency to lie . . . we knock it down to a smaller number.  I really scored poorly in this area . . . added about ten years to my age.  Suddenly I was sixty-five and had the urge to retire.

The second question had to do with drinking habits . . . yep, I drink.  That should have been good enough, but no . . . they wanted to know the frequency . . . how many drinks a day.  That added a couple of years to my age . . . now I was thinking about moving into assisted living . . . as long as they let me bring a few six-packs of Montana microbrews.

The third question had to deal with how people handled stress . . . did folks have people they could share their stress with.  Heck!  I’m an introvert . . . add another couple of years to the death toll.  At this point I felt the urge to knock at the door of the local nursing home.  The quiz was stacking up the points of my longevity quicker than I could add them up.  I wasn’t sure at this point I wanted to continue the quiz . . . better to admit defeat and live under the illusion of ignorance about the longevity of my life.

Question four dealt with the amount of red meat that people eat . . . how often was the main emphasis.  Thanks to my wife . . . who seems to want to make me healthy with lots of chicken and salmon . . . who only allows me red meat about two times a week . . . I was able to keep the damage down.  I was slowly climbing out of the pit . . . there was hope as I ate my steak.

Education level was the fifth question.  Apparently the higher one climbs up the educational ladder the longer his or her life will be.  Shoot!  With this one I knocked off five years to the death notice I was working on . . . I wanted to cheat as I had a couple of graduate degrees, but the quiz wouldn’t let me. 

Question six dealt with support in times of crisis . . . again, I am an introvert.  What the heck is support.  Luckily I could answer that yes, despite my protests, there would be a small group of people who would come to my aid.  Of course I would curse them, but being a nice guy I would accept whatever they offered . . . and, I would secretly wish that they hit the road and leave me alone. I scored a big zero in this category . . . nothing gained, nothing lost.

Community involvement was the basis of question seven.  I am not as involved in the community as I should be, but I do the best that I can.  The minor involvement I put into the community actually knocked another year off of the death sentence . . . or at least the prelude to death.

The next question killed me . . . knocked me on my butt.  It had to do with moderate to vigorous exercise . . . like in how often does one do moderate to vigorous exercise.  None of the choices in the quiz really reflect what I actually do . . . I am not of the exercise fanatics, but nor am I one of the great couch potatoes.  They suggested adding five years to my life . . . this really killed the momentum I had been building . . . as Bob Marley and Bob Dylan both elegantly sang, I was “knock, knock, knocking on heaven’s door.”

Number nine dealt with smoking . . . I have never smoked.  Now this was a category I thought I could make up for lost ground.  Having never smoked I thought I would gain at least a decade . . . but, no!  For having never smoked I did not get to subtract any points at all.  What a bummer!  I could have smoked and only lost a few points . . . and, for all of my good behavior I get a great big zero!  Hand me a cigar!

Ten reflected a normal menu . . . what does one typically eat?  First of all, the choices they offered were of foods  I would not regularly eat . . . heavy on the chicken.  Unless chicken is deep fat fried with the skin on . . . well, I will have to choke it down.  The closest they came to my ideal meal was a burger and dessert . . . I will take the burger, but skip the dessert.  This one threw a couple of years to my death sentence . . . Ol’ Methuselah was well beyond my reach.  I think I had slipped on climbing out of the burial tomb. 

I had no problem with the next question as I do not drink coffee.  Of course, this did not add or subtract anything to the tally.  It was a moot point . . . I think it was the bottle water industry that lobbied hard to get that question added to the quiz.

Sleep was the next question . . . yes, I do sleep.  No, I do not sleep enough to make a major difference, but I did knock off a couple of years.  Which was good because the next question dealt with sex.  First of all, it is really none of anyone else’s business . . . second of all, a gentleman does not kiss and tell.  Needless to say, this did not add or subtract to the death toll.  Rumor has it that Methuselah had a whole bunch of concubines and that it really added up the years . . . I think it killed the ol’ fart.  It is hard enough to please one woman, how in the world did he please a harem full of women!  I guess, at the age of 969 years old, it finally killed him . . . it wore him out!

The final question dealt with the longevity of relatives . . . did any relatives live to a long life?  Well, I really do not know.  Both of my parents died around the age of seventy . . . but, outside of that, I really do not know.  Always being younger than most of my relatives I always figured them to be old . . . as in ancient.  Now, whether or not that was the truth . . . I do not know.  So, all I could answer was nope . . . nope was good for nothing.  Nada.

Tallying up the score from the quiz, divided it by ten, and then adding or subtracting it from my actual age . . . well, I came out as to being my actual age.  Imagine that!  I was pretty much the age I actually was . . . OLD!  Old, but alive!

I do not imagine that Methuselah has to worry about this individual catching up . . . I doubt if I live anywhere close to the age of 969 years of age.  Long ago I predicted that I would only live to the age of fifty-five . . . I am now a year beyond that.  I guess I am not a very good prognosticator when it comes to things such as predicting one’s life span.  Yet, at the same time, I must be pretty lucky . . . I have already beat my prediction by one year!  I am still alive and well . . . there is something positive about not seeing one’s name in the obituaries.

It seems fruitless to pursue Methuselah . . . ain’t ever going to catch him.  Yet, at the same time, I rejoice in beating my youthful prediction . . . of already being a year older than I thought I would ever be.  Life has been, for the most part . . . great.  I have witnessed a whole lot of blessings . . . I have related to a whole lot of people . . . and, I have been able to grow thorough it all.  I have been blessed . . .

The question now is . . . how much longer?  I do not know.  All I know is that I must reach out each and every day to count my blessings . . . there has never been a day that I could not rejoice in the graciousness and love of God.  There has not been a day that I have not been blessed.  I may not be the oldest fart . . . but, I am an old fart . . . just call me Methuselah, Jr.  

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