Some secrets are best left secret

Meet Besse Cooper. Besse once worked as a schoolteacher in Georgia. Doesn’t she look like a nice old lady?

I don’t mean old. I mean OLD. Besse is sitting in front of her birthday cake. Those candles add up to 116 years. And that, spelled out, is One Hundred and Sixteen years.

Besse is one of only eight people in the world, one of only four Americans, to reach the overly-ripe old age of 116. At this time she is officially the oldest person in the world.

They’ve named a bridge after her. That humbled her, sort of. “I’m glad I gave them a reason to name it,” she quipped.

And, just as what happens to every oldest person on Earth who ends up within earshot of a reporter, she too was asked the same old, age-old question: What’s the secret of your longevity?

“I mind my own business – and I don’t eat junk food.”

I could be wrong, but I think the old bird cut the reporter down to size and answered the question – in the same sentence.

Now, Besse here, made me smile as well as made me think. I’m 54 years old. I would have to live another 62 years to reach 116 years old. And that, spelled out, is Sixty-two years.

Sheesh. It’s going to take a long time to get to that point in my life. Even longer than it’s taken me to get to this point in my life. But gee, just think of all the things I can look forward to.

  • I’ll have to fill out a federal income tax form 62 more times. And I’ll have to come up with 62 more creative ways to claim my pets as dependents.
  • I’ll get to live through 2016, 2020, 2024, 2028, 2032, 2036, 2040, 2044, 2048, 2052, 2056, 2060, 2064, 2068 and 2072. And that means I’ll also have to live through watching 124 more Republican and Democratic National Conventions on television. And maybe only once, stay awake during one of them.
  • I’ve got 62 more years to say to myself that this is the year I’m going to open that 401K account and start saving for my retirement. After all, I’m not going to want to work forever, right?
  • I’ll be able to shovel snow during 62 more winters, mow grass during 62 more summers, rake leaves during 62 more autumns and slip in mud during 62 more springs.
  • I’ll have 62 more years to work on solving one of the world’s greatest riddles: When two socks go into a clothes dryer, why does only one come out?
  • I’ll have plenty of time to come up with a cleverly snide answer to the question: What’s your secret to longevity?

Wow. So much to live through, and so much time to do it in. I know what I’m going to do first-thing tomorrow.

Go right out and buy myself 116 Big Macs.


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